By Pascal Ntaganda
28 years ago, no one believed they would be witnessing what is happening in Rwanda – a country that lost more than a million people during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
By God’s mercy, this nation has recovered and developed rapidly into a model for the continent and the world.
With Rwanda hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2022), many people have shared views on what it means for the country.
Believers who talked to this website earlier said the opportunity illustrated God’s blessing for Rwanda.
In this article, we bring you a personal testimony of Pascal Ntaganda, a Christian Life Assembly (CLA) congregant who, as a youngster experienced some of the difficult experience that the country was mired in during the aftermath of the bloody genocide.
Here is his short story:
My parents lived in Goma in the former Zaire (now DRC) for 35 years.
We returned from exile to Rwanda around August 1994. Though I was a very young kid, I recall hearing my dad sing a song of victory. He was overjoyed to see his country again after all those years.
When we arrived in the present Musanze district in the Northern Province, we found almost everything destroyed. There was a strong silence in the place.
We could see soldiers sorting out the bodies of people who had been slaughtered during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
What a quiet and sad environment it was at the time!
My family comprised 8 children. There were challenges. It was not easy for the family to get enough food. The situation was very complicated.
Like many other returnees, we started looking for a way to settle down and hustle with the challenges that life would bring our way.
The little infrastructure that the country had at that time had been damaged, services like education were poor, many people were in misery for having lost their relatives in the Genocide.
Rwanda was in such a hard time.
But thank God, the country has gotten out of the misery, becoming what it is today.
Here are some points that I can share about how the country has made its journey to where it is today:
Following the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, there was great need to foster unity and reconciliation. The Government of Rwanda and the civil society have set up different organizations within the community that have played a role to achieve unity and reconciliation.
And God has been good that we have seen great strides in the journey of reconciliation and unity. We also appreciate our leaders, especially President Kagame for the leadership that has been showcased in steering this nation from the turmoil in which it was.
Vision that allows leaders to see beyond the barriers to the future reality.
In the Bible, Joseph planned, organized and prepared people for the famine. This is a good example of a visionary leader.
In the books of Nehemiah and Samuel the Bible also takes us through the leadership adventures of amazing characters like David and Nehemiah who carried the purposes of God in their nation.
In the context of Rwanda, God has used our leaders to make key decisions for transforming the nation and the people.
I thank God for various initiatives such as Vision 2020, which have made a significant difference in improving people’s lives as well as the development of infrastructure.
There is a long way ahead of us, but with God’s faithfulness and unmerited goodness, we will make it.
I have seen God’s blessings on my country Rwanda.
It is written in the Book of Lamentations in the Bible that God’s mercies are new every morning. Yes, God has blessed our nation and has changed it to shine and prosper.
The best is yet to come!