A Christian genocide survivor’s story of forgiving those who caused her unspeakable pain

By Eugenie Muhorakeye

“It is a hard thing to forgive. It is God who can assist people to forgive,” says Francine Mizero, a survivor who lost family members during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

During the Genocide, Mizero lived in Ngoma district, particularly in Rukumberi sector, one of the places that had very intense killings.

“Before the genocide started in April 1994, we were a happy family, with many relatives. My father used to take much care of my mother. We had so much good moments as a family,” she says.

“However, the genocide came and trouble befell us. The Interahamwe militia killed my father, family members and neighbors. Our mother was beaten almost to the death. By the time the Inkotanyi reached us, only two of us the children had survived. Our mother was in a bad state, so they tried to treat her, and it was hard. But fortunately she recovered,” she adds.

After the genocide had been stopped, Mizero faced a hard life, with a lot of responsibilities and a sorrowful heart.

“It was a tough time. We struggled so much. I was the eldest and I was responsible for a lot of things in our lives. We felt lonely, and had heartache,” she says.

With such, it would be hard to forgive the people perpetrated evil in Mizero’s life, but things that are impossible for men are possible with God.

” In 2007 I received Jesus as my Savior. In that miracle is where the recovery of my heart started taking shape. I prayed as I could, and the more I prayed and lived in Jesus, the healing of my wounds was happening. By the Word of God in me, I was gaining strength to forgive and get rid of grief,´she says.

As it is known, the Word of God heals wounds. And Jesus is mighty to heal, deliver and give a new beginning to a person.

Today, Mizero says she forgave.

“I forgave to those who injured us. And I am living with them normally. I can greet them, which was a difficult thing before. I can even assist their children. That is the different attitude that a Christian survivor has,” she said.

Bible verses which can assist Christians:

Psalm: 93: 1-4, Job: 42: