Stories of Courage

Stories of Courage

Enoch Rwanburindi

Enoch Rwanburindi with his wife. Photo: Riccardo Gangale.

In 1991, when the persecution against the Tutsi intensified, some of them sought refuge in the church. I asked several people to stay with me. Many had been beaten, and we took care of their wounds until they got well.

During that period, a group of soldiers came to my home to kill my family and the Tutsis hiding there. But before they reached the doorstep, they met an old woman working in the field.

They asked if she would let them buy some corn. She said it was not for sale but gave them some corn and they left.

The soldiers stopped by the place where I was selling my goods. When I told them where my house was, they said. “The woman at your home is a wonderful woman, a servant of God. She gave us lots of corn until we forgot what had brought us to your house.”

But I was often taken into custody and beaten for sheltering people. The village leader used to spit in my face and say, “Get out of my sight! Others will surely get rid of you.”

My neighbors advised me to evict the refugees from my home, but I told them, “Though the only relationship between them and me is that we pray in the same congregation, I cannot chase God’s people from my house.”