Thursday, January 13, 2011


Our hearts are torn. We are still there. And I love that. I wanted that, prayed for that. I prayed against feelings of guilt and uselessness and instead prayed that we do something with what we've learned. A small part of our time spent in Rwanda was going to the genocide memorials and museum. But so much time was spent talking about it and learning about it. Because it is everywhere. EVERYONE was effected. Both sides. Orphan, bystander, victim, murderer. Each and every person we saw became one of those names in the 100 days of spring 1994. This is a hard post but I want to remember it.  These are HARD pictures to see, but it happened. And I want to remember it.
Above is the first memorial we went to. It is a church about 20 minutes drive outside Kigali. (I wrote about this before but this is the "genocide" post so I'll redo some info) The preacher here called his congregants to come to the church to be saved from the genocide. They came. And died. After 10,000 people crammed into the church and grounds outside the church the preacher sat back and watched and listened as they were bludgeoned, macheted, raped, tortured, beaten and killed.
One of the most interesting things to me was how these places were "preserved". In America, everything would be behind glass, or bars, and kept at just the right temperature. Here- everything is sitting just as it was, for you to walk right by. You could reach out and touch most of these artifacts, or in some cases walk right on top of them (I'll get to that picture in a minute). Anyway, ALL the clothes of all TEN thousand victims were inside the church. Draped over each and every pew. Hats, dresses, undershirts, underwear. As you walked by each pew, faces came to your mind of who might have worn that, mothers and children next to each other. Underneath the church, in a makeshift tomb, were hundreds of skulls on shelves and one lonely coffin on display under bright lights. It is the final resting place for a woman who was brutally raped and killed there. Behind the church, outside in the back, were the places of the mass graves. You could walk down steep steps to walk among the bones and coffins holding up to 20 peoples bones in each.
Above is the next church we visited. 5,000 people lost their lives here in a similar way to the first place. Here they draped the clothes on the rafters and walls and left the pews empty. In the back were the shelves that housed the skulls and bones. You could walk right up to them so you could clearly see how they died. Machete to the head, gun shot wound in the forehead. These next few pictures are the most disturbing to me. Please use "viewer discretion"
The kitchen that housed hundreds of people- it was set to fire and those inside burned to death
this was where I was talking about us walking right over all these things- it felt so strange, but we just followed the guide

Once a beautiful stained glass window- now shattered by gun shots or hand grenades
books and papers of the victims
And the room above. Well I can hardly even write about it. This is the Sunday School room.  How many bible stories were taught inside these walls? How many children came to know the Lord right here in this room? But on that day, tragedy beyond words...
For here you can see, after SIXTEEN years, an awful stain on this wall. Here is where the murderers would come in 2's. One would grab the hands of a child and one would grab her ankles. Then they would throw the child so that she would smash into that wall. Then onto the next little one who now knew what was to be her fate. Heartbreaking.
     Lord, let the people of Rwanda come to know you and be filled with your peace.


  1. Wow.... Had no clue about this. Wow hard and crazy to even understand.....praying that is all i can do

  2. No words! Lord Jesus, continue to bring healing!

  3. Thanks for sharing Brittany. Wow, I'm speechless. Sure love you guys!