Thursday, February 17, 2011

You're Going Where?!

There is a traditional proverb, referring to the beauty of Rwanda, that says "When God wanders the world, at the end of the day He comes to Rwanda to sleep because he considers this to be the most beautiful place on earth."

Tell me about this magical country, you ask.

Oh, you didn't ask that?

You wanna know if it's safe?

Ok, well, let me (and google) try appease both of us. Feel free to scan...

Rwanda, located in east central Africa, is the world's 148th-largest country; slightly smaller than the state of Maryland. The population is young, and predominantly rural, with a density amongst the highest in Africa. It lies a few degrees south of the Equator and is landlocked, but has many lakes. Mountains dominate the center and west, while the east consists of savanna, plains, and swamps. The climate is temperate due to the high elevation.

Most Rwandans are Christian, but there have been significant changes since the genocide in 1994 with many conversions to Evangelical Christian faiths and Islam.

Kinyarwanda, English and French are all official languages with Kinyarwanda the language of government and English the primary educational medium.

Rwanda is a poor rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in agriculture. The 1994 genocide decimated Rwanda’s fragile economic base, severely impoverished the population, particularly women, and temporarily stalled the country’s ability to attract private and external investment. Though Rwanda has made substantial progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy to pre-1994 levels, a majority still live below the poverty line of 250 Rwandan francs per day (about $0.43).

The successes of rebuilding and reconciliation post-genocide are in no small part due to the vision of President Paul Kagame, A lanky and soft-spoken man, President Kagame has an unassuming yet imposing presence. He is thoughtful, and presents a clear vision for Rwanda. Reputed to read the Harvard Business Review regularly, he believes in economic development as the key to reducing poverty and advancing Rwanda. “We are not in position to turn down aid, but we know that aid is not end in itself. Trade is undoubtedly more important.” He is critical of what he calls the culture of dependency in Rwanda. “There is a tendency to blame others for what happened. But this will not work. We need to find a way move forward for ourselves. We need to work to develop a culture of integrity, peace, and hard work. People may not think this can be done. But let’s show them what is possible, and then do it.”

That's pretty good for now.

I know some of you are thinking, I didn't really address the issue of safety. I searched the internet and found this:

Rwanda is among the safest places to walk around in Africa. It is also one of the cleanest, with its people committed to helping clean up the country through an enforced ban on plastic bags and a mandatory national work day every two weeks.

I also searched the Bible and found this:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

One of God's most common commands in the Bible is “do not fear.” Just as God told Joshua, He also told this to everyone from Abraham in the Old Testament to Zacharias in the New Testament. He shared this command with Isaac, Jacob, Hagar, Rachel, Moses, Gideon, Elijah, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Peter, Paul, Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. All of them faced fears and all of them were commanded by God not to be afraid.

I appreciate your concern and your prayers. 

I am not afraid.



Nicole said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!

tara said...

Thank you, Nicole!! That means so much, especially coming from a super-blogger, like you! :)

Tiffanie Marie said...

Mmmmm makes me miss this place! I love this!

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