Film features Rwanda

Award-winning area filmmaker Mark Stendal found a gripping tale practically in his backyard that took him and dozens of area residents to a poverty-stricken part of Africa.

The short documentary film that grew out of the trip, "Rwanda: Journey Out of Fear," will be screened at Snoqualmie United Methodist Church Sunday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m.

Stendal's film documents the work of Tracy Stone, a Bellevue woman who turned her own personal struggles into a life-giving organization aimed at helping rebuild Rwanda.

Stone is the executive director of Rwanda Partners, a nonprofit organization she formed after her first visit to Rwanda in 2004. She is perhaps the last person you would expect to venture off to a war-ravaged country, hoping to find herself as much as anything else.

In the early '90s, Stone was in the middle of a nasty divorce, a process that took some three years to complete. Out went the days of being a suburban housewife and mom without a care in the world; in came a frantic job search and the panic of being alone.

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