Thursday, December 29
THIS WEEK’S LESSON
Today’s Excerpt: Hope in Desperate Times
In 1994, the Tutsi people in the African country of Rwanda were being attacked by the Hutu tribe.
A woman named Immaculee Ilibagiza was a Tutsi, and her village came under attack for several months. Immaculee’s father sent her to the home of a Hutu pastor, who hid her and seven other women in a small bathroom. The women huddled silently for over 90 days in the tiny space, and narrowly escaped being found when the house was searched several times.
At times Immaculee felt angry, hopeless, and terrified, not knowing her own fate or the fate of her family. Yet she found peace and hope, even in desperate circumstances, through prayer and contemplation.
When it was safe enough to come out, Immaculee discovered that almost her entire family had been killed along with almost one million Tutsi people. Although she was devastated, Immaculee refused to let go of the hope and peace she had found. In fact, she even met one of the killers of her family face to face and offered her forgiveness.
Since surviving the tragedy in Rwanda, Immaculee has dedicated her life to pointing the way toward hope. She said, “The number one priority is to remind people who are suffering, whoever they are — those going through a divorce, family difficulties, illnesses — please don’t give up.”
“Never refuse any who ask you for help; if your pockets are empty, give them hope. Your every action must be born of kindness, your every word spoken with love.”
― Immaculee Ilibagiza
- What lessons can we learn from Immaculee? What about from the Hutu pastor?