Headlines from the New York Times for Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Rwandans Carry On, Side by Side, Two Decades After Genocide – (Summary: Twenty years ago, in just 100 days, nearly one million people perished in a genocide initiated by the government. Today, the government promotes peace and unity. One organization, Prison Fellowship, has been instrumental in the healing process. I feel Prison Fellowship is a good example of today’s verses from Isaiah.)
Mbyo is one of seven “reconciliation villages” established by Prison Fellowship Rwanda, a Christian organization that facilitates the small cluster of homes for those convicted of carrying out the violence and those who suffered at their hands.
Pastor Deo Gashagaza, who helped found the organization, created a process to connect Rwandans who had been imprisoned for participating in the slaughter with the families they harmed, and encourage dialogue through community-centered activities.
In these villages, reconciliation is not just a moment. It is a way of life.
In 1994, Ms. Mukamana was 17. Her father, six brothers, five sisters and nine uncles were killed that April. She fled to Burundi. When she returned, her family home was destroyed.
Mr. Sendegeya was among the group that killed her father and four other members of her family, a fact that both speak about frankly but without much detail.
Mr. Sendegeya re-entered society through a program that allows perpetrators to be released if they seek forgiveness from their victims. While in prison, he had reached out to Ms. Mukamana through Prison Fellowship Rwanda.
“He confessed and asked for forgiveness. He told me the truth,” Ms. Mukamana explained. “We forgave him from our hearts. There is no problem between us.”
Readings from Isaiah 45.22-24 for Tuesday, April 25, 2017
God is the ultimate ground of reality. He alone has the key to what is really real. One day all humanity will discover that the idols (substitutes for God) that we pursue are tragic imitations and counterfeits. Turning to God in humble obedience and worship is the best course of action.
Isaiah 45.22-24 – Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: “To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; all who were incensed against him shall come to him and be ashamed.
Prayers for Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Dear God, we thank you for those who have turned to you to both receive forgiveness and to grant forgiveness. May we lay aside the idols of privilege, self-rights, and unforgiveness and fully turn to you.