Rwanda, I’ve been struggling for six weeks to explain what my trip felt like, how you impacted me, how I impacted you. I still don’t have the words.
I have told the stories, shown the pictures. And yet I’m like a baby trying to grasp a helium balloon when it comes to describing what it all meant.
You were different from what I expected. You’re so lush, so optimistic, so joyful. How could a country that endured so much suffering turn things around so completely in 20 years? And yet you did. I find you stunning.
I find you stunning because you are a leader and beacon to the world in forgiveness and restoration.
As I walked through the genocide museum weeping for your children who never grew up, it was you who handed me a tissue. Such love, such honour for strangers trying to grapple with your grief.
I felt the pleasure of our God over you. Your worship blew me away with its joy, its abandon. Do you have any idea how much delight you bring the Father? I felt like he brought me to Rwanda just to experience how marvellous you are. It’s like He wanted to show off his wonderful kids to another one of his kids.
I sensed that our Lord is rubbing his hands together in anticipation of what He has in store for your nation. Innovation, invention, breaking ground in education and business and industry.
And yet there’s a deep sense of wellbeing and gratitude that runs through the black, rich soil of your misty countryside. Don’t lose that. Don’t just become like North America or Europe or even South Africa. We need you to be Rwanda. The world needs Rwanda. I believe there are solutions to world problems hidden in the dreams and plans of Rwandans.
Freedom is coming. You already walk in freedom and yet I believe our Father has greater measures of freedom for you. He loves to see His children play and love and explore in freedom.
Your women are so beautiful. Strong and sweet and brilliant.
Your men are compassionate and honouring, playful and focused.
Your leaders are men and women of massive vision and astounding dedication.
As I clung to a boy driving a bicycle taxi, hurtling down hills past banana trees, next to motorcycles and buses and women with bright-coloured baskets on their heads, I thought, what kind of love is this, that I serve such a generous God who would bring me to this gorgeous place?
Though we spoke and prayed and ministered and though we saw many people healed, you healed a piece of me, Rwanda. Somehow you helped me be more fully me in my weakness. At the same time, you taught me how powerful just being in a place is. And how a place being in you, in your heart, expands you somehow. The power of just being.
Rwanda, arise and shine, for your light has come. And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.