Missions Wednesday: Rwanda

Many of us are not so far removed from the 1990’s to remember the horrible genocide that took place in Rwanda between the Hutus and Tutsis. I was young during the turmoil, but in college I was awakened to what happened while watching the movie Hotel Rwanda. As I learned more about the slaughtering of a million people I was even more surprised to hear that eighty percent of Rwandans are identified as Christians. Even though many would say they are followers of Christ, they have been plagued by years of hatred of fellow brothers and sisters simply because of their ethnic heritage.

It’s easy to look at people across the ocean and turn down our noses. How could Christians do such a thing? They have acted so “un-Christian”. And they have. But so have we. Maybe personally we have not been participants of such violence and murder, but our hearts are wicked. We have “hated our brother in our hearts,” and Jesus tells us that is as offensive to God (Matthew 5:21-22). Granted, this genocide is horrific and overwhelming to say the least. All the more reason to pray for the Holy Spirit’s work in their life, asking God to show our brothers and sister in Rwanda that their hatred of anyone is morally reprehensible and sin against God.

It’s hard to imagine what a tragedy such as the genocide would do to a nation. They surely don’t recover quickly. In Rwanda, many of the people who committed the atrocities are still at large. Families were destroyed. Children lost parents. Churches lost pastors. Parents lost children. Though it has been nearly 15 years since this happened, the scars will linger for many years to come.

Ways to pray:
  1. Pray for repentance. Ask God to bring many Rwandans to repentance for sins committed against their neighbors.
  2. Pray for the church in Rwanda. Many pastors lost their lives during the genocide. The ones who survived were faced with ministering to people who saw unspeakable tragedy. Ministry is hard without something like this. It’s only harder when you are faced with multiple orphans, overwhelming death, and a war torn nation.
  3. Pray for the young people. Many children were left orphaned by the genocide. These children have now grown up, many now entering adulthood. For some they have had to raise their families in the absence of parents. This takes its toll on a person.
  4. Pray that Christians would feel called to go and disciple believers in Rwanda. There is a need for solid Bible teaching in Rwanda. Pray that people would feel the burden to go and proclaim God’s Word in this land.