Book Review – My Father, Maker of the Trees

In 1994, hundreds of thousands of Rwandan Tutsis were murdered by the Hutu militia in the country’s worst act of genocide.  In roughly 100 days, as much as 20% of Rwanda’s population was killed.  The acts of horror and violence committed during this time are unthinkable.  Yet even during such a nightmare as genocide, God showed himself to many people, among them Eric Irivuzumugabe.  My Father, Maker of the Trees is Eric’s story, not simply of how he survived the genocide, but how he came to faith in God despite, or perhaps because of, his experience.

Eric was 16 years old when the violence erupted in Rwanda and he found himself trying to escape with his family.  During the mayhem, he was separated from his family and forced to find shelter in a cypress tree.  From there, he witnessed and heard the massacre of many people including his own family members.  After the Hutu militia was routed, Eric was reunited with two of his brothers who also survived the genocide.

The book tells the story of how Eric and others, including his two brothers, escaped the killings.  In heart wrenching narration, we learn of the brutal atrocities committed by one people against another.  But, as amazing as the survival stories are, this is not what makes Eric’s story remarkable.  The true wonder of the book is how Eric finds hope, healing and even the power to forgive his family’s murderers through God’s mercy and grace.  His words of encouragement speak not only of the love he has for ALL Rwandan people (Tutsi and Hutu alike), but also of a confidence in a sovereign God, even in the face of horrific trials.  I would highly recommend this book.

Dion Graham, the narrator for the christianaudio recording, did an incredible job.  Very few narrators make you feel like they are sitting next to you engaging you in conversation, but Dion certainly accomplishes this.  His ability to convey the heart and intensity of Eric’s story is excellent.

(Thanks to christianaudio for the opportunity to review this audiobook.)

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