A Song for Nagasaki

A Song for Nagasaki by Paul Glynn, Marist Fathers Books, Hunters Hill, NSW, 1988, 168pp.

I will forever be grateful for the friend who sent me this book. It is one of the most influential books in my life, and I made more marks and underlining in it than in any other book I have ever read. Here I met one of the world’s great Peacemakers: Doctor Takashi Nagai (“The well that lasts”).

Nagai belonged to a Japanese medical family committed to the Shinto faith. However by the time he graduated from high school he was a convinced atheist. An avid reader, he studied at Nagasaki medical University, graduating in 1932. The scientific rationalism at university strengthened his unbelief. He was most annoyed by a sense of the crassness of ‘foreign gods’ being worshipped in the Cathedral at Urakami, a suburb of Nagasaki.

Nagai’s passion was science; he believed it held the key to every door that barred human progress.

He also loved Japanese poems from the seventh and eighth century CE. This helped keep him sensitive to the Japanese ideographs (symbols used in writing systems to represent concepts), which he read each day, and which kept him aware of the importance of feelings and intuition.

At high school Nagai had read in Pascal’s Pensees and pondered much his thought: “man is a thinking reed”. At university he came across Pascal as the inventor of the syringe and the barometer. So he continued to study the Pensees, aware that it was written by that rare combination of scientist and mystic.

Pascal challenged two false attitudes to reason, which hinder the discovery of truth: one – overconfidence in the rational, which can lead to scepticism; two – resignation to stupidity (naivety).

Nagai realised that higher truths are of wisdom and are received rather than grasped, seen “by the eyes of the heart”. He loved Pascal’s famous quote “the heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of”. But the greatest challenge to Nagai was, in Pascal’s words, “Faith is a gift of God… You must pray for it…”


IMAGE: Peace statue, Nagasaki


Download a longer extract from A Song for Nagasaki

Review of the e-book July 2017

After the genocide of 1994 Rwanda was a country with a national mental health crisis. Not only had most of its citizens suffered horrendous losses and abuses, but to compound the trauma, many were unable to find out what had happened to loved ones, or locate their bodies for burial. In 1997, the author and his wife felt called to go there and work with an NGO in the healing process. This is their story, of all the listening they did to start with, then the workshops they ran with a focus on healing and reconciliation. I was particularly impressed with the community based justice system which was focused more on restorative justice rather than punitive justice. Finally, he includes a 12 step program towards forgiveness which I found very powerful. The individual stories in this book are heartrending, but ultimately it’s a book of hope and healing.

Crowdfunding link

The journey of change (CLICK ON pic or the link below)

So many put their hands to work – communicating and giving.

Your contributions to support creation of the study guide to accompany the book “From Genocide to Generosity” were just great. We are now 90% there to make this peace study possible. I am really pleased with the content and process. Now I am focused on getting the material into the best shape to be on-line. Hope to do this by the end of Jan ’18.


Rwandan singer to tell his story

Hear Rwandan singer


launch a crowd-funding campaign


Sunday 14th May at 3.30 – 4.30 pm

@ The Community hall, St John’s Anglican,

27 Childers St, Cranbourne

(Enquiries to the Parish office on 59959364, 9am to noon, M-F)

F r e e e n t r y

We are taking a collection to be shared

between Samputu and the crowd funding campaign

White ribbon day Nov 25th

White ribbon day, Nov 25th, 2016

By John Steward.


This is such an important day on the world calendar: the international day for elimination of the violence against women. This day commences the UNs 16 days of activism against Gender-based violence and the action to “Orange the world”.


I am ‘all for’ this focus.


And yet I don’t feel satisfied. It is not enough, not even close. It’s the same feeling I have when I see the signs that read: SAY NO TO VIOLENCE.


Twenty years ago I discovered that my marriage was on shaky ground; I took advice from a friend and attended a community health program, where I began to face some truths about myself. The most shocking insight was that I did not know how my wife and children experienced me.


I was proud of my marriage and family but devastated by how they were affected by my attitudes and demands upon them, my inflexibility, my correctness, my need to be right, my lack of feeling and empathy for them.


It took 16 months for me to do enough work to regain stability in my key relationships. But the greatest revelation was yet to come: my work took me to Rwanda after the genocide of 1994, where I participated and deepened my journey and then supported and promoted inner healing of others.


There, to my amazement, the processes used to promote the change were broadly the same as in my own experience. That’s because domestic violence is not different from national violence. The cause is much the same, only the scale changes. Genocide begins in the human heart.


MEN and boys – saying NO is not enough. You must find a space to open your heart and find the violence that is within. It will be there in the form of sadness, guilt, failure, a sense of being lost, an unknown or unexamined or well-hidden grief or pain. Often it is disguised or covered by an overlay of activity and outward success. Or buffoonery. Or bravado. But those who are closest to you will know, because they suffer the effects.


