A personal prophecy saved Callixte Karemangingo. He was in prison for perpetrating genocide in Rwanda when he said the Holy Spirit told him the wind was about to change.
Callixte was a Hutu who participated in the 1994 brutality against Tutsis, which is now recognized as genocide. He attacked within groups, betraying friends and neighbors who were Tutsi or Tutsi sympathizers.
In February, 2000, Callixte was overcome by the Holy Spirit and repented on the spot. He confessed his sins, which included crimes against humanity, and called out for the Lord to save him.
Under his influence in prison, at least 8,600 other inmates came to know Christ and also requested forgiveness.
“I was also teaching about peace and reconciliation,” Callixte says.
Callixte picked up a guitar, and prophecies started flowing through the chords. The Holy Spirit gave him the words in his heart, and his ministry exploded.
The Lord granted him favor, and soon Callixte was granted brief releases to share his gift with others. He won several contests, and the government allowed him to keep his monetary winnings.
When the Gacaca, or community court, offered commuted sentences in exchange for proof of repentance, they set Callixte free.
The Holy Spirit prompted him to return to his neighbors, Andrew and Madeline. Madeline was a Tutsi, and Callixte was among the group who murdered her in-laws.
By divine providence, Andrew and Madeline were also believers.
“Asking forgiveness from Andrew and his wife was not that difficult because they are both Christians,” Callixte says.
Andrew and Madeline forgave Callixte and pardoned him. Callixte’s wife, Marcella, joined Madeline in volunteer efforts to promote peace around the country.
The families united and are now personal friends as well as business partners. They run a farm that produces potatoes, bananas and coffee.
As the families drew closer, so did their children. Andrew’s daughter is set to marry Callixte’s son.
“It’s God who did this,” Marcella, Callixte’s wife says. “With human strength, it would not be possible.”
Listen to the podcast to hear Callixte’s full testimony.
Other stories from World Vision USA’s trip to Rwanda: