Friday, 25 March 2011

Ilibagiza, Immaculée "Left to Tell"

Ilibagiza, Immaculée with Erwin, Steve "Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust" - 2006

After having read "Shake Hands with the Devil" where General Roméo Dallaire gives a most horrendous account of the genocide in Rwanda, I didn't say no when a friend offered to lend me this book of a young girl who survived the holocaust.

This was an even more earth-shattering tale as Immaculée Ilibagiza doesn't just tell how she survived (cramped with seven other women into a tiny bathroom for 91 days with hardly any food and having to be absolutely quiet the whole time, how they learned to communicate without speaking), she also tells about losing all her family and friends, hardly anyone she knew survived, most of them were killed most brutally. The most miraculous part of her story is her triumphal survival and her faith that never left her.

An amazing story of a remarkable young woman.

Immaculée Ilibagiza has her own homepage, "Left to Tell". I also read another book of hers "Our Lady of Kibeho".

See the book featured in my "Photo ABC". 

From the back cover:

"Immaculee Ilibagiza grew up in a country she loved, surrounded by a family she cherished. But in 1994 her idyllic world was ripped apart as Rwanda descended into a bloody genocide. Immaculee’s family was brutally murdered during a killing spree that lasted three months and claimed the lives of nearly a million Rwandans.

Incredibly, Immaculee survived the slaughter. For 91 days, she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor while hundreds of machete-wielding killers hunted for them.

It was during those endless hours of unspeakable terror that Immaculee discovered the power of prayer, eventually shedding her fear of death and forging a profound and lasting relationship with God. She emerged from her bathroom hideout having discovered the meaning of truly unconditional love - a love so strong she was able seek out and forgive her family’s killers.

The triumphant story of this remarkable young woman’s journey through the darkness of genocide will inspire anyone whose life has been touched by fear, suffering, and loss.

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