...was the Rwandan holocaust.
In 100 days, 1 million were killed.
The entire population of the Hattiesburg/Pine Belt area times 10. In 100 days.
Basically because of their ethnicity and/or their political leanings.
I was captivated by the tragic stories back then, and I still am, in the deep recesses of my soul. In the places I don't enjoy exploring because I don't like what I find there all too often.
Ever seen the movie Hotel Rwanda?
Now, I know students @ Wm Carey who are from Rwanda. Very pleasant, polite people, who are just a delight to visit with in the office or in the hallway. They laugh easy and often.
I think of Rwanda every morning. You see, we buy coffee beans in the mail from an outfit called "Land of 1000 Hills Coffee" (a.k.a., "Drink Coffee, Do Good"). Click here to go to their website & learn more about them. They grow the coffee there and are very missional in their approach. Quite a number of Rwandan "coffee widows" plant, cultivate, pick, and roast the coffee there. Land of 1000 Hills invests proceeds back into Rwanda. Schools...homes...clinics...jobs & training...all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Click THIS to see a short clip from a CNN story about the company.
1,000,000 in 100 days.
That's an average of 10,000 per day.
And much of the world went "wow, bummer...oh well, glad it's not here..." and went merrily on our way.
One hesitates to ever quote this guy, but Joseph Stalin famously said something along the lines of "1 death is a tragedy...1 million deaths is merely a statistic"
And it happened just 16 years ago. Not 160 years ago. Not 1600 years ago. 16 YEARS ago.
I have only one grand sweeping conclusion to this, that's really not all that grand & sweeping: if you ever find yourself thinking "people are really pretty good by nature after all"...remember this statistic.
One. Million. People. Murdered. In. 100. Days. SOLELY. Because. Of. Their. Tribal. Heritage.
Paying a dollar or two extra per pound of coffee is an INCREDIBLY small sacrifice. (Besides, the coffee is just *vastly* superior to anything you'll find in the local grocery store). And Starbucks is not in the same universe in terms of coffee quality. But this is not about coffee.
It's about Rwanda. And about people. And about us. You. me.
How's your thought life toward those with whom you disagree religiously? How about those with whom you disagree politically? I listen to the state of American political rhetoric for the last several years, and I sometimes fear for my country. Give some of the links here a click & read or watch.
1,000,000. 100 days. 10,000 a day.
May we always remember. And always love and work so such things never happen again.
Sorrowful, yet hopeful, and always prayerful,
p.s. - wanna see what God can do in hearts? Check THIS out. Only one page long...I challenge you to imagine yourself as one of the real-life characters in this story...you might need a hankie...