“Anyone who watched the news reports from Rwanda in 1994 will remember the images of bodies. Bodies stacked in open graves. Bodies floating down rivers. Bodies hacked to pieces by machetes. We can- not remember Rwanda in 1994 without talking about bodies. The movie Hotel Rwanda tells the story of Paul Rus- esabagina, a hotel manager who sheltered hundreds of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. In the movie, Paul leaves the hotel-turned-refuge early one morning to make a supply run before the killers awake to set up their daily roadblocks. Driving along, he stares anxiously into misty fog, trying to stay on the road and get back to the hotel as quickly as pos- sible. But the fog is so dense that as he feels the tires beneath him bumping on uneven ground, he is sure he has driven off the road.
An Easter Season of Bodies Paul opens the driver’s side door to get out and as- sess the situation. But stepping out of the vehicle, he realizes that he has not driven off of the road. Instead, the road is covered with bodies. It’s an image that cap- tures both the tragedy and reality of Rwanda in the spring of 1994. A book about the Rwandan genocide must be a book about bodies. this book cannot just be about the hundreds of thousands of Rwandan bodies that were mutilated in the spring of 1994. Of course, each one of those bodies is precious to God. Each bears the very image of God. But we cannot begin to understand the life and death of these bodies until we consider another body—the body politic.” (from Mirror to the Church)
Dr. Emmanuel Katongole, Associate Professor of Theology and World Christianity and Co-Director of the Center of Reconciliation at the Duke Divinity School. The Center of Reconciliation is a center whose mission is to inspire, form, and support leaders, communities and congregations to think, feel and live as ambassadors of reconciliation in a broken world. He is also author of several books including “Mirror to the Church” which details the Rwanda genocide of 1994. Dr. Katongole will be the Speaker at our church, Capital Christian Fellowship’s Annual International Sunday Service Next Sunday May 22 at 10am.
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