Escape From Rwanda by John Yves Bizimana – Book Review & Giveaway

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.

Escape from Rwanda was exactly what it claimed to be a true story of faith, hope and survival. This memoir shares the incredible life story of John Yves Bizimana.

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. Here are just a few:

It’s a sad fact that a common human trait is to be harshest with those who share our weaknesses. One would think that we would be more understanding after having walked down the same path, but we find, sadly, the recovering alcoholic being overly critical of the occasional drinker.

It was a painful lesson: I was better off being the very best version of myself than a dreadful copy of someone else.

Perhaps the hardest challenge among all else was to unlearn old habits and learn new ones. To become the person I wished to be, I had to be drained of that of which I was full and to be filled with that of which I was barren.

Trials of our lives expose to us the strengths or weaknesses of our character. Trials are the mirror that allows us to see ourselves indeed, because trials, in whatever form, reveal to us how strong or weak we are.

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.

Content: A uplifting, inspiring, clean read.

Rating: 4 Stars

Giveaway Details:

I’m giving away my copy of Escape From Rwanda.

Giveaway open until October 10, 2010

Open only to those with a US mailing address.

Being a blog follower is not required to enter this giveaway. Followers do get (+1) one extra entry.

This Giveaway is now Closed – Congratulations to the winner Erinberry