Rwanda Day 2 - August 14, 2019

The Bible commands us to love our neighbor, but what does this really mean? Do we truly live this way as Christians in our daily lives? 

Today the “first timers” in our group (those on our first mission trip to Rwanda) visited the Kigali Genocide Museum. It was an experience I will never forget, and it taught me what it truly means to love thy neighbor, even in the most difficult of circumstances. 

At the genocide museum, we read about the history of Rwanda and the events that led up to the genocide, which began on April 7, 1994. We read about the 100 days when over 1,000,000 Tutsis were killed by the Hutus. Many victims were killed by their own friends, just because they were Tutsi. Over 350,000 were orphaned, over 85,000 children were now the head of their household and thousands became widows. The Rwandan people had a choice to make… would they cultivate love in their heart and forgive or would they cultivate hate in their heart? 

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the genocide. At the museum we read about incredible stories of forgiveness and hope. Victims’ families were forgiving those that had killed their families. They were living as neighbors, healing and moving forward. We saw the phrase “Kwibuka 25” – remember, unite renew. Rwanda is a shining example of forgiveness that we can all learn from. 

Linda Hamel