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Story of Reconciliation & Hope

Sarah & Harry
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These Stories are what bring about change in our communities. PEACE is what we're after. 

Sarah and Harry's story is a powerful story of redemption and reconciliation.   Sarah was a victim of the Rwandan genocide; Harry was the perpetrator.   Harry was the police chief in the village where Sarah lived.   At the onset of the genocide, the government was broadcasting extremely negative information on the airwaves about the Tutsi people.  The catalyst was when the plane carrying the president of Rwanda was shot down.   Orders were sent out to all the police to round up the Tutsi and eradicate them.  Harry was the leader of the police responsible for killing all of Sarah’s family.  Because ammunition (bullets) was in short supply machetes became the instrument of choice.  In addition, because so many were being killed the problem became how to dispose of the bodies.  In Sarah’s village as in many others, the deep pit latrines became the dumping ground.  Sarah was thrown into a pit because they thought she was dead.  However, by a miracle (she prayed to God) she survived.  Day after day more bodies were thrown into the pit and she climbed over them so she would not suffocate. Finally, the pile of bodies grew high enough for her to escape into the forest where she found many other frightened displaced people.  When the liberation army came through, she was finally free.  Harry was put into jail under horrible conditions.  He also was heartsick over what he had done and also called out to God to save him.  

 

The new government issued a decree that if the perpetrators would be willing to help in rebuilding the country, which they had basically burned to the ground, they would receive parole.  Harry jumped at the opportunity, but he still recognized that that was not sufficient to make amends, and the Lord prompted him to go to those he violated to ask for forgiveness. He learned about Sarah and went to her home to ask, no beg for forgiveness.  She refused for many days.  The Lord kept prompting Harry to go back and every day after he finished his work in rebuilding, he would go to her house.  Then one day after the Lord reminded Sarah of her own salvation, she opened the door and looked Harry straight in the eye, and said “I forgive you”.  For him it was a miracle beyond his wildest imagination, he thought he saw an angel when she spoke to him.

 

However, this is not the end of the story, more miracles were to unfold.  Harry had wanted to come to the church and was not permitted because the leaders of the church said he was the monster that was responsible for so much of the killing.  Sarah found out and went to the elders of the church and told them that he should be permitted to come to church.  They reluctantly agreed since they knew what he had done to her whole family. Note at the time she was only a young woman, probably only 14 or 15 years of age.  Harry was amazed at the spunk this young woman exhibited.

 

Even that is not the end of the story. Sarah was still very sad and missed her family and she was especially pining to have an older brother, something that is important in their culture.  And the Lord told her that I have already given you an older brother Harry. So she asked Harry if he would be her older brother.  He was blessed beyond his wildest dreams and agreed. Now Harry is her brother in the Lord and in life.

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