Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Emerging

Slap. I caught it in my hand and ground it between my palm and ring finger. I wiped someone's blood--probably mine, by the looks of the bites on my skin--on my shorts and the carcass of the tenth mosquito I'd killed into the ground. No matter where I go I find mosquitos, or they find me. Their presence is inexplicable from a Creationist standpoint because I don't know how a loving God could create something so horrible.

Rwanda is growing. It's still very much a developing nation, but there is a different feeling around this country than the malaise I saw in Haiti or the palpable struggle to survive I've seen in Ethiopia. There is a hope that tomorrow will be better than today. I've been here less than a full week and already I am jumping on the bandwagon. This whole country seems like the young baseball team on the rise--you know it is only a matter of years before success will find it. We visited a room in which civic planners and engineers were putting together the "master plan" for the city of Kigali. Sketches and charts and graphs littered the room, but the hope and confidence in planning was inescapable. They know they are on the way up. They are putting in the hard work in that room to guarantee it.

Driving past the US Embassy and down the hill, dodging motorcycle cab drivers who seem to be everywhere you turn, you'll be met with a staggeringly beautiful view of the city. Don't worry, it's probably the tenth prettiest view you'll see in the next few moments. Only 50% of the province of Kigali is buildable land. The rest is wetland or forests or hills too steep to build upon unless you're completely desperate. So the city is being built on whatever space nature allows. The city is literally growing from the earth itself like a flower.

Or is it re-growing? Our first day here we visited the genocide museum. In 1994 one portion of the Rwandan people put into violent action a hatred which had been stewing for a hundred years and killed a million people. Economic problems and other struggles of a poor nation were "solved" by blaming them on one minority group. Not to oversimplify too much, but hatred won the day in Rwanda in 1994 for 100 straight days as a mass genocide was carried out. After those days, a civil war which had been raging unrelated to the genocide was won by rebel forces. Rwanda was at rock bottom. The new ruling party had a decision to make and decided the only way to go was up as a nation. Reconciliation and forgiveness are extremely difficult. However, the unity and strength which come from fervent practice of reconciliation are undeniable.

Why did the genocide happen? I don't know. How could a loving God allow a million people to be killed in 100 days? I don't know. I do know that there are some days where evil wins. There are a lot of them. There are some days where it seems like the darkness is overtaking the light and that there is no one in control of anything. Claiming good doesn't exist because bad does is like claiming the sun doesn't exist because it is nighttime. If you look at the good in the world--if you really analyze hope and how much beauty is in a sunflower or a mountain view or a great cup of coffee--you'll be infected with the same attitude that exists all over Rwanda. Tomorrow will be better than today. God is in control. He will make sure the darkness will never overcome the light and is bringing ALL THINGS together in Him right now.


About Drew

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A follower of Jesus, trying to build myself and others up from the inside out.