It is very hard not to like Rwanda.
Rwanda is a thriving, safe country with one of the lowest crime rates in Africa. It is also a small country – in area the size of Vancouver Island, or Belgium. So from Kigali, the capital, you can drive in any direction in a day to see other parts of this beautiful land.
When I held up my iPhone using FaceTime to talk with Brenda she commented on how green it was. So true, on our drive today I was impressed by the green undulating landscape of hills, gardens and plantations.
It is also a remarkable country from the standpoint of how the people are overcoming Rwanda’s genocide, three months of brutality in which an estimated 1,000,000 people were killed.
This country’s comeback has exceeded what even the most optimistic observers would have predicted. Jeff from the Wellspring Foundation has lived here since immediately following this tragic part of Rwandan history. He commented that the government has remained focused on the delivery of basic services like access to electricity and running water to all of it’s people equally. This has brought a stability and economic growth to the nation and mitigates genocide ideology.
We drove today to speak with a group of students at the national university. It was a special acknowledgement and prayer time for ‘finishers’ – those students about to graduate the end of June.
As I looked into their eyes from the podium, they looked just like students you would see at any university. The lecture theatre looked different from what you might be used to – but it works.
Bob and I spoke to them about our trip around the world and what we are learning about the places and leaders through who God is at work. We encouraged them to finish well and then to plant themselves where God leads and serve him there.
As we were leaving, our host thanked us. He was a third year student himself and he shared how he has always wanted to visit Canada.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because you see, I have no parents, and some Canadians – people I have never met or seen, are paying so that I can attend university. That is why I want to visit your country.”
This young leader probably lost both parents during the genocide, I did not want to ask. But his response made me feel sad for him, and thrilled to know that some Canadian family are making it possible for his life to be different – very different.
Now, as I finish with the Internet, and get my other net set up – I’ll be thinking about him for quite a while.