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Book Review: Left to Tell

In Africa, faith, genocide, hope, hopelessness, prayer, Rwanda on February 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm

By @gunnarsimonsen

In 1994 I was 24 years old and thought I had a clue. Over a decade later, I realized how little of a clue I actually had.

When I picked up a copy of Left to Tell with a gift card I got for Christmas, something told me that I was about to have my life wrecked. Though I knew of Rwanda, I had know idea of Rwanda and the horrifying events that occurred within a 90 day period in 1994.

This book is the story of a survivor. When all but one of her family members did not. This book is about nothing I could ever imagine or come close to describing.

Nearly one million lives were lost during that 90 day period of 1994 in Rwanda. It was genocide. It was neighbor killing neighbor. Tribe killing tribe. Lives lost in the most horrible of ways as many were butchered by machete. Men, women, child… it did not matter.

This is the story of Immaculee Ilibagiza.

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. [from the book description]

Never in my life have I been so gripped by a story. Never in my life have I been so wrecked by one, either.

Immaculee does an incredible job of telling her story in such a way that you too, felt like you were huddled in that cramped bathroom with the seven others.

I have thought often after reading this book of what I was doing that really truly mattered in 1994. I also wonder what the whole world was doing too as they collectively seemed to turn a blind eye to the horrors.

This is a book that will emotionally tear you apart and cause you to look differently about your life and the challenges you face. It is a book that will no doubt break your heart for the things that undoubtedly break God’s. And finally, it is a book that in a weird way, will be an encouragement to you that in the midst of sheer evil, hope can dwell, thrive, and rise again.

Reading this book has set me on a path that changed everything. As I survey the world around me and across the globe, I am personally convicted that I must do my part. For I can no longer sit back and watch injustice play out before my eyes. In this, I must act.

I do not want to look back after another decade has passed by and wonder… what was I doing that truly mattered… ever again.

Click here to view the book on Amazon.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gunnar Simonsen and Ezra Stanton, liquidcloud11. liquidcloud11 said: Book Review: Left to Tell http://wp.me/p1jd28-6L […]

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