Never has faith been so real a saving grace as in the life of Immaculee Ilibagiza. Born in Rwanda in 1972, Immaculee is a Tutsi, the ethnic minority in her nation. She always did well in school, and was a 22 year old National University student studying electrical and mechanical engineering when her country went up in flames in 1994. While home for Easter with her family, Hutu death squads began a three month killing spree of Tutsis across the nation. Immaculee's entire family was murdered, but she managed to find a hiding place in the packed 3 foot by 4 foot (1m by 1.3 m) bathroom of a local pastor, along with seven other women. She and the others spent 91 days there, entering at 115 pounds and emerging at 68. However, she found life in the dark, building an undaunted relationship with God and learning English using only a bible and a dictionary. She began to realize the power of an unconditional love so powerful that it might forgive her family's killers. In the wake of the horrors, she joined the United Nations and moved to New York four years later. She recorded her amazing story in the 2006 memoir Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, a New York Times Best Seller and an account of the power of faith in the most ulikely circumstances. Immaculee is now a professional speaker, travelling the world and sharing her faith, her wisdom, and her experiences with everyone who will listen.
"God's message extends beyond borders. Anyone in the world can learn to forgive those who have injured them, however great or small that injury may be."
"His name was Felicien; he had been a successful Hutu businessman whose children I'd played with in primary school. I shivered, remembering that it had been his voice I'd heard calling out my name when the killers searched for me at the pastor's house where I was hiding. Felicien had let the devil enter his heart, and the evil had ruined his life like a cancer in his soul. I was overwhelmed with pity for the man. I could feel his shame. I reached out, touched his hands lightly, and quietly said what I'd come to say. I forgive you."
"I realized that my battle to survive this war would have to be fought inside of me. Everything strong and good in me - my faith, hope, and courage - was vulnerable to the dark energy. If I lost my faith, I knew that I wouldn't be able to survive. I could rely only on God to help me fight."
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