|My oldest daughter, Sophia and I at the Nile, Uganda, 1993|
Last year, I told some of my memories. Another one came to mind a few months ago. It is one that I am ashamed did not trigger outrage in 1993. I remember, regret, and repent. I just did a Google search and am confident though my memory is true, it would be difficult to document. If I do not leave a record of my memory I strip victims of their dignity. Truth heals and it must be told.
One of the weapons of genocide was rape. Such brutality is not the nature of man as an image bearer of God. Such brutality must be nurtured with hateful mythology. Only when man’s eyes are blinded by hate can one destroy the daughters of men.
|Jesus cleansing the temple|
|Jesus feet washed (Luke 7:36-50)|
In reading The Media and the Rwanda Genocide, I realized I had once read hate literature that seemed almost academic while in reality being pornographic. I remember, regret, and repent.
Seventeen years ago, I should have been outraged and sent a letter to The Monitor editors.
|Alexis Hixson and my daughter, Ruth|
Second, history is a great teacher. A few months ago, I found a book from 1948 in a Rwanda missionary library called The New Congo by Tom Marvel. It details the story of an American traveling through Belgium’s African colonies. Like many of us when he reaches Rwanda he is stunned. He made one prophetic commentary that I can never forget. He was convinced that the colonial enterprise was leading Rwanda towards disaster. His biggest concern was that young Banyarwanda women were not receiving quality education. He predicted without Banyarwanda women being educated Rwanda’s future would be tragic. There are many reasons for Rwanda’s tragic history, but the non-literacy of many Banyarwanda women must be factored in as a significant one.
|Women were the first to see Resurrected Jesus|
Thus today I cheer loudly for all Rwandan women I know who succeed as students, entrepreneurs, and leaders. Their dignity must be guarded. Their voices must be heard.
Last, my repentance means I must be a participant and advocate for all academic and business enterprises in my influence who give extra opportunities for women. I should never assume “girls are not good at math and science,” or “business and politics is too rough.”