I just ate lunch at Hotel Rwanda.
20 years ago this was a safe house for thousands of Tutsi's during the Rwandan Genocide -where more than one million people were murdered in just about 90 days because of racial, political, social, and religious tension.
Today it's near paradise. I snapped a picture and put it on instagram captioning it the title of this blog because that's what pictures are worth.
As I sat down eating an exquisite meal by the pool -the same pool people once had to drink from to stay alive- as an African American(?) seated with my partner whose 1/4 Scottish, 1/4 Polish, 1/4 German, 1/8 Lithuanian 1/8 Jewish and 1/8 Russian; Italian, Ugandan, whatever Liana is and Rwandan friends; next to affluent tourists from around the world, a diverse [ethnic] group of government officials and other local aristocrats I couldn't help but thank God for the reconciliation and forgiveness of this country. Not that the individuals present were even a product of the country's reconciliation but the scene we were a part of definitely typified it.. and reminded me of the gospel.
The content of the good news is that Jesus reconciled us with God the Father. The scope of that good news is that His blood reconciles us to one another making us one[link]. No longer is there a place for partiality or prejudice against or in favor of people belonging to a particular ethnicity, culture or social class. Rather we see the cross accomplishish oneness to the depth of household/family unity among us. Now we're joined together. In HIM. We're all one in Christ Jesus. Though not everyone is a believer here I can't help but notice the impact of that truth on this nation and see that this was at least part of the solution Rwanda found. After all the numbers say Christian denominations make up 95% of the religion here.. (4% Islam and 1% irreligious).
These past few days I've met so many people, all refugees and genocide survivors, who've turned to Jesus. They live together. They worship together. They serve together. Because Rwanda has officially outlawed referring to individuals as anything but "Rwandan" I cannot be sure but I am 90% sure that some are Tutsi and some Hutu.
There's wealthy, there's poor. The healthy the sick. God has done UH MAY ZING things in this country and just like the name of the church we spent the better part of our day with, there has been great Revival in this place. We have more Christian brothers and sisters here than we might have in our own hometowns.
Now I've been able to glance at my timeline a lil bit here and there at the end of my day. And it doesn't surprise me that some of my spoiled siblings are back home squabbling over racial tension again. It saddens me that in [the church in] America we still can't seem to get this one right. Why is ____ wrong for making a statement criticizing the police for slamming homegirl to the ground by her hair? Why is ____ called insensitive at best and racist at worst just because he doesn't understand the complexities of these issues so he doesn't say anything about it? Ain't yall both preaching the gospel [content] next Sunday? Maybe you should pass on those duties and meditate on the gospel [scope] first.
Did I just rant?
Ok. All I'm saying is we gotta do better. I'm walking around in a country only two decades removed from the worst exercise of racism in our lifetime and arguably one of the worst in history, where people who's relatives slayed each other are now marrying building families and businesses and living in harmony with one another -AND THESE ARE THE NONBELIEVERS! With Christians in Rwanda leading by example, even those who haven't experienced ultimate forgiveness and reconciliation are able to grant and receive forgiveness.
What's our problem? I don't know either. But I know our solution.