In The Church, With My people

Sep 25, 2015 | 0 comments

Yesterday I visited a small church outside of Kigali where on 15 April 1994 more than 5000 women, children and the elderly Tutsi were slaughtered in ways I won’t share on Facebook.

Seeing the remains of bodies, clothes, shoes, cooking utensils, weapons, identity cards, bullet holes across the church alter, blood-stained walls will live with me forever. On that very day in 1994, I had celebrated my precious sister’s sixth birthday, probably with a party, cake and balloons. The comparison haunts me.

As our guide revealed bodies were still being found around the site – two this week, the reality of what happened in this beautiful, friendly, generous and loving nation became clear. I had one question – where were you Jesus?

I can never doubt the goodness of my God. He has never failed me. He has never left me. He is all loving, kind and perfect. His grace abounds. He brings hope to the hopeless. He is light in the darkness. But yesterday, that question remained – where were you Jesus?

The victims at the church yesterday had ran to the place they thought they were safe, His house. I later found out this had happened across the nation. Places of worship had become places of massacre.

I’m not going to pretend I understand everything. I don’t pretend to have a theological answer. And sometimes I have to cling to what I know to be true. He is good. He is faithful. He never forsakes.

I left the site declaring who I know my God to be.

Later on yesterday, as I sat in the midst of Kigali having a coffee (it was a surreal day) talking to a Rwandan friend and my Uncle, I heard Jesus whisper in my ear.

I was there. In the church. With my people.

I was blown away again. He was there. The one who never leaves was there with his Rwandan bride. My Jesus, who laid down his life for us all for the glory set before him. He who conquered death. He who conquered pain. He who conquered grief. He who conquered evil and the evil one was there in that church with his women, his children, his people.

I fell in love more with my Jesus in that moment. He is faithful to the end even in the most unimaginable circumstances.

I didn’t take many photos yesterday at the church. I was uncomfortable. But here is one looking into the church building where you can see remaining cooking utensils.

Becky Haines


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Registered Charity No: 1134890