“I feel peace in my heart!”

Posted on May 03, 2017

Mary’s* life came to pieces in the early days of Rwanda’s genocide.
“We had heard of militia men going from house to house for killing, raping, looting, and destroying houses,” she recalls, “but this had not happened yet in our own home.” It was while Mary was busy with her usual household chores that the militia reached her village in April 1994. Armed men entered her home and brutally raped her. Mary survived, but she suffered severe physical, mental, and emotional trauma.
“I lived years with flashbacks of such sudden, horrible harassment,” she says. “When I would remember, I wanted to commit suicide. There was nothing which could give me hope. I was always afraid and had a terrible feeling for revenge. I hated all men and anything to do with men.”  
Mary began attending a church led by an ALARM-trained pastor. Through the pastor’s teaching, Mary began to heal: “I started recovering the hope for the future and got engaged to a handsome man, full of love and affection.”
God had begun to rewrite Mary’s story, but there was still much more healing to come.
The pastor invited her to ALARM’s Women’s Leadership Training Institute (WLTI), where she took a course on trauma recovery. Mary explains: “One of the facilitators gave us pieces of paper to write down all that was paining inside, all that was burdensome, all that was flashing back from our past life experiences. We wrote, we wrote, and we wrote a whole list.
“A fire was lit, and we were invited to throw into the fire that list...and call upon the Almighty to give us the peace of mind we need, to give us a spirit of repentance and forgiveness, and to free us from the spirit of revenge…We cried and cried and cried, and God did a miracle in my life.
“Since that day, I am now truly recovered from my trauma. I feel peace in my heart and promote peace in my home, in my community, and in my church. Women are asking each other what has happened to me. And I am always eager to share with them what God did to me through ALARM.
“The teachings of ALARM are not only impacting individuals, they are impacting families, communities, and churches. If it were not for ALARM, I could not have recovered from my past wounds and become a trainer and a teacher of other women in my community and beyond.”
*Names and picture have been changed


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