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Thank you for visiting our team blog!

There are 5 of us visiting Rwanda this summer: Jessica, Maddie, Katie, Mark and Zach. Our trip leaves August 12 and we return to America on September 2.

While we work with Rwanda Partners, we hope to learn about and participate in post-genocide reconciliation though workshops, home visits, prison ministry and economic development projects. Projects may include leading English classes, Vacation Bible School and peace-building/conflict resolution training for orphans and widows.

Here is a little that you might like to know about Rwanda.

It is a very stable and safe country.

All Rwandans speak Kinyarwanda, and it is only of the most spoken languages in Rwanda. The 1994 genocide is the result of many complex factors (as one would expect). The majority Hutus slaughtered the minority Tutsis, estimates usually land around 800,000 dead in the course of about 100 days.

Colonized by Germany, then after WW1, Belgium, the differences between the two culture groups were said to have been emphasized by the Europeans.

Violence began in the late 1950s and continued off and on over the next 30 years, there was a longer period of peace during the 80s.

The Rwandan Patriotic Front, mostly comprised of Tutsis, stabilized the country during the genocide and essentially established government post-1994. Their general, Paul Kagame, is now president, serving his second 7-year term. Their constitution limits this position to two terms, and Kagame has stated he will leave peacefully after his time ends.

Today, the terms Hutu and Tutsi are not used, with people referring to themselves as Rwandans.

One of the primary focuses of our trip is to go and learn, to share life with people who have lived in a world entirely different than our own. Hopefully, each of us can bring back something to share and teach about forgiveness, reconciliation and pain.

 

We ask for your prayers for safety, health, and open hearts, open minds and a willingness to see through new eyes the glory of God’s Kingdom.

 

If you want to learn more about the genocide, we encourage you to read Philip Gourevich’s account, “We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families.” This book is powerful and informative and will hopefully paint a little bit of a picture as to what we will be hearing and learning about while we are away.

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