After the Holocaust, the entire world was in a state of utter shock.
Six million Jews . . . corralled together from across the nations and systematically wiped from the face of the earth. One of humanities darkest hours left an indelible mark on every man, woman, and child who was there to witness it. It was a disturbing realization that man was capable of every kind of evil imaginable.
We vowed that such a thing would never be allowed to happen again in the civilized world.
Then, in 1994, the nation of Rwanda became soaked in the blood of the innocent. In 100 days—only a fraction of the time the Nazi’s annihilated the Jews—almost 1 million Rwandans were murdered in cold blood.
That’s an average of nearly eight men, women, and children killed every minute . . . for nearly three months straight.
Some have asked why we spent the last 100 days talking about those moments of pure insanity that shook Rwanda to her core 20 years ago. The answer is simple: Because we must never, ever, forget.
Ever since the genocide, it has taken every day of the past two decades to help rebuild a nation that has been ripped apart by hatred.
There were thousands of orphaned children, victims of rape who had been infected with HIV, widows who had no support system, and an infrastructure that had been reduced to smoldering rubble.
In the blink of an eye, an entire public education system was destroyed. The economy was obliterated. Families were severed. Friendships were shattered.
All Rwanda had left was God Himself . . . and He has proven to be more than enough as a trembling people struggle to rise from the dead.
World Help has been privileged enough to play a role in rebuilding Rwanda—physically, emotionally, and spiritually over the past several years.
Homes have been built, schools have reopened, sponsorship programs are providing care for hundreds of orphaned children, vocational programs are equipping young men and women with careers to support themselves, co-ops are bringing former perpetrators and victims together to provide for their families, churches are rising up from the blood-stained ground, and forgiveness is relieving the burdens that many have shouldered for years.
There is still a great deal of work to be done . . . both in Rwanda and other nations being affected by genocide today.
At this moment, there are 43.7 million refugees and internally displaced people around the globe—people who have no home, no family, no country, no place of belonging . . . and as many as 80 percent of them are women and children.
They are families fleeing from violence and conflict, religious persecution, famine, food shortage, ethnic oppression, political instability, and tragically, genocide. The refugee crisis spans across continents, ethnicities, and political landscapes.
Over the past three years, 9 million Syrians have been uprooted from their homes as a result of the brutal civil war being waged within its borders. Christians have been specifically targeted for extermination. The fighting has spread into Iraq, where in a matter of weeks, over half a million people have been forced from their homes.
Instability in the Central African Republic has quickly spiraled into an ethno-religious civilian war. Sectarian Muslim and Christian militias have fought desperately for control—subjecting an entire nation to their malicious and self-serving power struggle. Millions of innocent people remain in grave danger.
I ask you today to join World Help in pledging “Never Again” to genocide, persecution, or any belief that results in the killing of the innocent.
History has been a brutal teacher . . . and will continue to be unless we choose to take a stand.
One of the best ways we can start is by rebuilding existing communities directly affected by genocide, like those we serve in Rwanda.
Another is to simply help us spread awareness of instances of genocide in our world today. If people continue to remain ignorant to the evil that is taking place, light will never be shed on injustice.
And finally, we ask you to continue to pray. Pray for God’s protection and provision for people affected by persecution and genocide. Pray for the resources to continue to come in so we can respond immediately with compassion. Pray for the Gospel to bring hope to people who are in deep despair. Pray for peace.
With one collective voice, and one unified prayer, let us be the ones who say . . . and continue to say . . . “Never Again.”