My Impressions of Rwanda

Rwanda is a beautiful country, breathtaking.  The hills were the first thing that struck me.  It was not at all like I imagined the landscape in any part of Africa to be, green and lush. I found it impossible to take a photo that captured the beauty.
Ashley Jones Performance at the National University of rwanda
Ashley Jones Performance at the National University of rwanda

Rwanda is a beautiful country, breathtaking.  The hills were the first thing that struck me.  It was not at all like I imagined the landscape in any part of Africa to be, green and lush.

I found it impossible to take a photo that captured the beauty.

There was something about the depth of the hills and how they all rolled together that did not come through in the photographs.

I have seen beauty all over the world, but there’s something special about this land and its thousand hills. 
I have journeyed from America to Rwanda three times now.

With each visit my knowledge of Rwanda’s history has increased and my understanding of the past has deepened.

Though I know it would take a lifetime to truly grasp it all.  And even then there would be parts even the sharpest of minds could not explain.  All the tragedy and devastation of genocide among a people who now live in peace seems unfathomable.

But I have seen the scars and listened to the stories of chaos and catastrophe.  And at the same time I have felt love like I have never felt before.

And I have seen hope here in the laughter of the children, in the dedication to higher learning on the campus of the National University, and in the stories of forgiveness that have allowed a once war-torn country to move on and look to a future with so much possibility. 

The hills are beautiful, yes, but it is the beauty I found within those hills that has changed my life forever.

The people of Rwanda have challenged me to love my neighbor to the highest degree.

They have showed me that hope exists no matter the circumstances.  And that peace is possible when you forgive. 

These discoveries are what brought me back to Rwanda this time.  I am a songwriter, and for years I’ve been writing songs about my life and my experiences.

I decided it was time to write about someone else.  It’s time to write about the people of Rwanda.  I have had the privilege of hearing some amazing testimonies during my time here.

And I look forward to listening to many more during the rest of my stay.

My hope is that the world will hear about the miraculous things happening in Rwanda as each person’s story is told in song.

And that with each song, those that listen would be challenged as I have by the supernatural hope that exists here, by the love that abounds and by the peace that surpasses understanding.

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