“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” Genesis 50:20
April 6, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide where over 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in only 100 days. Neighbors turned against neighbor, husbands turned against wives and Pastors turned against congregations. Evil took over. But God… even in the midst of unspeakable horror, God redeems what Satan intends for evil.
In 2008 I visited Nyamata Catholic Church in Rwanda where 11,000 men, women, children and infants were tortured and killed in less than 6 hours where they sought refuge. I shed tears for the victims but also for my lack… lack of knowledge and lack of response, both personally and corporately. God convicted me that up until this point I had been living for myself with little REAL concern for those who suffer from injustice and poverty daily. In that moment, I purposed to live my life differently.
Since then, I have had the privilege of serving Africans through ALARM, seeing dignity restored to women through Fashion & Compassion, and inspiring my own community to action through The Ignite Justice Conference. The greatest blessing is the lessons I learn from those that I “serve”.
While Rwanda continues to heal from the immense pain of the genocide, the forgiveness extended by thousands of Rwandans to the perpetrators has become an example of forgiveness to the rest of the world. Such forgiveness and healing does not come easy, but comes with the sweet reward of peace from God.
The sacrifices I may make in serving others are minor in comparison to the courage needed to overcome obstacles such as the desire for revenge, the power of addiction and the struggle to meet basic needs. That said, serving those overcoming poverty and injustice is not for the faint of heart – it is difficult work but work that comes with great reward… The privilege of seeing God redeem man’s evil intent and the opportunity to learn from those who have built great faith as a result of great suffering. THANK GOD that He redeems heinous actions like those of the genocide, but also redeems our paltry efforts in spite of our mistakes and deepens our faith and wisdom as we serve Him.
Read Genesis 50:14-21. Reflect on the brothers’ concerns and Joseph’s response to them. How have you responded to being wronged in the past?
In your own life, where have you seen God take what was intended for evil and use it for good?
What lessons have you learned from those you serve who may be living in poverty or experiencing injustice?
Published by Revealing Light Lenten Devotional by New Vision Renewable Energy