By: Jean Bosco Rutagengwa
“I could sense fear in my fiancée’s voice. Fear as I had never felt it before. ‘They are here; they are surrounding the house,’ she was whispering, her voice trembling. I knew who ‘they’ were: The killers. . . I was about to say something when I heard a shot, followed by a scream; then the phone went dead. I screamed with rage, not knowing what to do. Slowly, I got down on my knees and began to pray.”
Twenty-five years ago in April 1994, a savage campaign of genocide was unleashed against the Tutsis of Rwanda. In the space of a hundred days, a million people were left dead. This personal narrative tells the story of two survivors—Jean Bosco and his fiancée Christine. While most of their family members perished, they found refuge in what later become famous as the “Hotel Rwanda.”
Their story of survival is at once a love story and a harrowing inside look at what happens when a country is overrun by evil. But it is also a story of faith—an effort to find God in the midst of horror—and of the subsequent struggle to find meaning, healing, and reconciliation.
Jean Bosco Rutagengwa, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, played a critical role in establishing organizations to assist other survivors, to remember the dead, and to rebuild Rwandan society. In 2000 he immigrated with his family to the United States and settled in New Hampshire, where they live today.