Friday, September 25, 2009

Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza

I recently read this book for my book club. It was an amazing story of a woman who lived through the Rwandan genocide of the early '90's. After reading Immaculee's story, I am ashamed to say that I had no idea these events even happened since at the time I was in the throes of being a newly wed and later a new mom. Not that that's any excuse for not knowing what was going on in the rest of the world but my world consisted of learning to cook decent meals, stretch a dollar and, later, take care of our babies!

This story is a testament of faith, hope, love and forgiveness. Immaculee showed pure faith and perseverance when everything around her was crumbling. She lived in a bathroom with 9 other women for three months with little food and limited conversation. I was most struck by her attitude of constant prayer and the ways in which God answered her prayers. It was very inspirational. How many of us wouldn't like to be in prayer for 24 hours a day - though under completely different circumstances, I'm sure!

There were several parts of this story that were difficult for me to read, particularly the details of her brother's death. But after reading that passage, I was so moved by how he went to his death sharing Jesus with his killers. Essentially, he was a martyr - could you do that? I don't even know if I could and I'm not sure I like that about myself.

A great read - I couldn't put it down once I started. You can read more about Immaculee's story and the foundation she has started to help the Rwandan orphans left behind at Left to Tell.

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