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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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'Prisoner' no more

Rwandan refugee works for healing

"I am here to announce that I have forgiven the people who murdered my mother and father. I pray God will forgive them. I know their names.”

Ben SchadracBinyenzi “Ben” Schadrac (right) uttered these words in a trembling voice last summer as he stood over an open grave in Rwanda. Friends were depositing the bones of his parents and 16 other family members who had been recovered among remains of the 100-day genocide in 1994 that left an estimated 1 million dead.

Then he turned to the man next to him and heard him confess murdering his cousin. Schadrac embraced the man. These words and actions, captured on videotape, were part of Schadrac’s talk to the adult Sunday school class at Lamb of God Lutheran Church, Haines City, Fla., where he and his family are members. They escaped the genocide and were resettled by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in nearby Winter Haven.


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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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