The killers came and started to kill. My mother and my father, and also my elder brothers and sisters were killed during the Rwandan genocide,” says Pierre. “They burned them in a church.”
In April of 1994 the Hutu-dominated Rwandan Army was accused of genocide after it massacred hundreds of thousands of civilians. Pierre was tending his family’s cows when the soldiers descended on his village. At age nine he fled the country, following other refugees to the neighboring country of Burundi. As he fled, Pierre remembers one thing his parents told him just before the genocide broke out, that if they should die he should always stay faithful to God.
By age 10 the fighting had stopped and Pierre returned to his village to search for his family. When Pierre arrived he couldn’t find anyone. His older brothers, his sisters, his aunts and uncles, and his cousins, they were all gone.
Completely alone, Pierre tried to find a place to live. A villager gave him a room to stay in with two other boys that were also orphaned because of the conflict. Pierre quickly discovered that he had a lot in common with the other boys. All three had lost everyone in their families.
Over time the three grew very close through their common tragedy. With hard work, they managed to finish secondary school together. Pierre continued to attend church every Sabbath just as his parents had taught him to do. Often he would try to tell the other boys about God, but they didn’t want to listen. More than once Pierre would face hard questions from his friends when he brought up religion. They’d say to him, “I’m all alone in this country. All my loved ones were killed, so how can you say God is a King? If God exists why did God let the soldiers come?”
After the boys finished secondary school Pierre convinced them to attend the Adventist University of Central Africa. Pierre hoped his friends would find God there, but he knew if could take a while. Through the years as the boys progressed through their university courses they were all taught about Bible doctrine, and the life of Jesus Christ. Then last year during one of the university’s week of prayer programs, the other two boys began to open their hearts to God.
They approached him and said, “Pierre up to now you where right. About the Sabbath—we understand. About the worship—we understand. About salvation—we understand. We’re ready to be baptized.”
Pierre and his two friends are now finishing their studies at the university and are looking forward to telling others about Jesus when they graduate. Your support of Adventist Mission through your weekly mission offerings and Global Mission donations help us tell others about God. This Thirteen Sabbath a special offering will be taken to help built a multipurpose room at the university, which will serve as a worship meeting hall to help bolster the spiritual life of the campus. Thank you for your ongoing support.
To connect with people in Manhattan, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has established a center of influence called Life Hope Center Bryant Park.
Mission 360° features inspiring stories about mission work.
One day while Rajah was holding a Bible study, a mob approached his house, brandishing sticks and swords.