Reconciliation Post the Rwandan Genocide
Missionary work is truly an impactful experience. This past December, I was able to engage in my first trip abroad through the lens of Christianity and faith. Pursuing Christ has been a passion of mine and my faith in him has grown stronger the older I have gotten. I was able to travel to Rwanda, East Central Africa to learn about Reconciliation post the Rwandan genocide.
When looking at forgiveness and reconciliation, there are two distinct differences. Forgiveness is just the surface of seeking peace in the situation, reconciliation is getting to the root of the issue and moving on past forgiveness. The root word of reconciliation is “reconcile” this means both parties come together and work on their issues with each other to reconcile their differences. It takes much more effort to reconcile with someone than to forgive them. Just because two people reconcile their differences does not mean they are back to where they were, it just means they were able to reach peace in their situation.
Upon my return from Rwanda and in my reflections, I noticed that even though many of the people in Rwanda may have looked different, had differences and knew of the past pains Rwanda has been through, they strive for oneness. The people of Rwanda want to build their community back as one instead of Hutus against Tutsis. To me, that was so powerful. It is saddening to see that our society can’t do the same. One would think our society would have an easier time reconciling differences but this is simply not true. I believe the first step of reconciliation within different areas that need to reconcile their differences is communication, in conjunction with communication having an open heart. Many of the problems that need to be reconciled in our world, are trivial ones. We could have so much peace in the world if we learned to reconcile our differences. When Rwanda made their race issue a public priority, they were able to end the genocide and find reconciliation. Although it took a while for reconciliation to be had in Rwanda, it started with communication, openness and forgiveness. This is how Christ wants us to live our lives and deal with our issues, he doesn't want us to carry burdens or have ill feelings towards anyone, he wants us to live an abundant life.
For us to have a just and equal society, we must learn to reconcile with one another. God doesn't want us to live a life in difficulty, he wants us to have peace with one another.