Pentecostal churches in Rwanda, on Saturday came together in a ‘Walk of Hope’ to commemorate 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Unlike other commemoration walks where solemn moods and candle lighting are the order of the day, the walk of hope was more like a celebration, which the organisers dubbed, “ celebrating life, resilience and hope.”
According to Bishop Enock Dusingizimana, Board member of Peace Plan Rwanda, the organisers of the event, dancing and rejoicing while mourning is not a show, but rather a sign of victory for peace and unity in Rwanda.
“This should not be mistaken for a performance. We know where Rwanda has come from, right from ashes to becoming hope for Africa and the world. We are simply thanking God for giving our nation, new life and hope,” he said.
Dusingizimana added that, “coming together as a family of believers to commemorate in a unique style, is to show God that Rwanda is grateful, for enabling it to walk through regrettable season of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, to where it is now,”
“We are simply giving the glory back to God, who has loved Rwanda so much that everyone is proud to be associated with our nation” he added.
The Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, who was the chief guest, said that life and hope was a miracle and God uses people to perform miracles.
“To mean never again to Genocide shall not be on the mercies of perpetrators or international communities, but rather the determination for everyone to fight for unity, love and above all, life for humanity,”
Busingye urged believers to ‘stand-up for humanity and unity’ and encourage the nation to a ‘new dawn’.
Believers begun their walk to Petit Stade in Remera, from three different historical destinations, all associated with the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda.
The first group walked from former President Juvenal Habyarimana’s residence in Kanombe while the second group walked from former Kicukiro Technical School (ETO Kicukiro) where UN peacekeepers abandoned Tutsi to be killed by Interahamwe militias.
The third group walked from Parliamentary building under the leadership of Rev. Francis Mutabazi, senior Pastor of Christ Gospel fellowship Kimironko. He said that the selected places signify a great role in Rwanda’s history.
‘Habyarimana’s residence in Kanombe is believed to be the origin of 1994 genocide against the Tutsi after the crash of his jet. ETO Kicukiro is a place where Over 4,000 Tutsis were killed after the UN peacekeepers abandoned them on April 11, 1994. while the Parliamentary buildings was where the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) rebels , who waged liberation war against genocidal regime and eventually stopped the Genocide were based.”
“We remember innocent souls that perished in the Genocide we honor our heroes who stopped it, but we also remember God’s grace over Rwanda,” Mutabazi,” said.
Lydia Masasu of Restoration Church said it was worth celebrating God’s love for Rwanda.
“God so loved Rwanda that he gave us courage, life and resilience to match on after Genocide. And above all, Rwandans have hope for a united and more developed nation, this is worth celebrating,” said Masasu
Joel Sengonga, a member of Rwanda Purpose Driven Ministries/P.E.A.C.E. Plan, un umbrella for all Pentecostal churches in the country, said they are organizing, Rwanda, Shima Imana! 2014 annual praise rally on August 17 to thank God for what Rwanda is today.