Born in Rwanda, Benoit (pronounced Ben-WAH) Krussell spent years living in refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. “I grew up everywhere,” he said.
An attentive student at school, Benoit knew he was smart. He was always at the top of his class. But without parents to pay school tuition or support his efforts, his teachers told him that it was unlikely he would finish school. Their words became a challenge, and he desperately wanted to prove them wrong.
“I had hopes for a new life in the U.S.,” he said. “I didn’t know where my future would be, but I pictured it being good. Somehow I knew that success was coming, but I didn’t know how to achieve it.”
He was 17 when he was resettled in Michigan. A team from Bethany Christian Services welcomed him at the airport, and he sensed that his life was about to change. When he learned that he could pursue his education for free, he knew everything was going to be OK.
Nearly 10 years later, Benoit is a college graduate and a recently minted U.S. citizen. He is also a youth specialist with Bethany’s Transitional Living Center in Grand Rapids, and he is “giving back” at Bethany by helping other refugee youth.
Families come to Bethany hoping to adopt a child for many reasons. We work closely with these families to identify their strengths and the child they are most able to parent and we help place children of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds in the safety of a loving home.