ELINA | Rwanda
“I Decided to Forgive”
Elina is a survivor. She escaped death during the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, but many of her family members did not. The emotional pain was so great that prison was the last place she wanted to visit—she couldn’t envision herself in the presence of those responsible for massacring her family.
More than 20 years later, the country is still healing from this national trauma. Prison Fellowship Rwanda has been instrumental in this process, by bringing together victims and prisoners to explore ways to make restitution, heal, and forgive through the Umuvumu Tree Project, a modified version of Prison Fellowship International’s restorative justice program, the Sycamore Tree Project. And now, they continue healing and transformation throughout the prisons through The Prisoner’s Journey evangelism and discipleship program, which invites prisoners to know and accept Jesus as their Savior.
Elina made a bold and brave move to become a trained course facilitator for this The Prisoner’s Journey. Prison Fellowship Rwanda trained her on topics of Bible studies, psychological healing, and forgiveness. This gave Elina the tools she needed to forgive, and bring healing to others.
“I have decided to forgive [the genocide prisoners] through ministering to them,” Elina says.
For over a year, Elina has volunteered every Thursday in prison, facilitating The Prisoner’s Journey eight week study through the Gospel of Mark.
“I am very glad that prisoners who have followed these courses are discovering a relationship with Christ and coming to know themselves and their sins. They repent and proceed to the forgiveness process, during which they are helped to meet the families of victims and ask for forgiveness. This leads to unity, reconciliation, and peaceful coexistence.”
Help others around the world experience Christ’s forgiveness.