Monday, 18 August 2014
Spiritual Leaders Helped Rebuild Rwanda, Rick Warren Says on 20th Anniversary of Genocide
Rwanda for the 20th anniversary of the genocide in the East
African country, highlighted the role of spiritual leaders in
helping rebuild the heart of the nation, just as government and
business leaders helped rebuild Rwanda's politics and stability.
"God has blessed Rwanda in so many ways; so how does God
want us to show our thanks to Him?" Warren asked a crowd of
more than 15,000 people at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali on
Sunday, according to a press release by his church.
"Thank God for the three different kinds of leaders He has used
to build a new Rwanda — government leaders to rebuild the
structure, business leaders to rebuild the stability and spiritual
leaders to rebuild the heart of the nation," said Warren, whose
church has been implementing The PEACE Plan in Rwanda since
2005, when Rwandan President Paul Kagame personally invited
him to help make the country the first "Purpose Driven" nation.
"When we think of all the ways God has blessed us, it motivates
us to admit our failures and ask for forgiveness," added Warren,
who was speaking on a Day of Thanksgiving to celebrate
reconciliation over the years since the 1994 genocidal mass
slaughter of people from the Tutsi ethnic group and moderate
members of the Hutu majority group.
In the genocide, 1 million Rwandans were killed and another 1
million children were orphaned over the course of 100 days.
"When people see what is happening in Rwanda they call it a
miracle, but as Christians we know it is the love of God," Apostle
Paul Gitwaza, pastor of Rwanda's Zion Temple, said while
welcoming Warren at the function. "What is the legacy we want
to leave the youth of Rwanda? It is a legacy of love — the love of
Warren is a member of the Presidential Advisory Council formed
by President Kagame, who is officially identified as a Roman
Rwanda was once a Catholic-majority country. But after the
genocide, evangelical churches began to grow, as sections of the
clergy in the nation's Catholic Church were accused of colluding
with the killers.
While his opponents accuse him of being authoritarian, Kagame
is widely credited with bringing economic growth to the country,
which was named the world's top reformer in the World Bank's
Doing Business Report 2010.
Kagame, who is Tutsi and has been in control of Rwanda since
his rebel army ended the genocide, learned about Warren and his church after reading his book, The Purpose Driven Church .
Saddleback's PEACE ministry is an acronym for "promote
reconciliations, equip servant leaders, assist the poor, care for
the sick and educate the next generation." It mobilizes Christians
to attack the five global evil giants of spiritual emptiness: self-
centered leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease and
Warren, who has been in Kigali for the past week, also spoke at a
National Youth Rally on Friday. "God only makes originals; he
never makes copies. You are unique and God loves you," Warren
told the 2,000 young people. "If you are going to be someone
great, you must stop living for others' approval. … You are as
happy as you choose to be; happiness is a choice. Stop waiting
for something to happen in the future to be happy. God has put
you in this country at this historic moment."
Warren also invited to Rwanda more than 100 leaders from 31
African nations, in addition to China, Russia, India and America,
to discuss the Purpose Driven PEACE Plan.
The pastor also addressed a gathering of government and
business leaders alongside Kagame on Tuesday.
"Sometimes God is going to put you right in the middle of a
problem because he wants you to be part of the solution," said
Warren. "In God's economy, the more you serve, the more you
will lead. The size of your power is the size of your service."
"God has done what He needs to do — given us life and the
positions of leadership and now the question is what we can do
with that," said Kagame.