Ask them – but first put a tape across your mouth. Just listen to those closest to you – and for the first time hear how those you love experience you. Then you will know you have work to do.


I cannot say ‘No’ to the violence of others until I know my own, and have begun to deal with it.



Dr John Steward is the author of the award-winning From Genocide to Generosity – hatreds heal on Rwanda’s hills.


For further insights into human healing and change keep in contact with www.2live4give.org

Like From Genocide to Generosity on Facebook.



The stories in the award-winning From Genocide to Generosity contain principles for steps of healing and change for individuals after difficult events. But the stories do not spell out how you move from grief, bitterness, hatred etc. This is now developing.


To enable your small group to find some of the principles in the book that can help you, I’ll work with a videographer to film key questions and ideas on how to take some steps towards change.


I am consulting with reference people who will assess, test and improve what I develop. During 2017 as I receive feedback and suggestions I will update the material on the 2live4give.org website.


Whilst the INDIEFAB GOLD award was for the topic of ‘Grief and Grieving’, the themes to be covered include a range of practical issues, including:

  • telling my story in a safe and trusting circle
  • bereavement, grief and loss
  • identifying and trusting my emotions and feelings
  • expressing emotions appropriately – where does violence come from?
  • understanding forgiveness – what it is not, as well as what it is.
  • knowing when reconciliation is possible – the role of confession & justice
  • what about relating to Indigenous Australians?
  • what about communicating with people from other faiths?
  • Suggestions to guide your small group facilitators


To keep in touch with progress write to me at 2live4give@gmail.com Come, be a part. Sincerely hopeful,

John Steward, who has founded a reconciliation program that has had more than 100,000 people go through it in Rwanda following the genocide. Relaxes at a writers retreat near Beechmont , outside the Gold Coast .
John Steward, who has supported reconciliation programs that have had more than 100,000 people go through in Rwanda following the genocide.

Video chat on the Gen2Gen cover

Back coverThe beautiful art for “From Genocide to Generosity”                                 points to a key contribution for the recovery of Rwandans after the genocide. The process of civil accountability using a traditional approach for conflict resolution called Gacaca (‘on the grass’) created a world first: all prisoners accused of involvement in the events of 1994 were brought to justice in a way which emphasized restoration to community life wherever possible. The front cover features a summary of this approach. The back cover (shown here) has introductory details and some endorsements.

You will enjoy the brief explanations by the author…

From Gen 2 Gen strikes GOLD





In May ’16 I received news that From Genocide to Generosity had been chosen as one of ten finalists for the INDIEFAB Book of 2015 on the topic of Grief and Grieving. I thought this to be a happy outcome, because someone had read the book and judged it to make a useful contribution to the topic.

As the book is not a textbook on grief I was satisfied to be a finalist and, Langham creative, my publisher, released a statement for its website and members and supporters of their work.


When an email came in July to congratulate me on being the author of the Gold Award in this category Sandi and I celebrated and gave thanks. For such an award has an intangible value: it invites people to look twice at the book and begin to search what it says on the chosen theme. Wonders never cease!


                                                                                                                          indiefab gold award-small


The stories in From Genocide to Generosity do contain many elements of grief, for grief was the predominant emotion when we first arrived in Rwanda. And it was expressed in many forms of wounded-ness, characterized by shame and blame, tears and fears, inner struggles and outward bursts of anger and confusion.


However From Genocide to Generosity is not a book about people stuck in grief, but about people recovering from grief. They have taken the journey towards healing by beginning the work of grieving.


After having a marvelous year with the book I see now that grief and sadness through loss, suffering and violence holds back many people all over the world. This prevents us from living to the potential with which we are endowed.

                                                A Ubud book T shirt

Wounds never cease! That’s why this book has an important on-going contribution for us, wherever we take the time to dig into it. To promote this opportunity I am planning short videos to guide people in book groups to find the steps toward their healing, by facing grief and growing in faithfulness to the healing of their inner wounds. But you first need to know the stories in the book because the Rwandans will give you the courage to try.


So, keep an eye out for new segments on 2live4give.org,which will guide you in how to share with a group of friends and make a journey with grace, purpose and support. The first video addition is a short explanation of the brilliant cover created by Annthea Hick of Melbourne.

From Genocide to Generosity is now available as an E-BOOK / E-PUB and you can order it on-line or by Print-On-Demand almost anywhere in the world.

Stay tuned – or write to me at 2live4give@gmail.com


Langham Publication Named INDIEFAB Book of the Year Finalist

Langham Publication Named INDIEFAB Book of the Year Finalist

From Genocide to Generosity named Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Finalist.

