End of Year in AfricaEmmanuel | Thursday, December 30th, 2004 | Comments Off
I gave a tentative yes to the Dean, but told him that before a final commitment I needed to consult the ancestors back home, and get inspiration from mother Africa. So, in December, I traveled to Africa, first, to confer with my Ordinary (archbishop Emmanuel Wamala), and then onward to Rwanda, where I spent ten days. Ten years after the genocide, the memories, stories, bones and bodies of the genocide are still painfully fresh. As I visited genocide sites and listened to stories by survivors , I became more attentive to the wider story- the story of Rwanda, which formed Hutu and Tutsi identities. I was reminded how the stories that form our lives are ‘hidden’ – and to get to the violence and brokenness that marks the life of individuals, communities and nations, one must also engage these underlying stories. Otherwise, the church herself becomes simply an actor in this wider story of violence. But I also came to Rwandato discover signs of hope- ten years after the genocide. There were signs of hope: from the many weddings; to the faces of children; a genocide survivor providing hospitality to possible perpetrators; Chantal Mujjamawolo and her classmates – school children willing to die together rather than divide among Hutu and Tutsi.