There is one thing I wanted to share with you this week. As I’ve mentioned before, we are trying to research these places we will be visiting to have a better understanding of their history and culture. The genocide in Rwanda has become a central focus for me. It’s still just so unbelievable that these terrible killings occurred not too long ago and with such little worldwide concern (or even awareness). To me, that’s a form of racism and self-glorification in itself, to just not care that there were thousands of people in Africa being killed. As if our lives in America are so busy and so important, that when we heard on the news that the death toll was rising, we just said “oh that’s awful” and continued on our merry way. Granted, I was 7 at the time of the genocide, so it’s not like I was going to do a whole lot about it. But still, the majority of the civilized world in 1994 did little more than just shake their heads at this incredible evil.
During the genocide, churches became a refuge for many people trying to escape the killing. In the city of Nyange, a priest welcomed hundreds of people into his church. He even went into the village and sought out those who had not left their homes, encouraging them to seek the safety of the church. Soon there were about 2000 people huddled together in what they thought was a place of refuge, the house of God. Then that same priest, along with the mayor, and about a dozen other men, locked them inside. They waited a few days to let them weaken from hunger and thirst. Then they drove a bulldozer over the church, killing all 2000 people inside. Two Thousand People. Just as a point of reference, there were approximately 2600 people who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Isn’t that insane? How could we have not known about that? I bet there are few people in the world who were alive on 9/11 and don’t know about what happened in New York on that day.
How agonizing must it have been for God to see his church used as a trap to murder his children? It’s easy to see that Satan had a very tight grip on the country of Rwanda. I’ve learned that there is a great deal of healing (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) going on there now, but we still want to be spiritually ready as we enter the mission field. I pray that we will see God working in great ways to counteract what evil has done to the people of Rwanda.