Langham Creative Projects is pleased to announce that From Genocide to Generosity has been recognized as a finalist in the 18th annual Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards. See our finalist entry in the Grief/Grieving section as well as the complete list of finalist at the INDIEFAB website.

Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd. In the next three months, a panel of more than 100 volunteer librarians and booksellers will determine the winners in 63 categories based on their experience with readers and patrons.

“The 2015 INDIEFAB finalist selection process is as inspiring as it is rigorous,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. “The strength of this list of finalists is further proof that small, independent publishers are taking their rightful place as the new driving force of the entire publishing industry.”

In reaction to the news, Pieter Kwant, Director of Literature at Langham Partnership said “It has been a privilege to publish John Steward and to enable these amazing stories of recovery and restoration from Rwanda to be read by people around the world. Dealing with grief is never straight-forward but even more so when a country’s entire population is individually impacted by these issues as in the case of Rwanda after the genocide. The road to generosity and the transformation of people’s hearts and relationships through the process of reconciliation is something we give thanks for. The nomination of From Genocide to Generosity for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards in the Grief/Grieving category is a recognition of John’s labour in writing this book but also the humility of the Rwandans whose stories he tells and the power of God through healing and reconciliation. Langham Creative Projects is very pleased to add our own congratulations to John for this nomination.”

Foreword Reviews will celebrate the winners during a program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida in June. We will also name the Editor’s Choice Prize 2015 for Fiction, Nonfiction and Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Publisher of the Year Award during the presentation.

About the Publisher: Langham Partnership seeks to equip a new generation of Bible teachers in the Majority World through its doctoral scholarships, literature resourcing and training and support of expository preachers. Our publishing ministry, Langham Creative Projects, originates and produces affordable books specifically for scholars, seminary libraries and preachers in the Majority World.

More information on our three main imprints – Langham Global Library, Langham Monographs and Langham Preaching Resources – as well as our other supported publishing projects can be found at langhamcreative.org. More information on Langham Partnership and its work can be found at langham.org.

About Foreword: Foreword Magazine, Inc is a media company featuring a Folio:-award-winning quarterly print magazine, Foreword Reviews, and a website devoted to independently published books. In the magazine, they feature reviews of the best 170 new titles from independent publishers, university presses, and noteworthy self-published authors. Their website features daily updates: reviews along with in-depth coverage and analysis of independent publishing from a team of more than 100 reviewers, journalists, and bloggers. The print magazine is available at most Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million newsstands or by subscription. You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. They are headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, USA.

From Genocide to Generosity cover image

From Genocide to Generosity

Hatreds Heal on Rwanda’s Hills

Author: John Steward
ISBN: 9781783688838
Imprint: Langham Global Library

Page Count: 200
Format: Paperback
Size: 229 x 152mm

Published: June 2015
List Price: £7.99 / US $15.99 / Au$ 24.95

Purchase a copy directly from Langham, Amazon, Book Depository, or contact your preferred bookseller.

Book review

Book Review

Title:  From Genocide to Generosity: Hatreds Heal on Rwanda’s Hill
Author:  John Steward
Publication details:  Carlisle, UK: Langham Global Library, 2015
Sumbookmary:  John Steward served in Rwanda with World Vision in 1997, where he was engaged in reconciliation activities and programs in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide.  He has since undertaken a number of short visits, with 2012 being the most recent.  This book shares insights and lessons learnt from this engagement, within the church and beyond, and gives voice to local staff and friends in the ministry of reconciliation by narrating their experiences and contributions.  There are descriptions of programs that encourage transformation and healing between Tutsis and Hutus such as workshops on personal development, healing the wounds of ethnic conflict, healing of memories and community restorative justice.  Sharing these stories gives hope that change can take place after such trauma and acknowledges the generosity that has flowed, even if there is still much more healing that needs to take place.
Evaluation:  I am delighted that one of my many mission companions has told this story and been vulnerable about his personal journey through this ministry.  This book is significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, this book addresses the need for reconciliation within our communities, a theme which lies at the heart of the gospel, and challenges us to be authentic in our practices. Secondly, the book highlights the significance of transformation through the use of a number of intentional, best-practice activities, education programs and resources that seek to demonstrate what genuine forgiveness looks like. A number of these programs are based on traditional approaches to healing and community peace building, and use indigenous art forms in communication.  In short, this book bears witness to the power of the gospel in a world crying out for holistic healing, and provides ways to practically respond to the reconciliation needs of church and society, which are relevant for all Christians, including us living in Australia.
Reviewed by:  David Turnbull

Small group study guide


Six session STUDY GUIDE

The questions relate to the sections of the book From Genocide to Generosity, hatreds heal on Rwanda’s hills by John Steward Ph.D. The purpose of the questions is to reflect on the healing and hope conveyed in the stories and apply what we learn from the Rwandan experience.

