This past Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda, when approximately 800,000 people were killed in 100 days. It is always a somber time; people even drive more slowly, sobered by the remembrance (kwibuka) of the terrible events of 1994, with the bitter reality of the capacity for people to do evil.

That morning, I noticed at our house a pretty red flower bursting out of this slightly bedraggled plant. That is Rwanda: blooming out of a dingy, diseased past.


He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair. 

Isaiah 61: 1b-3b

We pray for God’s favor for Rwanda, in this week of mourning, and in the time ahead-for beauty instead of ashes.

I would heartily recommend reading President Paul Kagame’s speech, from the memorial ceremony, acknowledging the tragedy, yet hopeful at the same time: President Kagame’s speech

2 thoughts on “Kwibuka

  1. B. Hoshiko

    Dear Louise and Caleb, Thanks for the reminder about Kwibuka . I pray for you and for the nation of Rwanda. With love, Aunt Barbara


  2. Theresa Newell

    Thank you so much for sharing this memorial message. I will never forget how broken Rwanda was in 1999 on our first visit with Caleb and Bp Duncan – four years after the tragedy. May God, indeed, bring beauty out of these ashes. You are a great part of this restoration and I praise God for you.

    We are working with our Congolese refugees here – victims of the violence that spread to their home area of Goma on your NW border. They are generally doing well but struggling to make adjustments to this crazy western culture. Pray for them and us. This week we will be moving one of the families into a new rental house. Still working on language skills. How I wish I knew Kirwandan!! We do have a limited number of translators who work with Bethany Christian Services where my sister-in-law is a social worker and my MD brother serves on the board.

    Let us pray for one another.


    Theresa Newell

    “Did God reject his people? By no means!” Romans 11:1


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