left to tell

I just finished reading Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza. Immaculee was 22 years old in 1994 and visiting her parents on Easter break from college when the killings broke out. Her parents and two brothers were murdered by her neighbors ... she managed to hide in an Episcopal Priest's bathroom with 7 other women ... for 91 days! Amazingly she turned inward and found consolation and strength in her Catholic faith that helped her to survive and to forgive those who killed her family.

It's a chilling tale. Neighbors one day, sharing classrooms and church pews and then one day, boom, neighbors stalking other neighbors, chopping them to bits with machetes while the world debates what is happening and does nothing. An estimated 800,000 to more than 1,000,000 people were murdered during the Rwandan Genocide.

It's also an amazing story about faith and relationship with God. Take this small snipet for example:

I found a place in the bathroom to call my own: a small corner of my heart. I retreated there as soon as I awoke, and stayed there until I slept. It was my sacred garden, where I spoke with God, mediated on His words, and nurtured my spiritual self.

When I meditated, I touched the source of my faith and strenghtened the core of my soul. While horror swirled around me, I found refuge in a world that became more welcoming and wonderful with each visit. Even as my body shriveled, my soul was nourished throughout my deepening relationship with God.
Immaculee is now married, living in the States and working for the UN. Proceeds from her book go to a charity she has set up to help Rwandan orphans.

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