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LIFE AS A MIDDLE MANN

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Immaculee Ilibagiza

The other night Becca and I had an enjoyable evening with our friends, the Glazes and their friend Michelle from Biola. We went to Willamette University for the evening to hear the amazing story of Immaculee Ilibagiza. Wow, I had a little forewarning about who she was but I was not prepared for her gracious and powerful retelling of the atrocities that took place in Rwanda in 1994. For those who are unaware, almost 1,000,000 people were killed in 100 days. That was 10% of the total country's population at the time. She hid for 91 days in her pastor's 3' x 4' bathroom along with six other women.
Her story is primarily one of forgiveness and reconciliation. I was expecting that but what I wasn't expecting was the degree to which she believed Christ was the only one who could make that forgiveness and ensuing peace, possible. It felt ironic being on such an intentionally liberal campus in the least-churched state in America hearing this woman talk about the hope, peace and forgiveness made possible only through Jesus. Needless to say, it was incredibly inspiring and genuine. I think I'll pick up her book and get a more detailed version of the story, below is an excerpt from the book's website in regards to its popularity. Left to Tell has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, been made into a documentary, and through her Left to Tell Charitable Fund has raised over $150,000 for the orphans of Rwanda. Ms. Ilibagiza has been invited to speak to a range of audiences including dignitaries of the world, multinational corporations, churches, and local school children. The importance of her story has been recognized and honored with numerous humanitarian awards, including an honorary doctoral degree from the prestigious University of Notre Dame; the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace 2007; a finalist as one of Beliefnet.com’s “Most Inspiring People of the Year 2006;” and a Christopher Award, “affirming the highest values of human spirit.”Left to Tell has been chosen as Outreach Magazine’s selection for “Best Outreach Testimony/Biography Resource of 2007, and for the 2007-2008 One Book program at Villanova University making it a mandatory read for 6,000 students.

  1. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:16 AM |  

    Immaculee is a truly inspiring person. I heard that she is going to be running a Marian Pilgrimage to Europe in the fall and i thought that you and those who enjoy your article might be interested as well. see: http://www.catholic.org/prwire/headline.php?ID=4811

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