The Power of Forgiveness

“I have seen hatred and I have seen love, love is more powerful” by Immaculee Ilibagiza.

Bisila Bokoko. 15/06/2017

It is a reality that across Africa in countries emerging from major post war conflicts, active peace movements has been led by women often behind the scenes. One of the conflicts that really haunted me for years was Rwanda’s genocide. I have had the privilege to visit Rwanda in several occasions and I have witnessed the amazing power of women in that side of the continent, but there is one person who has made a huge impact in my life, and show me lessons about power like no other, the power of forgiveness and love.

In 1994, Rwandan Immaculée Ilibagiza was a college student who returned to her parents’ home for Easter break and was caught in the midst of a modern-day holocaust that would end the lives of almost a million Rwandans—including most of her family. After the genocide, Immaculée came face-to-face with the man who killed her mother and one of her brothers. After enduring months of physical, mental and spiritual suffering, Immaculée was still able to offer the unthinkable, telling the man, «I forgive you». Immaculee is also the perfect example of the power of believing and manifesting your dreams.

In 1998, Immaculée emigrated from Rwanda to the United States where she got a job in the United Nations. During that time, she shared her story with co-workers and friends who were so impacted by her testimony they insisted she write it down. Three days after finishing her manuscript, she met best-selling author Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, who, within minutes of meeting her, offered to publish her book. Dyer is quoted as saying, «There is something much more than charisma at work here – Immaculée not only writes and speaks about unconditional love and forgiveness, but she radiates it wherever she goes.»

When I met Immaculee, I felt exactly the same as Dr. Dyer, she is an inspiration to me and many other women for her strength and her generosity encouraging people around the world through her books and her public speaking to focus on forgiveness and believe in ourselves. The luxury of listening to her lectures is beyond words and she leave these blueprint in all our hearts, you feel that everything is possible.

Her first book, Left to Tell; Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust (Hay House) was released in March of 2006. Left to Tell quickly became a New York Times Best Seller. To date, it has been translated into seventeen languages and has sold over two million copies. Immaculée’s story has also been made into a documentary entitled The Diary of Immaculée. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, Oprah, The CBS Early Show, CNN, EWTN, CBS Evening News, The Aljazeera Network as well as in The New York Times, USA Today, Newsy, and many other domestic and international publications.

She was recently featured in Michael Collopy’s Architects of Peace project, which has honored legendary people like Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Immaculee’s message and vision I believe is more than ever welcome in our current society and can be applied to all the areas of our lives.

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