I just finished the book, Left to Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza. It’s her story of surviving the Rwandan genocide of 1994. I’m still sort of trying to let it all sink in.
“In 1994, Rwandan native Ilibagiza was 22 years old and home from college to spend Easter with her devout Catholic family when the death of Rwanda’s Hutu president sparked a three-month slaughter of nearly one million ethnic Tutsis. She survived by hiding in a Hutu pastor’s tiny bathroom with seven other starving women for 91 cramped, terrifying days. This searing firsthand account of Ilibagiza’s experience cuts two ways: her description of the evil that was perpetrated, including the brutal murders of her family members, is soul-numbingly devastating, yet the story of her unquenchable faith and connection to God throughout the ordeal uplifts and inspires. This book is a precious addition to the literature that tries to make sense of humankind’s seemingly bottomless depravity and counterbalancing hope in an all-powerful, loving God.”
-Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review, March 2006
My friend Alyson (and her mother in law) recommended this book to me while I was in Utah earlier this month and I’m so glad she did. It’s devestating and hopeful at the same time. It’s also inspiring and comforting to know that there are people in the world like Immaculée who can find it in their hearts to forgive the unforgivable and help others heal. I want to say more about the book but I just finished it and I’m still sort of overwhelmed by her story.