Monday, April 8, 2013

Genocide, Forgiveness, and Coffee

April 7, 2013 marked the 19 year anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.  I wish I could have been there this week to hear the speeches, see the tears, watch as the memorial fire is lit (it will burn for 100 days, the amount of time the killings lasted.)  It is unbelievable to me how much healing has taken place in Rwanda in only 19 years.

The slaughter of so many people, at the hands of former friends and neighbors, is unimaginable to me.  Sadly, even though I feel like I have come to know more of God's Spirit over the past 2 years, the forgiveness extended by the survivors is also unimaginable to me.  Could I forgive my neighbor for murdering my 3 precious children?

I have trouble forgiving much less than that.

I read this blog post from the Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Blog earlier in the week, and it really speaks to me:

Forgiveness Can Win

Mar 29, 2013 by 
An incredible story of God redeeming broken relationships and creating community where evil was once rampant. Meet Claudette, Jean, and Clementine, the people who grow Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee and learn how through coffee, Forgiveness Wins in their lives. 

Mug Art

At the start of the 100 days of genocide in Rwanda, Clementine’s parents and five siblings awoke to find their cow dismembered with a note attached that read: “You’re Next.” Her father, fearful for his family, contacted neighbors willing to hide the children. In order to survive, the family dispersed to make it difficult for their hunters to track them down. Although Clementine hid with a family that was not in danger, they risked their lives for the opportunity to save her. Her father and three of her five siblings were not as fortunate. With in the 100 days, they were murdered by a neighbor, a man they knew as Jean.
After the genocide, Clementine heard that churches and the government were working to reconcile victims and perpetrators. During years of counseling, prayer, and support from her church community, Clementine searched her heart for the strength to forgive the man who killed her siblings and father. When Jean approached Clementine to seek her forgiveness, he recounted details of the crime so that hearing the full truth might enable her to free him of the guilt that weighed upon his conscious. Through the honesty of his confession, she granted him forgiveness.
The government gave each of them adjacent land and coffee trees to farm. The two, along with Claudette, an orphan who had also reconciled with Jean for his role in murdering her family, combined the land so they could share the burden and reap the benefits together. Now, working as true neighbors Jean, Claudette, and Clementine work together each day, tending their coffee beans, discussing the harvest, and making plans for the future.
Be a part of the Forgiveness Story HERE and Drink Coffee. Do Good.™

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