sponsor a child

Forgiving his parents’ killers

In the 22 years since the Rwandan genocide, God has taken Methode on a journey of forgiveness.


Genocide survivor Methode

What does it take to forgive your parents' killers? Methode was only 6-years-old when the Rwandan genocide occurred during which, both of his parents were murdered.

Looking back, Methode says, “The biggest thing that happened to me, that the government would not have managed to give me, is forgiving the killers. God convinced me that I would not be any different if I revenged. I thank Compassion, because they introduced me to knowing God bit by bit, until I got born again and my family followed on. My project helped me discover my singing and leadership talent. I am learning to accept God’s love for me and in the end, I know He is enough.”

Compassion graduate Methode smiling

Methode's faith has helped him find peace.

In the early nineties, Methode lived with his parents and five siblings in eastern Rwanda. After his family’s cows were stolen, Methode was sent to live with his aunt as his parents could no longer afford to feed him. But in April 1994, violence erupted and over 100 days, one million people were slaughtered. Methode fled with his aunt to the nearby hills and swamps where they hid. The rest of his family became separated. Methode’s older brother Nelson was captured and killed. His father and sister hid in the local church but the church was bombed, killing his father. His sister suffered a serious head wound but still managed to escape when the attackers came into the building by slipping through their legs. She died a year later from her injuries.

Methode learnt of his mother’s death from another survivor who confirmed she was killed trying to escape with her youngest child. Only two of his sisters, Clementine and Mediatrice, survived.

For two months, Methode and his aunt hid in the swamps with other survivors, constantly moving to avoid detection. “One day, the killers came to the swamp to attack us in big groups, blowing their whistles and singing their songs and carrying their weapons. You could hear people begging for forgiveness, saying, ‘We will give you all that we have.’ The killers responded saying, ‘All that you have is already ours,’ and called them names as they mercilessly killed them,” he says.

“At that point, my aunt ran with me to the river that was in the middle of the swamp, and bade farewell to me, saying, ‘Your father left you with me to take care of and now this is the end of our road.’ She jumped into the river to be drowned, and I followed on as the killers’ drew closer. It was better to be killed by the water than to wait to be butchered.”

“The water rejected us and we could not drown. We held on to floating dead bodies until the killers found us. They thought my aunt was my grandmother, they hit her with a machete on her head and she collapsed. Then they searched the pockets of my shorts to see if ‘my grandmother’ had hidden her money in them. Failing to find money, they threw me to the ground, hit my knee with a club and, just when they were about to finish me off, another killer called out to the rest, blew his whistle hard and shouting that they had found another place to loot. And I was spared.”

By God’s grace, Methode and his aunt were rescued and taken to hospital. Afterwards, Methode tried to join the army but he was told he was too young. “Because of all that happened to me, and all the anger I had, I wanted to become a soldier to seek revenge for my family.  I would think about all that happened to my parents, my family and my country, and all I wanted to do was to become a soldier, get a gun and shoot all the people I was told killed my family.”

His aunt was given a house to live in and Methode stayed with her. A year later, his neighbour enrolled him into the local Compassion project where he was sponsored. In the beginning, Methode was quiet at his project and he was behind in his education.

Genocide survivor drawing

A drawing from one of Methode's counselling books.

The project workers worked diligently with Methode, praying with him and ensuring he received counselling and treatment. He recalls “Through the regular project activities like singing, games, praying together and reading the Bible, I started to realise that I could get peace from God. I started singing in the choir and in my prayers, telling God to take away all that was heavy in my heart. People in my family where surprised by the sudden change in my behaviour.”

In 1999, Methode gave his life to Christ and was baptised. “I started laughing and talking to people more. I got so involved in my church, and my class performance improved to either the first position or second in my class. My sister asked me to teach her how to pray, because she wanted what had happened to me. She and my aunt are now born again,” he says.

Today, Methode is in his third year of university and is the first vice coordinator of the Genocide Survivors’ Student’s Association at a national level. There are still scars that he bears, both physical and mental, but Methode’s past no longer has a bitter hold on him. Thanks to the support of many people including his sponsor and the peace of God which transcends all understanding, Methode is firmly on the road to forgiveness and has a hope and a future shining brightly before him.



WORDS : Roz Walsh

PHOTOS : Rosette Mutoni


 

Article Comments

Rwanda massacre

Thank you, abba father, for the powerful way in which you have renewed Methode's life and its impact on his family. You are an amazing God indeed and we give you all the praise. Blessed be your Name.
11 April 2016 |  Author : Terry Lovell

Methode

I echo Cynthia's comments, and will keep Methode in my thoughts and prayers.
9 April 2016 |  Author : christa griffiths

Genocide

Methode's story just made me realise how lucky I am and how insisnificant me 'problems' are. What an inspiring story!
8 April 2016 |  Author : Jim Melvin

faith in god

what an inspiring young man methode, god is good, his grace and mercy has transformed this young mans life and his family. compassion i feel has done amazing work for methode, well done, god is good and very loyal to his children. praise be to our lord jesus for his love endures for ever.amen
8 April 2016 |  Author : janet bairstow

Methode

What a wonderful story! Only God can do all of this and change lives for good. Romans 8:28. God is good.
8 April 2016 |  Author : Mark Baker

Pressing on and Praising

Thank you for Methode's story. So many people have traumatic times in their lives all over the world and this story will bless and encourage others to know that our Great Big God is our strength and helper and that He will never leave us.
7 April 2016 |  Author : Beryl Hodgetts

True forgiveness...

