Sitting under the square hole in the mud wall, a window without glass or screen, I prop my voice recorder on the meager table and begin asking questions. I’m unprepared to hear the answers. How does one describe the horror of seeing their entire family mutilated and then go on to forgive their perpetrators?

Young Rwandans take turns on the couch across from me. Sit next to an interpreter and describe being orphaned, captured, beaten, raped, pillaged and wandering during the 1994 genocide. Then they share the redemption, how living in Hope Village changes their lives.

A five year effort fund raising for this child-headed village of 80 children brought me here. I can’t swallow their suffering stuck in my throat. I barely hold the recorder steady for the trembling emotion ready to tumble out.

I’ve never known this kind of suffering. Their stories cast light on the shadows of my own experience. Yet how do I feel more at home with my Rwandan friends than those in my own seaside southern community?

Please join me at Thorns and Gold to finish the story. I’m Tanya Marlow’s guest today on her series God and Suffering: Our Story and would be honored to see you there in the comments. I have a board on Pinterest called I live in England, in my heart and she’s one of the reasons I do.