Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We MUST never forget!

"This photo looks like nothing more than slabs of cement, sort of patio-esque, but it is so much MORE! This is a photo of where I was today. It is a "mass" grave where the remains of over 250,000 people are buried.

It was only a few days ago, that we in the US celebrated Memorial Day. Unfortunately, these days many only see it as a day off from work. A day to clean, head to the beach, BBQ or simply hang around one's home. But Memorial Day is SO much more than that, it's a day we honor those who have given lives and shed blood.

There is another very important Memorial Day, April 7. It happens to take place in the country where I'm writing this at the present time, Rwanda. It is a day to remember the over 1 MILLION, men, women, boys and girls who were slaughtered through systematic genocide.

These are just a few...may we NEVER forget them!!!

Bernadine, hacked to death by machete
Francine, hacked to death by machete
Fabrice, clubbed to death
Ariane, stabbed in the eyes & head
David, tortured to death
Chanelle, hacked to death by machete
Fidele, shot in the head
Irene, grenade thrown in while taking a shower
Patrick, hacked to death by machete
Aurore, burnt alive
Hubert, shot to death
Fabrice, killed in a church
Yvonne, hacked to death by machete
Fillet, smashed to death against a wall
Thiery, hacked to death by machete

I should tell you, that these names were real human beings who matter to God. In fact, they were all children between the ages of 4 to 13. 1 million people died and the world did NOTHING!

But the church in Rwanda, now, is doing something; collectively they are repenting. A pastor, by the name of Eugene shared with me this scripture, as well as the story of Nehemiah.

He said, the entire Church in Rwanda has come together and said, "I'm sorry!" to God. I told him many had nothing to do with the atrocities that took place, but he said, "in reality we did...so we've gotten on our knees and repented. As a result God has been healing our land."

Eugene said, "We are believing in 2 Chronicles 7:14...'Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.'"

Restore, indeed! The positive change in this country is staggering! Many attribute it to the mighty power of God's hand. Quite possibly, we, in the US could learn a thing or two from our Rwandan Christian friends.

There have been atrocities that have taken place and continue to take place on our soil. Hate and disdain leveled against women, children, African Americans, Hispanics, Japanese, etc., etc. and maybe, just maybe, God wants us to get on our knees and humble our prideful selves before he will heal our land.

Just a thought...one, I'm not sure we should ever forget!

Thanks for reading,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing

P.S. Part 2 of Most Impressed coming tomorrow...check back