The widows of the genocide are the most courageous women I have ever met. I’m in absolute awe of them. Despite the physical and emotional scars, many of them have forgiven the perpetrators through God’s love and grace.
We had a unique opportunity to sit down with a group of them and hear their individual stories of pain, loss and survival. After visiting churches where so many Rwandans were killed, it was surreal to hear that several of these women had been hiding in those very churches during the genocide. Eugenie was one of those women.
She lost her husband and all her children. She suffered many wounds from machetes and other weapons. She was even raped and later had a child. Eugenie needs a crutch to walk and has little use of one of her arms. Due to these lasting injuries, she is unable to live on her own. Yet she refuses to take her daughter out of school to help. As Eugenie spoke tears ran down her face. She said she still has nightmares every night, fearful that someone will come and finish her off.
Even through all the painful and horrific things she has endured, Eugenie continues to choose forgiveness. Forgiveness did not come quickly, but instead it was a journey. She perseveres with her hope in the Lord and puts all her faith in Him. The way these widows have forgiven the perpetrators and live among many of them is truly powerful. My heart just aches hearing all the pain these women have suffered, but it brings me such joy to see them healing together with Jesus. These women not only look out for one another, but have also adopted other children. Having little to nothing did not stop them from caring for others, even in their brokenness. What an amazing example of God’s love!
Being with these women has really lit a spark in my heart. Please join me in praying for them, and for a way we can come beside them to help. I believe God brought me to Rwanda to meet these amazing women and I am so thankful for the time I had with them.