COLOURS OF AFRICA, The Alexa Kirsten story by Debra Hunter
“From a land marred by violence comes a powerful story of hope and forgiveness. In 2005, South African artist Alexa Kirsten ran to help a neighbor during a home break-in. In the ensuing attack, her neighbor was killed; Alexa herself was stabbed 17 times in the back of the neck and left for dead.”
I found Colours of Africa an emotionally moving book to read. Alexa’s journey to recovery and forgiveness is a love story. As the author puts it:
“The enormity of tragedy for some often stands out when compared to others who have experienced little difficulty in life. Alexa and her family have certainly had their share of trials. And the pain of the loss and suffering seems almost unbearable.
It is human nature to want to blame God in such circumstances. But just like Alexa, when we see the ugly side of humanity this is often a time when we also see the character of God revealed, both in His divine intervention and the evidence of His love through God’s people. In her near-death experience, Alexa felt God’s presence which gave her peace, and then, instead of crying out and attracting her assailant’s attention, she felt the hand of God over her mouth. She also felt God’s love in the way that needs were met: meals were provided, money arrived, words of encouragement, prayer, and the love and support of many were offered.
Alexa’s story is also a journey of coming first to religion and then eventually to realise that Jesus Christ is her personal savior.”
Six months after Lisbe, Alexa’s neighbor, was stabbed to death and Alexa, lay dying on the floor of Lisbe’s house, Alexa starts writing a series of letters to Lisbe in her diary . With the writing of these letters, Alexa’s journey of healing and forgiveness begins and her relationship with Jesus starts to develop and grow into something beyond ‘religion’.
During this time of recovery, Alexa and Lisbe’s daughter, Saskia, start building a mosaic wall.
In one of her letters to Lisbe in her diary, Alexa writes:
“It’s funny, here I am, eighteen months later, and still think of you every day. I have been working on the mosaic on our front wall and am enjoying it tremendously – it’s in memory of you, and so, when working on it, I reflect and think of your life and of the children and all those around them. It has been so therapeutic for me to work on this – whenever I feel low and sad, it is the best place for me”.
This book is for anyone who has been hurt and disappointed in life, who have had loved ones taken from them suddenly, who are suffering from depression, who are struggling to forgive and who long for a closer relationship with Jesus.