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Tag: Rwanda

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

By John Callister

Alex was grateful for the friendship of the chaperones who had become part of his life. He enjoyed finding out about them because their lives and upbringings were were very different from his. Each one had a unique, interesting story. They came from countries like Canada, America, England and Ireland. Spending so much time together meant that both the children in the choir and the chaperones had become like one big family. 

Alex knew that the chaperones’ motivation came from their Christian faith, and that their lives were a genuine expression of God’s love. They weren’t doing it for money since most of them had very little, and each one had had to raise their own financial support from family and friends. It was a long time since Alex had felt so loved and cared for. But that didn’t mean that all was well with him.

Having gone through the trauma of the Rwandan genocide, there were things that Alex hadn’t been able to talk about.  But because of the trust that had been built up with his chaperones, very gradually he began to open up to them about the fears and the heartache he was living with.

They were understanding, and encouraged him to turn to Jesus Christ and ask for his help to deal with the issues he was struggling with. As he did, he found himself being able to focus on the good – the miracles that he knew he had experienced in his life. He knew that God had preserved his life and had opened up the door for him to join the African Children’s Choir.

As he thanked God for what he had done, the healing process he had longed for, began.  
In Alex’s own words, “Those chaperones today are my mentors because God use them in such a powerful way to remind me I was loved and I was cared for, and it’s so beautiful. And I’m so grateful that God opened the door for me to join the African Children’s Choir, because at a time when I was vulnerable, he used the African Children’s Choir to remind me of his love. When I was looking for something to hold on to the African Children’s Choir introduced me to a greater love a greater hope that is found in Jesus Christ alone and that is why I’m able to be here today.” 

Interview filmed by Peter Wooding ASSIST News


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 info@friendsinthewest.com

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

Cairo bishop urges Church to be ready for martyrdom

by Jayson Casper

A senior Anglican archbishop from the Global South called for the Church to be “ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of Christ” in the face of persecution, restrictions, terrorism, and violence carried out in the name of religion


Archbishop Mouneer Anis. Michael Adel, Bridges Cultural Cente

Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Cairo was addressing archbishops and bishops from some of the most difficult places in the world in which to practise the Christian faith: Sudan, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Southern Africa, West Africa, Indian Ocean, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South East Asia.

More than 100 delegates also discussed the importance of ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue. Guests at the opening session included representatives of the Vatican, Coptic Orthodox Church and Al Azhar University in Cairo, the seat of Sunni learning.


Al Azhar representative Saeed Amer. Michael Adel, Bridges Cultural Center.

The leaders of the Anglican Communion’s Global South (the world’s third largest Christian denomination, after the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches) – which is home to 72 per cent of the worldwide Anglican population, or about 62 million people – discussed critical challenges facing them, including poverty, the refugee crisis and religious violence.

Archbishop Anis said the Church in the Global South had many challenges and weaknesses, and highlighted the prevalence of disease and “polygamy, tribalism, corruption, and harsh treatment of women”, as well as “false teaching” of the prosperity gospel, and the teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.

He also warned of an “ideological slavery” resulting from “some Western churches and organisations using their wealth and influence to push their own agendas in the Global South”. He continued: “We need to be aware of this, and resist all kinds of slavery, whether financial or ideological”, or else face “cultural defeat and captivity”.

While the archbishop and other speakers stressed fidelity to the teachings of Christ and criticised provinces they accused of departing from them, Anis added: “We cannot continue to focus on the faults of others while neglecting the needs of our own people.”

A former Bishop of North Africa, Bill Musk, noted that North African Christians were persecuted in the early centuries of Christianity as they are now, and said unity was vital to withstand such challenges. A communiqué from the talks reported: “The Arab invasions eventually overwhelmed the Church [in North Africa], but the seeds of its demise were sown long before.”

Bishop Emeritus Musk also praised the fifth-century Council of Carthage, which took place in what is now Tunisia, at which it was decided that no diocese had the right to discipline leaders in another, despite a deep cultural divide within the Church. Bishop Musk described the Church at that time as being riven between a Latin elite that advocated a compassionate response to Christians who denied their faith under persecution, and local Berbers, who insisted upon faithfulness to Christianity until death.

Speakers at the conference emphasised the Church’s North African heritage, challenging the view of the Church as a foreign imposition foisted on Europe’s former colonies. American Canon Dr. Ashley Null, highlighted the “deep dependence” of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, one of the architects of Anglicanism, on St. Augustine, whose bishopric of Hippo lies in modern-day Algeria.

Dr. Null, who is writing a five-volume study of the private theological notebooks of Archbishop Cranmer, noted that “in his day, Augustine was derided as the son of a Berber who spoke Latin with an African accent”.

On the second day of the conference, the bishops had a 90-minute audience with President Fatah Al-Sisi, who told them Egypt was keen to guarantee freedom of belief and worship for all its citizens. Egypt’s Coptic Christians have complained of targeted attacks worsening again this year.

(Bishops from North America and Australia joined the six-day conference (3-8 Oct.) in the Egyptian capital. Four bishops from the UK, including the Bishop of Durham Paul Butler, were there as guests, with the knowledge of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby).

Source:World Watch Monitor