Carrying Divine: My Rwanda Survivor Story (Henriette Ngenga)
“I have been hunted by men with machetes, tortured in a prison, and beaten savagely. I have gone months without an actual meal. I felt my daughter writhing from starvation inside my womb, while I privately rejoiced that there was still any movement at all. My family and I spent ten days hiding in a ditch behind the famous “Hotel Rwanda” watching as the UN selectively rescued people based on the color of their skin alone. I handed my children over to strangers in hopes that it would save their lives, while knowing I might never see them again. I told God if I survived, I would tell my story…our story. The time has come.” -Henriette Ngenga
On April 7, 1994, The Hutu government in Rwanda decided that the minority Tutsi tribe was a threat and should be wiped out completely. On July 4th, liberation was declared and the country began to rebuild. In Memory of her parents, siblings and friends and all who lost their lives during the genocide, this fundraising effort begins on the day her brother was murdered in front of her children in her home and ends the day peace was declared. Henriette does not believe it is a coincidence that the funds needed to purchase her dream publishing package are $4,774 (4/7-7/4).
During the genocide, Henriette was pregnant with her fifth child, a baby girl named Divine. This young Tutsi mother was facing a government-mandated massacre with four children between the ages of one and eight in her care. This is one mother’s story of terror, faith, and survival. With a gun pointed at her temple, Henriette told God that, if he let her survive, she would promise to tell her story to the world. After twenty years of raising her 8 children, she finally had time to sit down with a local author and tell her story. After a year of exploring several publishing options, Henriette has decided to self-publish, but the cost is beyond our means. Will you help Henriette keep her promise and tell the world this miraculous story of faith in the midst of terror?
This book will captivate mothers from all cultures to love and fight for their children no matter what life throws their way. The historical events captured remind Americans of the crucial role our country plays in the global family. Fellow survivors of the genocide can hear a gentle call toward forgiveness and healing in each of the episodes of this story. This is a story of faith that leaves the reader inspired with a whisper from above saying, “No matter where you are on the planet, no matter what is going on around you, you are loved and you are not alone.”
Play your part in this crucial message. Every little bit helps! Any funds above our publishing goal will go toward Henriette’s dream to start an outreach ministry foundation to help young mothers and girls in Rwanda, America and all over the globe find their voice and own their own stories of faith and courage.
A note to fellow Rwandese:
“To all my Rwandese brothers and sisters who survived this tragedy, both Hutu and Tutsi, let us not forget that these labels were not granted to us by a wise and loving God in heaven; they were issued by a confused and prideful foreigner in a uniform.” -Henriette Ngenga
Kristin Ponce’ Baker
Member since: December 17, 2013
“I am not the same person I was after hearing Henriette’s story. My faith has grown in ways I cannot explain. I am a better wife, mother, friend, you name it. As I listened and felt the burden of her story, a weight on my own life was lifted. Americans watch the news at a safe distance. News stories like ISIS and Ferguson play out like movies produced on the other side of the globe or in some other neighborhood on “the other side of town.” But motherhood is a universal experience that unites women of all cultures. Every mother has experienced those flashes of “what if” terror that unexpectedly flood our minds as we watch our children sleep peacefully. Every mother has experienced a righteous anger and an unforeseen strength when sensing her children are in potential danger. Henriette survived a brutal and almost unimaginable sequence of encounters with death. Yet she also, like women all over the world, grew up with questions about her identity, true love, and motherhood in the midst of a chaotic world. Hers is an uncommon story of a common human experience among all women- teetering on that fine line between courage and fear.
There are other survivor stories out there but nothing like this one. The uniqueness of being a pregnant mother caring for four other small children, along with the horrific events she faced, make this a page turner from beginning to end. There are graphic scenes of the horrors of war including a machine of torture, weeks of starvation on the run from trained killers, and unfathomable episodes of violence and mass murder that shake the reader to the core. But there are also inspiring moments of hope, unexpected scenes filled with humor, and overarching themes of forgiveness, faith, love, and redemption. You won’t regret getting to know my incredible friend and her family. Their story is God’s story calling each of us to visit Rwanda to rediscover home.” -Kristin Baker (co-author)