Escape from Rwanda: A True Story of Faith, Hope and Survival

by John Yves Bizimana

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Hardcover SKU 5046908

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John Yves Bizimana was only seven years old when his family was caught up in the Rwandan genocide. In Escape from Rwanda, he tells of their horrifying escape and subsequent experiences as refugees, traveling with his widowed mother and his younger brother and sister from country to country, searching for safety and a place to call home. When they finally reach Zimbabwe, they expect their lives will settle down — they don't suspect that even greater trials are yet to come.

John's story is one of almost unimaginable hardship — trudging through corpses that litter the road out of Rwanda, huddling under cardboard boxes for shelter, depending on strangers and governmental agencies for sustenance. His story is one of poverty, loneliness, and death, but it is also a story of faith, hope, determination, and miracles. This unique first-person account is interwoven with stories of others' saving acts of kindness and compassion in a seemingly compassion-less world.

This unforgettable story of rising above all odds reminds us that life itself is a blessing and that hope should be the driving force of our lives.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Beginnings
  • 2. Rwanda
  • 3. Zaire, Tanzania, Zambia
  • 4. Zimbabwe
  • 5. Emerald Hill
  • 6. The Denderes
  • 7. Saint Ignatius College
  • 8. Belgium
  • 9. Missionaries
  • 10. Achieving the Dream
  • About the Author

    John Yves Bizimana

    John Yves Bizimana was born in Kigali, Rwanda, and lived there until the Rwandan genocide in 1994. He then moved with his family to Harare, Zimbabwe, where he lived for eight years before relocating to Brussels, Belgium. Because of his Rwandan, Zimbabwean, and Belgian heritage, he considers himself a citizen of the world.

    John resides in Provo, Utah, where he attended Brigham Young University, graduating with a degree in economics in August 2010. He enjoys performing African cultural dances, songs, and traditions with his friends in Voice of Africa, a Utah Valley performing group. He enjoys playing all kinds of sport - especially basketball - and learning about other cultures and languages.

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    Average rating:

    (based upon 3 reviews)

    difficult lessons...
    By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

    When I read this book I felt as if he were with me, sharing his story in conversation. It's a sad thing for a child to endure as he did, as others like him in his home country have…to lose loved ones by separation and death at such a young age, leaving his home and all that was familiar, witnessing the horrors of war…
    It’s a story of resilience and courage, keeping the dream alive through all the doubts and let-downs. And of how a life can be changed with a little help from a friend.
    This is a very good book to share with your family to encourage discussion of adversity and how the manage difficult times, and to talk about appreciating all the good things of life.

    Faith Promoting Memoir
    By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

    Born to a wealthy family in Zimbabwe, John had an idyllic childhood. Delicious meals, a huge house, many servants and a wonderful family made for a blissful life. When John was just seven years old everything changed. The death of his father followed by the Rwanda Genocide left John as a refuge. Forced to flee to Zimbabwe with his mother and two younger siblings, life would now be full of one trial and challenge after another.

    John dreamed of coming to the United States but circumstances took him to Zimbabwe where he lived in the Transit Center then to Emerald Hill Orphanage and then to Belgium to live with relatives.

    Through his trials the hand of God was evident in his life, from the kindness of strangers to needed documents being found at the last minute, we see many instances of the tender mercies of the Lord. John's life changes for good one day when he is drawn towards two out of place men playing a game of street ball in suits and ties.

    This short book was packed full of wisdom and truth. I found myself underlining profound passages that touch my spirit as I read.

    I highly recommend this amazing story. It is a inspiring book that is worth taking the time to read.

    Miraculously a family photo book survived allowing pictures of John and his family to be included in this memoir.

    A great read
    By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

    This is one of the best books ever written, a masterpiece worth reading and to be kept in one's library. Its a story of war and hope. John meticulously weaves through the details of his growing up, his escape(adventure), and milestones.He talks to the reader through values and principles we all aspire to with intricate details of his personal life.
    This book is about dreaming, dreaming and working hard to achieve those dreams.
    Highly recommended for anyone ready to be inspired.

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