Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust Immaculee Ilibagiza grew up in a country she loved, surrounded by a family she cherished. But in her idyllic world was ripped apart as Rwanda descended into a bloody genocide. 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.

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The book was published in , 12 years after the genocide that claimed one million lives in days. She grew up in a middle-class family that valued education, and she had three brothers.

Her family was Tutsi. Tensions with the Hutu ethnic group, the majority, were present throughout her life, but rarely made her feel unsafe.

She and the rest of her family had Hutu friends and relatives. The second third of the book tells the story of her time hiding in the bathroom of Pastor Murinzi. In a tiny bathroom, she and 7 other women survived the 91 days of horror in their country. She also teaches herself English from two books and a dictionary. Eventually she ends up at an RPF base and then back in Kigali when the genocide and war are over.

She rebuilds her life, getting a job at the UN and meeting her future husband, an American working for the UN named John. He is in Rwanda to set up the criminal tribunal. Her main message throughout the book is that anyone can learn to forgive, no matter how horribly they have suffered and been wronged. For her, the path to forgiveness was through God.

She even forgives the man who was responsible for the gang that killed her mother and one of her brothers.


Left To Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza- Signed

Her first book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust , is an autobiographical work detailing how she survived during the Rwandan genocide. She survived hidden for 91 days with seven other women in a small bathroom, no larger than 3 feet 0. The bathroom was concealed in a room behind a wardrobe in the home of a Hutu pastor. Besides herself, the only other survivor in her family was her brother Aimable, who was studying out of the country in Senegal and did not know of the genocide. She tells her story of survival immediately following the genocide she had lived through.


Immaculée Ilibagiza


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