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Forum Home > Book reviews > Left to Tell : Immaculee Ilibagiza with Steve Erwin

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This is not the typical books I would add to the site but it was so powerful I could not stop crying hours after I had finished the book. Immaculee tells her story of how she survived the Rwanda holocaust and the gruesome murder of all her family except one brother who was out of the country. It is told in such a simple manner from the eyes of an innocent girl who met God during her time of hiding from the killers and learnt the power of inner strength and positive thinking. It is not just a story of survival but of victory of the inner self, how we can all focus on developing the inner man. She also displays the amazing power of forgiveness. Forgiveness frees you to go on in life and develop to your full potential while robbing power from your enemy. It benefits you more than it benefits the enemy. But what remains puzzling is how she could forgive the killers who hacked her dear brother to death. Many of us would want the enemy to first accept he was wrong, to deserve forgiveness first before we can forgive. But Immaculee’s story shows that with God it is possible to do the seemingly impossible task of forgiving your worst enemies, even the unrepentant enemies. This is such a powerful inspiration to all who hate or blame a brother/sister, parent, in-law or even another country.

I have asked myself many times how I would have reacted had I been a Tutsi or even a Hutu in Rwanda at the time of the holocaust or a Jew during the Hitler regime. How does one survive such terror and loss, such emotional and physical torture beyond human comprehension? All the stories of survivors I have read who have gone through such atrocities point to the power of God, inner strength, hope, faith and positive thinking. Those who lose these and give in with their inner being to the evil force get destroyed. This is another living testimony that human beings are strong, can withstand evil forces, can triumph in the face of unimaginable terrors, can have hope in hopeless situations and live long enough to tell the tale.

I have also asked myself what drives people to such acts of terror. How do neighbors and friends suddenly turn and transform over night to become enemies. But they are no easy answers to these questions. Evil forces are certainly real and can take over individuals. Mob psychologies, indoctrination and blind obedience to authority has terrible repercussions. Left to tell is a powerful life changing story I would recommend for anyone who needs to understand the power of hope, forgiveness, faith and want to understand life in the deepest darkness- and that miracles till happen.

June 3, 2011 at 2:59 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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