Thank you for that great story! I can echo your write up with the feedback my church family gave after visiting Rwanda late last year 2016. That people have moved on as they are exercising the power of forgiveness... This enables the people of Rwanda to be released from any bondage and be opened to greater plans from God. Thank God for your life.
7 April 2016 |  Author : Eni

Transforming power of the cross

What an amazing story. Nothing can escape the transforming power of the cross if we are willing to trust and to let Christ take over in our lives. God bless you Methode.
7 April 2016 |  Author : Jason

Working in Rwanda

God called me to work as an Occupational therapist once I had retired. I was a short termer with CMS and served at Gahini Rehabilitation Centre East Rwanda in 2005 for 6 months mostly working with disabled children. I returned again in 2008/9. I came to love the Rwandan people and I praise God for forgiveness in His name that can make His children whole again. I have a Compassion daughter in Rwanda living in Nyagatare district where I have been on clinic from Gahini Hospital.
7 April 2016 |  Author : Rosemary Lycett

Survivor of Rwandan genocide

This piece brought tears to my eyes. Forgiveness is the only way to recover from such trauma, and I am so glad that Methode found the help he needed through Compassion. I wish him every success in the future, and I pray that he will always remember that God is by his side.
7 April 2016 |  Author : Cynthia

Genocide

After several years in and out of Rwanda I have heard many stories like this and have many friends who have suffered like this. I so much admire their courage and how they have moved on from those terrible times. God is good!
7 April 2016 |  Author : Miriam Hull
Article Comments

ARTICLE COMMENTS

Rwanda massacre

Thank you, abba father, for the powerful way in which you have renewed Methode's life and its impact on his family. You are an amazing God indeed and we give you all the praise. Blessed be your Name.
11 April 2016 |  Author : Terry Lovell

Methode

I echo Cynthia's comments, and will keep Methode in my thoughts and prayers.
9 April 2016 |  Author : christa griffiths

Genocide

Methode's story just made me realise how lucky I am and how insisnificant me 'problems' are. What an inspiring story!
8 April 2016 |  Author : Jim Melvin

faith in god

what an inspiring young man methode, god is good, his grace and mercy has transformed this young mans life and his family. compassion i feel has done amazing work for methode, well done, god is good and very loyal to his children. praise be to our lord jesus for his love endures for ever.amen
8 April 2016 |  Author : janet bairstow

Methode

What a wonderful story! Only God can do all of this and change lives for good. Romans 8:28. God is good.
8 April 2016 |  Author : Mark Baker

Pressing on and Praising

Thank you for Methode's story. So many people have traumatic times in their lives all over the world and this story will bless and encourage others to know that our Great Big God is our strength and helper and that He will never leave us.
7 April 2016 |  Author : Beryl Hodgetts

True forgiveness...

Thank you for that great story! I can echo your write up with the feedback my church family gave after visiting Rwanda late last year 2016. That people have moved on as they are exercising the power of forgiveness... This enables the people of Rwanda to be released from any bondage and be opened to greater plans from God. Thank God for your life.
7 April 2016 |  Author : Eni

Transforming power of the cross

What an amazing story. Nothing can escape the transforming power of the cross if we are willing to trust and to let Christ take over in our lives. God bless you Methode.
7 April 2016 |  Author : Jason

Working in Rwanda

God called me to work as an Occupational therapist once I had retired. I was a short termer with CMS and served at Gahini Rehabilitation Centre East Rwanda in 2005 for 6 months mostly working with disabled children. I returned again in 2008/9. I came to love the Rwandan people and I praise God for forgiveness in His name that can make His children whole again. I have a Compassion daughter in Rwanda living in Nyagatare district where I have been on clinic from Gahini Hospital.
7 April 2016 |  Author : Rosemary Lycett

Survivor of Rwandan genocide

This piece brought tears to my eyes. Forgiveness is the only way to recover from such trauma, and I am so glad that Methode found the help he needed through Compassion. I wish him every success in the future, and I pray that he will always remember that God is by his side.
7 April 2016 |  Author : Cynthia

Genocide

After several years in and out of Rwanda I have heard many stories like this and have many friends who have suffered like this. I so much admire their courage and how they have moved on from those terrible times. God is good!
7 April 2016 |  Author : Miriam Hull
Leave a comment

Leave A Comment

Leave A Comment

MORE STORIES FOR YOU

Nov2017

From abandoned baby to modern day miracle

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”


Nov2017

Child-headed households in Rwanda

Compassion’s Highly Vulnerable Child Specialist in Rwanda asks us to pray.


Oct2017

Update: A little girl in need of your prayers after a tragic accident

Benitha is recovering well and there are plans to give her a prosthetic arm to trial.


,

Aug2017

Update: Pray urgently for Josia

16-year-old Josia from Rwanda needs our prayers. He is still recovering from TB.


,

Aug2017

Rwanda

Compassion is bringing hope to more than 85,826 Rwandan children.


Jul2017

39 more lives changed!

Thanks to our friends at Revelation TV, hundreds of kids have been released from poverty.


,

Jul2017

Update: Pray for 6-year-old Esther as she travels home

Today we’re celebrating with our Rwandan colleagues because praise God, Esther has recovered!


,

Jul2017

4 children in need of your prayers

Pray for John Michael who is in hospital with a brain tumour, Angelique who has a growth on her shoulder and brothers John and Isaac who are grieving.


, , ,

Jun2017

A letter from an unlikely runner

“Last year I struggled to climb the stairs. Last month I ran 13 miles in 28 degrees.”


Jun2017

They tried to kill my daughter because she was different

Grace was born without legs and with only one fully developed arm. And yet, nothing can stop her.


May2017

Running in Rwanda: my half marathon diary

Editor of the Evangelical Alliance, Amaris Cole, journeyed to the land of a thousand hills to run a race against poverty.