This past Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda, when approximately 800,000 people were killed in 100 days. It is always a somber time; people even drive more slowly, sobered by the remembrance (kwibuka) of the terrible events of 1994, with the bitter reality of the capacity for people to do evil.
That morning, I noticed at our house a pretty red flower bursting out of this slightly bedraggled plant. That is Rwanda: blooming out of a dingy, diseased past.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
Isaiah 61: 1b-3b
We pray for God’s favor for Rwanda, in this week of mourning, and in the time ahead-for beauty instead of ashes.
I would heartily recommend reading President Paul Kagame’s speech, from the memorial ceremony, acknowledging the tragedy, yet hopeful at the same time: President Kagame’s speech