My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

25 October 2005

The wife and I watched Hotel Rwanda last night. I'm a little conflicted; it was a pretty well-made movie, but I kept thinking that, to get the impact that genocide ought to have, I needed more than just a microcosm of the story. While they did give some of the history between the Hutu and Tutsi (sp?) people, more would have helped.

Don Cheadle was great; I was glad to see him doing a public service announcement at the beginning of the dvd about the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. But back to Rwanda - I had a couple disturbing thoughts. The first was that all this happened while I was in high school, and I can't remember hearing a single thing about it (not that I was a newshound or anything). Did anyone else follow this story when it was going on? The second was that I am unable to emotionally comprehend genocide. I don't know what it's like to have anyone close to me killed; much less can I begin to comprehend what it would be like to have everyone around me killed. Does this mean I'm desensitized or that there's things we're not meant to fully comprehend until they happen near us?

The movie is, I think, trying so hard to be a message that it misses out some on being a movie (for other examples of this, see almost every "Christian" movie ever made). I would have been much more moved by a simple, vivid documentary of the Rwandan genocide. All in all, though, it's worth seeing, even if only to remember what happened. Caveat: It does play into the "anti-west" of modern Hollywood, but our reaction (or lack thereof) to genocide probably makes a good case for being just a little anti-west.

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On Sunday we had 8 college students over for lunch. We all shared our testimonies and it turned out that everyone around the table grew up in a covenant home; some were drawn to Christ later than others, but that covenant family played a central role in the conversion of each of us around the table. One particular family has three kids here at school, and they were each there - each of them believed and repented after their mother explained the gospel to them (for two of them, it was after a spanking!).

It was a great picture of the crown of glory that the kids of the covenant are (Pro. 17:6); I preached on that verse Sunday morning. It's so important to remind the mothers among us that they are not busy-for-now and can hope to do ministry in the future. They are on the frontlines of Christ's kingdom building. Each diaper, meal, soccer transportation and band-aid are a part of growing the next round of arrows. Everyone once in a while, it's just good to be reminded, it's good to lift our heads up and look down the road a little to see what the fruit of our labors will be. This lifting the head is one of God's great purposes for Sabbath-keeping.

5 comments:

Hind's Feet said...

Dear Pastor, Did you talk to Josh J. about the time he spent this summer serving in Rwanda? You can link to his blog, mine or a young man named Abram who also went. Abram discusses much of what he read in preparataion to to going. ONe thing the head of Rwanda Youth for Christ said was that the movie did not catch the horror of that time. Now, I did not watch the movie. But, Josh did on the way to Rwanda and he says when you watch the movie and realize it is a "cleaned up" version of what happened then you will be amazed.

Here is Abram's site:
http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=DancingYaks

One of the most beautiful things Josh spoke to me about were the "Grass Courts" in practice. Please ask him about Rwanda, what he did, why he went and how it struck him.

Thanks for having him over on Sunday for lunch. It continues to be a blessing to know that he is hearing the Word of God preached faithfully on Sunday and lived out well by the church leaders.
Blessings, Kim Johnson

Ellen Olivetti said...

I read these last two paragraphs of this post to start our ladies Bible study last night. Although it wasn't really directly relavent to the subjest at hand (Paul's missionary journeys), I knew the young moms there would be encouraged by the outworking of the covenant.

Jared said...

Hi Kim! It's great to hear from you. I have not heard about Josh's trip to Rwanda and I will definitely ask him. One of my applications of watching the movie is to find out what I can about what happened - that'll be an interesting conversation.

Hi Mom! I'm glad you were able to encourage the ladies at Bible study. I've made it one of my goals in preaching to regularly encourage mothers of young children to see their great place in Christ's kingdom, just to remind them of what it is they're doing all day.

Hind's Feet said...

Dear Pastor,
There is a link to the pictures our church members took on this trip. http://humblestar.info/rwanda/

Josh will have the password you use for this.

There is a day where the group visited a memorial to the genocide. The pictures are very intense. I remember seeing them and wondering how Josh was handling the truth of what had happened. You might also ask him about the orphanage in China, another turning point in his worldview. How many people truly understand the one child policy, how it affects daily lives in China, how it affects the children of China? There is an excellent, but difficult book called "The Lost Daughters of CHina" which deals with this. Anyway, Josh could also suggest some titles to read on the genocide.

I have to remember, God is always God even in the midst of hard things. He is sovereign and that is what allows me to continue.

ellyn olivetti said...

Jared:

Dad and I watched Hotel Rwanda a couple of nights ago and I was appalled - not so much by the movie and what it portrayed but that I didn't even know it was happening at the time. So much for being aware of current events. I must have been raising babies or something like that.

Today, Steve Yoder from our church - who works for Open Doors - spok about the persecution of the church throughout the world. Specifically, today, he spoke about Sri Lanka and India. After the tsunami, the government in Sri Lanka was actually withholding food and water from Christians. They interviewed a pastor who no longer had a Bible and was preaching from memory.

It was a sobering reminder of two things: how blessed we are in this country to be able to worship freely and how much more faithful we should be in prayer for our brothers and sisters around the world who are daily being persecuted for naming the name of Christ.