My name is Jean-Paul Tiendrebeogo, and this is my story.
The West African country of Burkina-Faso is my homeland. Burkina-Faso (formerly Upper Volta) is one of the poorest nations in the world. My childhood life was full of physical pain, marked by the daily struggle for survival, lack of a family, and a deep spiritual longing for love and security. I lost both my parents by the time I was 9 years old and 3 siblings under the age of 10 years old. I was given a death sentence by my uncle when I made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior at the age of twelve. Ultimately, I was forced to run for my life and found myself in a strange city where I eventually met an American couple who adopted me and demonstrated the power of God’s unconditional love.
"God took me from one of the poorest nations in the world to one of the richest."
Life after my adoption was different. I was given hope for a better life in the place of hopelessness; healing from anger and pain from the past, and ultimately living a life of purpose for God’s glory. Looking back to my early years in Burkina-Faso to where I am today, God has blessed my life beyond what I could ever have thought and imagined. I am married to my wife Rita, and together we have three children (Moriah Glory, Caleb Israel, and Selah Jo). God took me from one of the poorest nations in the world to one of the richest nations on the planet. I grew up with no concept of what family is but now have a loving family. Neither my parents nor siblings ever knew how to write their own names or had the chance to attend school, but I have achieved a world-class education from America. The list goes on, and I am indeed blessed in a very blessed nation.
"I feel compelled and commissioned to go back to my people in Africa."
However, for many, the struggle for survival is still real on a daily basis as they experience hunger, starvation, hurt and pain. In Mark 5, the Bible tells us the story of man who was full of pain both inside and out. After his miraculous healing and the radical transformation, the man begged to go with Jesus. However, Jesus told the man, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you.”
Likewise, as someone who has experienced hunger, starvation, hurt and pain, I feel compelled and commissioned by God to go back to my people in Africa and provide them with sustainable ways to release them out of their poverty.
That is the reason why God laid Kingdom Investment International in 2008 on my heart to provide ‘my people’ with practical sustainable tools of empowerment to help them solve their socio-economic difficulties. Through the founding initiatives of the Micro Finance Initiative, the School of Leadership and Development, and the Community Project Initiative, people are breaking free from the cycle of poverty not only in this generation, but for generations to come.
Jean-Paul has published the full story of his journey in his memoir, My Faith or My Family.
Download the ebook version of the book here for free. (Donations are also welcome.)