Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

March 16, 2005


I may have mentioned before the family of Rwandans that have been members of our church for the past year or so. The children, all of them young adults, are seeking permanent status here in the states, but the father, Mischak, who has been visiting for the past two months, will soon be returning to Rwanda, where he pastors a family of churches. These churches are trying to provide care for the many orphans and widows in their midst, but it is a daunting task. They are also leading a ministry of reconciliation among the Hutus and Tutsis.

I was priveleged to watch a video of one of these reconcilation meetings. The speaker was a Hutu woman, addressing a group of mixed Hutu and Tutsi Christians. After a time of fervent preaching, and recalling the horrors of the genocide ten years ago, she called upon the Hutus in the audience to come forward and repent of the violence they'd been a part of. This was not easy for anyone, as was very clear, but in time a significant number were knealing in front of the church. The preacher then called for the Tutsis to come forward and speak forgiveness over the knealing Hutus. This was perhaps even more difficult. Everyone in that audience had lost loved ones, some of them whole families. Although the video was without subtitles, and the preaching was entirely in the Rwandan language, the Spiritual power of that moment was palpable. Most of us can't even comprehend the level of violence these people were witness to, and yet the Spirit was leading these former enemies into reconcilation. You could sense the heavy yokes of hatred and fear falling away. Only the Lord our God can begin such a work, and only He can see it through to completion.

BBC News has an informative retrospective on the Rwandan genocide. Read especially the testimony of a Hutu killer (here), and another of a Tutsi survivor (here). For more information on current conditions in Rwanda and its neighboring nations, have a look at the website of Central Africa Vision.


Anonymous Charlie said...

We all have much to learn about applying God's kind of forgiveness in our own circumstances, and we can learn much from the Christ-like examples of the Rwandan Christians. Thanks for posting this.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Michele said...

This was an amazing and beautiful post. Thanks, Bob.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Excellent post Bob, once more it presents the evidence of the worldwide forgiveness of Christ!
God bless you and yours.

3:00 PM  

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