As long as Benjamin could remember, there had always been civil war. Hutus against Tutsis. Tutsis against Hutus. A member of the Hutu tribe, Benjamin had grown up hearing stories of the tall warrior Tutsis who had invaded his native Burundi, dominating the agricultural Hutus.
For decades, Benjamin had witnessed the effects of the violence between the two tribes in his small village. Several of his uncles and cousins had been murdered by angry mobs, leaving young widows to raise families alone. Women from his village were raped by cruel Tutsi soldiers. Many times Benjamin had to take his wife and small children into hiding to evade the attackers.
Years of seeing his people live in fear caused a deep rage to grow in Benjamin. Vowing to take revenge, he singled out a target from a neighboring village – a Tutsi man named Moses.
A member of the minority Tutsi tribe, Moses was despised by the majority Hutus. From the time he was a young boy in primary school, he had been identified by his ethnic heritage, learning to hate those who were different from him. The endless cycle of killings was a way of life in Moses’ village.
When raiding Hutus murdered someone in his family, Moses decided to take revenge. He devised a plan to kill a Hutu from the closest village – a man named Benjamin.
The Power of Forgiveness
But before Benjamin and Moses were able to carry out their plots for revenge, each man had an encounter with Jesus Christ. Their hearts were radically transformed as they surrendered their lives to God. Just as they received the love and forgiveness of the heavenly Father, these once bitter, angry men now chose to extend forgiveness to their enemy.
Instead of seeking to kill each other, these men now sought to build relationship with each other.
Today Moses and Benjamin are close friends, and their families spend time together and share meals with one another. They no longer identify themselves as Hutu or Tutsi, but as sons of the Father and brothers in Christ.
The power of forgiveness through Christ Jesus has done what no government or army could do – brought those who were enemies together as friends!
(Based on a true story)
“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. …Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:19&21