Rwandan survivor shares her story, preaches forgiveness - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Rwandan survivor shares her story, preaches forgiveness

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She forgave in the midst of unthinkable circumstances and says if she can do it anyone can.

Immaculee Ilibigiza spoke to hundreds inside Saint Anthony Cathedral Basilica Wednesday night
The Rwandan Genocide survivors main focus was how she forgave the people who killed her family, friends and almost everyone she knew.

The assassination of the Rwandan president marked the beginning of the 1994 genocide. Over three months, members of the Hutu tribe killed more than a million people of the Tutsi tribe.

Immaculee herself is a Tutsi and hid in the small bathroom of a home belonging to a Hutu pastor with seven other women.

Over 91 days she learned to speak English using a dictionary and a bible and says she said the rosary 27 times everyday.

During the lords prayer when she recited "Forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us," she says she realized she would be no better than the people who killed her family if she never forgave them.

"When we are angry it's like a form of energy that hoards our heart and you can't think right. I want people to know it's possible to let it go," Immaculee told 12News.

Immaculee Ilibagiza also says she learned the power of apologies because they help people reach forgiveness, it frees the person who has done wrong and then forgiveness frees the person who has been done wrong.

After she was freed, Immaculee secured a job with the United Nations, helping the struggling government of Rwanda to "right itself."

Her first book "Left to Tell" tells the story of her survival. It became a New York Times Best Seller. She now helps orphanages in Rwanda and is one of the worlds leading speakers on peace, faith and forgiveness.

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