Escape from the Rwandan Genocide. Alex’s story Part Two

Interview filmed by Peter Wooding, ASSIST News

By John Callister

After losing family members and fleeing for his life, Alex found refuge in an orphanage in the Rwandan capital, Kagali. During his time there he was visited by the charity, The African Children’s Choir. That organisation had rescued a number of other orphaned children, mainly from Uganda. Many had faced starvation after being caught up in what became known as the Ugandan Holocaust, in the aftermath of a civil war. Alex was offered a place with the African Children’s Choir and travelled with them to Uganda for training, after which he embarked on a singing tour in America.

The period in Uganda was a time of reflection for Alex. He struggled with bitterness in his heart towards the Hutus who had killed members of his family. He wrestled with questions as to where God was in his suffering, and whether life had any purpose. One night, while reading his Bible, he came across this verse from Jeremiah 29:11:

Alex realised that he had been blaming God for what had happened to him, when, in fact, God had not only rescued him from certain death, but was opening up a whole new future for him. He realised that the fact he was now in Uganda as part of the African Children’s Choir, was a miracle. He realised that God was opening up doors for him and pointing him towards a better future.

In Alex’s own words, “The African Children’s Choir watered a seed of hope that had been planted in my life.” Alex decided to give his heart to Jesus, to ask for forgiveness for his sin and his wrong attitude towards God. And he asked God for His help to overcome the bitterness that was in his heart because of what had happened to members of his family.

Through that Bible verse in Jeremiah 29, God began to reveal His love, and to give him vision for a future where he would live out his God-given purpose. He now had a real desire to be a blessing to others, and to help and minister to those who needed to experience the love of God in their lives.

After travelling to America and beginning to perform with the African Children’s Choir, Alex began to really experience the hope of Jeremiah 29. He loved singing with the choir, since he felt that somehow he had an opportunity to impart hope and faith to those attending the concerts. However, since his English was at an elementary stage, he depended on just memorising the words of the songs. But as time went on, he began to gain an understanding of the ‘meaning’ of the words of the songs he had been singing. They soon became much more than mere words to be memorised; those words became real to him, penetrating his heart, bringing healing.


People like Alex, and other members and former members of the African Children’s Choir, have stories of forgiveness and testimonies of God’s goodness in times of hardship. At a time when the world needs some good news more than ever before, we want to get these stories out to those who need it most. Please pray for Alex and others who have a message of hope to share, that the right avenues and doors for sharing will open. It would be a great encouragement to Alex to know that you have been touched by his message. If you have, would you take the time to drop him a line or two and let him know. You can reach him by email at

Thank you.

Tonight @ 8.00pm (British Standard Time). Ray Barnett, interviewed about his life, work and vision for the future.

Ray Barnett, Founder of Friends In The West and The African Children’s Choir