Rwanda: Day 10

On Thursday, we wrapped up our Bible study with Genesis 46:5-7. This facilitated a conversation about if Joseph and his family we reconciled. We agreed that the story doesn’t end in Genesis 46. Just like the story continues in Rwanda, the path to reconciliation has begun, but the work is not finished. We also talked about the relationship between reconciliation and healing.

Another interesting conversation that came up was the idea of reconciliation with the land. Many people never were returned to their homes and lands. Many came back to homes that had been destroyed or damaged. There are also now millions of people in this tiny country, 65% of whom are under 25 years of age. Land is a valuable resource that is quickly running out here.

It will be important to watch what happens here one day when Paul Kigame is no longer president. Will it feel like Joseph’s brothers did after Jacob died (they were worried he’d retaliate.) Or will the reconciliation journey continue on the same track? Reconciliation takes time and Rwanda is well on its way, but there is still room to grow and heal.

After Bible study, we began the journey back to Kigali to wrap up our time together. On the way back to Kigali (via far less bumpy roads than we took to Kibuye from Butare), we stopped at two secondary schools. One was a school for woodworking and the other a school for teacher training. Both greeted us warmly and the Teacher Training College held back nothing, treating us to a full show with dancing, songs, speeches, skits, and even a fashion show!

In the evening, we had to say farewell to our South Sudanese friends and our Kenyan friend, all of whom would be leaving early in the morning on Friday. It was a sweet moment with new friends that will last a lifetime. I will always cherish their friendship and cannot wait to connect with each of them again.

The following day (day 11) was a down day while everyone, save a handful, departed to head home. We visited a book shop, an art gallery, and a local market. In the evening, my family (Tim, Gloria, and Levi), joined me here in Kigali. We will leave Sunday morning for Bwindi forest and Kampala for the next step of the adventure! This is where my official church travelogue will end, but I will be taking many pictures and planning presentations for church.