Tag Archives: genocide survivor

30 Days of Thankful: Day 4

Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits (Psalm 103:2).

Thankful. Just one little word printed in small letters across the front of the woman’s t-shirt.  But for some reason, it caught my attention. I think it was the period at the end of what wasn’t even a sentence. Thankful. I guess you could read it this way: “Thankful, period.” I would like that to be me. I’m thankful. Period.

But I have to confess. Sometimes I am less than thankful. Perhaps it’s because I’m not paying attention to all the blessings in my path. Or maybe I take God’s benefits for granted.

I was jolted out of this spiritual lethargy by something a friend from Africa once said when speaking to our church gathering. He was a genocide survivor from Burundi and had seen more death and destruction than I could begin to comprehend. “Do you have all your arms and legs—your limbs?” he asked us. “Then you are blessed!” “Do you have your eyes, your sense of hearing, your ability to speak?” “Then praise God and give Him thanks. Rejoice and count your amazing blessings!” he exclaimed. From his perspective, it was an incredible blessing simply to be alive. Healthy. Not maimed by war. Reasons to rejoice! Continue reading

my heroes of hope

Have you ever faced a trial so painful you couldn’t endure the weight of it? The enemy taunts you with lies whispered in the dark:  God is not even listening to your prayers.  Why else would He seem so silent?  When all seems hopeless, I find encouragement from believers who have passed through the furnace and come forth with faith shining.  Their stories inspire me to hold onto my hope. I want to share one such story with you.

I met Ange during one of my first missions trips to Rwanda and Burundi. Most everyone I encountered was a genocide survivor with a hard story to tell. But it was Ange’s journey of agony-turned-into-hope that gripped my soul. Continue reading