Twenty-five years ago today, in the landlocked African country of Rwanda, over a million people — primarily Tutsi, including women and children — were slaughtered in just 100 days. In the “land of a thousand hills” the blood ran like rivers, as bodies piled up or were tossed into unmarked mass graves. In many cases, there was no one left to bury them. For Fr. Ubald, more than five years passed before he learned the fate of his mother and other extended family members — when the man who had given the order for their execution stepped forward to beg his forgiveness, then took him to the place they had been buried.
His family home was destroyed, obliterated by crops that his former neighbors had sown in an effort to eradicate the memory. “They could not look at us, could not speak to us,” remembers Fr. Ubald. “They had too much shame.” And yet, in time, they found peace. They discovered, as Fr. Ubald so often tells people, that Forgiveness Makes You Free.
What is most remarkable about Fr. Ubald is not only the fact that survived, or that he was able to forgive and show mercy to those who had committed such unspeakable crimes. What is most remarkable is the spiritual legacy that he has built since then — a beautiful retreat center called the Center for the Secret of Peace.
Since 2009, Fr. Ubald has expanded his ministry to the United States at the invitation of his friend Immaculée Imibagiza, author of the NYT bestseller Left to Tell. He travels all over the world, inviting people to open their hearts to Jesus, to let go of old burdens, and to receive the healing Jesus wants to give them. If you would like to experience this for yourself, you can find his speaking schedule here. Or you can get a copy of his new book here.
God bless you!
Thanks, Heidi. I hadn’t realized that the genocide was early April. It seems as if every year June is earmarked as a month to remember and learn from the genoicide. Perhaps that’s due to the school schedules. My daughter and I were there 5 years ago and met Fr. Ubald, then had him, thru Katsy, come and speak in Tacoma, WA, where he stayed at our house. He is a dear dear man. I also met him at Lake Kivu and got to spend an hr. or so with him at his Center for the Secret of Peace. I’ve ordered his book already, too, and received it. Great words and heart. Wow.
Thanks again! Shari Shelton
On Sat, Apr 6, 2019 at 6:21 PM Life on the Road Less Traveled wrote:
> heidihesssaxton posted: “Twenty-five years ago today, in the landlocked > African country of Rwanda, over a million people — primarily Tutsi, > including women and children — were slaughtered in just 100 days. In the > “land of a thousand hills” the blood ran like rivers, as bodies p” >
Thanks for writing, Shari! Yes, the genocide took 100 days, starting from the date of the plane crash that killed the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. (The consensus is that it had been in the planning stages for some time before that, but this was the event that sparked the devastation.) Our Lady of Kibeho, pray for us!