Genocide survivor to give talk
A RWANDAN genocide survivor who was buried alive for 14 hours and later forgave the killers who wiped out her entire family will tell her incredible story in Birkenhead next week.
Pastor Frida Gashumba has included a visit to speak at two services at the King’s Church in Birkenhead during her UK March tour.
She will share her amazing story of how she was rescued from the grave, trapped under the dead bodies of her family.
During the genocide of 1994, Frida and a group of 15 people seeking refuge from the Hutus were discovered and rounded up for execution.
Most of the group consisted of Frida’s family: her mum, her twin sister, three brothers, two cousins, four aunties, her grandad and grandmother and two children belonging to a neighbour.
They were made to kneel, lined up in a pit, before being systematically slaughtered by having their skulls smashed with a club, or being decapitated or killed with a machete.
They were offered a quicker death by paying for the cost of a bullet, but at the equivalent of £5, it was more money than they could afford.
When Frida was hit on the back of the head, she lurched forward and lost consciousness - presumed dead by her captors. And then death slowly moved down the line of family members.
The first few victims suffered the worst, only as the killers continued down the line did the blows become more accurate and effective.
Her father, meanwhile, had been hiding on the roof of a nearby house where, under the scorching, dehydrating blaze of the African sun, he watched all the unfolding horror.
Then, with all natural desire to live drained from his heart, he went down to his family's murderers, and said: “You may as well kill me. You've killed my wife and family already.” They obliged him.
But Frida, who will be signing copies of her new bestselling book, Frida - Chosen to Die, Destined to Live at the end of each service, will relate how she came to the point of being able to forgive the killers of her family.
She said: “In my own natural strength, I could not forgive the people who massacred my family.
After everything that happened to me, I could not see the value of loving — until Jesus Christ came into my life and enabled me to forgive others.”
Today, Frida is a co-pastor with her husband, Steven, of Rwanda for Jesus Ministries and gives God the ultimate credit for not just saving her life but also turning her into a new person.
“I keep telling everyone - including my fellow Rwandese - that they too can enjoy hope and new life, by accepting God's underserved love and forgiveness through Jesus' death on the cross,” she said.
Pastor Colin Orr, minister of King’s Church, said: “We feel privileged that Frida has offered to come and share her story of survival and forgiveness and we give a warm welcome to non-churchgoers to come along to meet her."
The services will be at King’s Church Wirral, 1 Victoria Fields, Birkenhead on Sunday, March 15, at 10.30am and 6.30pm.
For details call 0151 653 5595 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. THE GLOBE