“The first duty of love is to listen”, said Paul Tillich. It is essential that our conversations take place in an environment that provides freedom to talk from the heart, and safety to converse without any member of the group wanting to make us change our mind. This is consistent with the small group processes in Rwanda, which allow a person to open their heart without someone else interrupting, judging or correcting them.

Each of the six Parts of the book contains unique material and requires adequate time to discuss. If your group is meeting for one to two hours at a time, it could take six sessions to digest the content.

Note: sometimes when the Rwandan’s stories are discussed tears come to a person’s eyes, because we are speaking about difficult things. An appropriate response in these moments is to allow the person to have their tears, so have a box of tissues handy. As they become composed, members of the group may offer gentle affirmation or invite the person to say more, in the way that my small group helped Drusilla discuss her pain, as described in the book’s Prologue.

Each member of the group needs assurance that, should the material affect them, their well-being is tantamount. When any group member continues to struggle, the group needs to offer them space to recover, and freedom to leave the discussion. In cases where a person is deeply and profoundly affected and is not able to cope within the group then it is important to link them with a skilled person to provide further support.

A launch couple

Part 1: Coping with Chaos

(pages 11 to 33)

What insights have I gained about ‘schooling’ my emotions in my children and myself?

What part of the Personal Development Workshop is of most interest to me at this stage of my life?

What practical insights have I received in the section “Looking back” and in Josephine’s account of her healing journey?

To whom could I write a letter of farewell because they departed this life unexpectedly and I was unable to say ‘goodbye’. What would I want to say to them?


Part 2: Looking for Light,

plus the Appendix The 12 step process of forgiveness

(pages 35 to 53, and 177-8)

How do the two women’s stories help me face grief in my life?

How do these brave people inspire me to take courage in my difficult situations?

What surprises me about the content of the 12 steps of forgiveness? What insights does it give to me about forgiveness?


Part 3: Taming the Trauma

(pages 55 to 76)

Nyamutera describes prejudice with some colourful terms including ‘unquestioning…’, ‘…a landmine’, ’a world…’, ‘a poison…’. What realities lead or tempt me to feel and express my prejudice or intolerance?

Considering Makoriko’s healing journey, what ‘freezes’ me inside? What do I hear when people say ‘sorry’ to me?

Genuine apology can be very powerful. When have I found this to be so in my life?


Part 4: Hope after the Horror

(pages 77 to 106)

Nsabiyera speaks of the importance of “Expressing truth of personal painful memories and community hurts”; he also says “healing is foundational to forgiveness”. How does this understanding help me?

What challenges me or affirms me in Mama Deborah’s amazing story?

Father Michael and Jean-Baptiste suffered in very different ways – what inspires me about their generosity to others?


Part 5: Judging for Justice

(pages 107 to 134)

Which conditions for justice and reconciliation in Rwanda seem to be realisticfor my situation? Which of the Rwandan conditions appear to be too outrageous/unlikely for my situation and what might change that?

Bembereza made an effort to return to Delphina something of hers that was lost. What does this act show me about restitution, and what might I do about making restitution to someone I have hurt?

Munyeli suggests that in some circumstances saying sorry is sufficient. Is “sorry” enough? What about when the pain is almost breaking me?



Part 6: Facing the Future

(pages 135 to 155)

What is my dream for the youth who live around me?

What important messages are the youth in my life saying, or showing to me?

What is a moment in my life when something I had lost was returned to me? What was that like for me?



Single session STUDY GUIDE

The following questions may help conversation during a single session after reading from genocide to generosity by John Steward PhD.

1 Which story most interested or moved me, and why?

2 What has helped me in the course of reading this material?

3 What is difficult for me to put into practice from this book?

4 What I would say to these Rwandan to have told their story is……………………………………………………………………………………………..


Please send your comments and questions to 2live4give@gmail.com



The book is launched

Already I have participated in four launches of the book From Genocide to Generosity. These times have affirmed the interest in the book among a wide range of people. In a later post I will add some of the speakers’ impressions. In this case my impression is people liked hearing a section of the book read aloud. They felt the emotion, the challenge and the hope which the stories tell. This connects with what readers are often telling me: that sometimes 2 or 3 pages are enough at a time, so there is space to reflect on what was happening and what it is saying to the reader.

I have been pleased also that some can’t put the book down once they start. One amazing piece of feedback came from a friend whose partner had not read a book in 18 years, but grabbed hold of this one and would not let it go until he completed reading it.

Here are some photos from the launches so far:

A launch food2 A launch Graley   A launch Valerie