Day #2 – Genocide Memorial, Reconcilliation Village and Hotel Rwanda

Monday was an exceptionally busy day! We started at the usual 7:00a.m. and actually we did not get back to the hotel until after 9:00p.m. We loaded up on the busy on our way to the Reconciliation Village. The night before we had watched “As  We Forgive” (http://youtu.be/mK0W4jx2OZY) at our hotel conference room. You watch the story of the country play before your eyes…you cannot help but be overcome. The very streets we walked on, one day was covered in bodies. The smell of the country had to be the smell of death. The people we talk to or the people we pass on a daily basis…fell into one of two categories ….survivors or perpetrators. The families of both sides unmistakable marred for life.

The question that many times was asked this week….how did you forgive..or have you forgiven. I believe the Bishop John said it well when we said that the Rwandan people have to learn to accept responsibility for their actions in the past but to not let those actions affect their future. I have been asked to share what I felt happened in this country….the only words that come to mind is that Satan descended into this country. Why? Because there is no other explanation for the atrocities that happened there. What people did to people, there are no words to describe it other than pure demonic. If you have another word…or another reason why…I would love to talk to you about it!

We stopped at this church on the way to the Reconciliation Village (I will tell you more about that name), the first thing you see at any Genocide Memorial is the purple/white colors banded together. But let me go back, yes I said a church. A church, a holy place..a place of God..in a church at this location over 5,000 men, women and innocent children were slaughtered. While I will not share with you the stories we heard, I will share with you that it was heart wrenching to walk in to this place of God and see skulls, bones, the bloodied walls, the blood stained clothes and the personal items left behind. This was not the only church…there were MANY churches that became slaughter houses because the Tutsi’s ran there for safety and protection and instead found themselves corralled for a slaughter.

I was touched by the beautiful garden that was next to this place. I tried to think about what it had looked like back then and compared to what it is now. There was hate and anger such few years ago….today there is hurt, pain but a hope for reconciliation. A hope to move forward from the physical scars….a hope to heal from the pain.

 

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