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December 2008

Publishers Weekly Review

December 17, 2008
By Catherine Larson

Hot off the presses! Here's what Publishers Weekly has to say about As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda in the December 15th issue:

Rwanda-bloodied, scarred and nearly destroyed by the 1994 brutality of the Hutu genocide of Tutsis—is now called “an uncharted case study in forgiveness” by author Larson, who was inspired by the awards-winning film As We Forgive. Individual stories form prototypes: there is Rosaria, left for dead in a pile of bodies, who forgives her sister’s killer. And Chantal, whose family is brutally murdered yet who forgives her neighbor for the crimes. Devota, mutilated and left for dead, survives, forgives and eventually adopts several orphans. Each story is horrible and deeply personal as Larson mines the truths of forgiveness deep in each one’s tale. Helpful “interludes” offer readers hands-on ways to facilitate forgiveness and take the next step to reconciliation in their own lives. This isn’t an easy book to read or digest, yet its message is mandatory: “Forgiveness can push out the borders of what we believe is possible. Reconciliation can offer us a glimpse of the transfigured world to come.”

Peace on Earth? Goodwill to Men?

December 09, 2008
By Catherine Larson

I recorded CNN's "Scream Bloody Murder," a recently released documentary on genocide by reporter, Christiane Amanpour, and watched it last night. Here's a look at the film.

The documentary isn't easy to watch--but it's important. It chronicles parts of our recent history that we'd just as soon choose not to remember. The barbarism that humans are capable of is something few of us want to be reminded of. And yet as columnist, Tom Shales, of The Washington Post, writes in his review of the documentary, "Some may find the program tough to take at holiday time, but in fact it seems especially powerful during a season in which 'peace on Earth' and 'good will toward men' are being extolled from street corners." Its hard to comprehend the two notions together: peace on earth and genocide. Is peace possible after genocide? Is peace possible in a world where people brutally kill children, rape women, and do the unthinkable?

Continue reading "Peace on Earth? Goodwill to Men?" »

Book Buzz

December 09, 2008
By Catherine Larson

Here are a few of the endorsements, As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda has already received:

In compelling stories and thoughtful reflections, Catherine Claire Larson gives us glimpses of the powerful transformation taking place in Rwanda today. Reconciliation can indeed follow unspeakable evil; forgiveness is the key.
       Daniel W. Van Ness | Executive Director
       Centre for Justice and Reconciliation

Those who fear the breadth of America's left-right gap should see how radical forgiveness is healing Rwanda's far, far greater divide.  Catherine Claire Larson realistically reports both scars and grace.
       Marvin Olasky
       Editor-in-chief, World
       Provost, The KIng's College

Catherine Claire Larson is a bright, talented writer who has given us one of the most moving tales of reconciliation in one of the most difficult places in the world.  This is a book I can wholeheartedly endorse.  Read this.  It will strengthen your faith.
       Chuck Colson
       Founder, Prison Fellowship

I had trouble reading Catherine Claire Larson’s book—As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda, because of the lump in my throat and the flood of tears that made it difficult to focus. These stories of forgiveness in the wake of the Rwandan genocide are miracles of the highest order.  Catherine does not just tell the story but she does so with a deft literary touch that actually does justice to the extraordinary stories. Like me, the reader may find their vision blurred from tears, but please persevere and discover what true forgiveness really looks like.
       Frank A. James III
       President, Reformed Theological Seminary/Orlando

Ignore the doubters, skeptics, and experts about Rwanda and reconciliation after the 1994 genocide. Catherine Claire Larson has witnessed the same thing that I and a handful of other Westerners have, which is that everyday Rwandans who take the risk of biblical forgiveness soon experience new joy beyond human understanding. This book chronicles the miracle of forgiveness in a distinctive, evocative, and potent way.
       Tim Morgan
       Christianity Today

A painful and beautiful story.  I now see that sin is worse, and the cross of Christ greater, than I had ever imagined.  In fact, the cross is our only hope of resurrection.
       Kelly Monroe Kullburg
       Founder, Veritas Forum