"Why do these things happen to me?" It is so hard to understand why there is so much pain in the world. Children die, women are raped, people shoot and kill. We see the hurt to so many from the Asian Tsunami waves. But the most important questions are: "How can I get through this pain? Will I ever be able to go on with my life again after this?"
There are two ways to go. We can feel bitter and angry, and allow those things to destroy us inside. Or we can choose to leave the past behind us, find a way to forgive those who hurt us, and a new hope for the future. But is this really possible? Many people have found that the only way to survive is to have God's special help in their lives. People who have asked Jesus to be their friend, can find strength to get past this pain and suffering. Jesus himself said that he could give 'peace beyond understanding'.
Beslan school tragedy
In September 2004, terrorists took 1000 Russian people as hostages in the North Ossetian town of Beslan. They were kept prisoner in a school. By the end of the week, hundreds were dead, including many children. Irina was at the school with her children – Arthur aged 8 and his younger brother Mark. They were all taken hostage. But she knew that God was with her. "We were ready to die. We were sure that we would die, but we didn't stop praying and singing Christian songs. I wasn't angry. I had no hatred for the terrorists. I only prayed that God would give them wisdom. And it helped! One of the terrorists guarding us would take us to the toilet and let us drink water. When there was an explosion he took Mark and me to the dining room on the second floor where we lay down near a window. I covered Mark with a bloody sheet to make it appear as if he had been killed. When things became quiet we ran out. Sadly Arthur was not saved. He was killed by the first explosion."
The days after the school tragedy were terrible for the people of the town, and many people wanted to attack the terrorists' country. After she buried her son Arthur, Irina showed courage and trust in God. Although feeling pain, she was able to give comfort and help to many others in the town.
One million people were killed during the terrible time in Rwanda in 1994. It is still hard to believe the things that people did to others in that country. Antoine Rutayisire lost many family members at that time. Now he leads a team of Christians to bring reconcilation and healing to Rwanda. They take seminar meetings in different places in that country. These are helping large numbers of people. A woman at one seminar said, "When I first came here, I felt as if I was surrounded by darkness, with no peace at all. I felt defeated. I remembered my children who had been killed. My children were married in this place. As Joseph [a team member] taught us in the seminar, I felt the darkness beginning to lift. My healing continued during the meeting. God allows suffering but afterwards he comes in and heals us. I am so grateful to God because he has given me victory. It was Satan who worked in our land. I'm now set free and able to forgive. Now I always want to be strong in Jesus."