I walked by thousands of cracked skulls in Rwanda. My mind raced as I gazed at the skulls knowing that every skull had a tragic story. Some were parents. Some were children. Some were babies. Some had suffered horrible beatings. Some had been raped by the rebels. Some had their limbs severed. Some were set on fire. Whoever they were they had all suffered and died due to the Genocide Hell that took place in Rwanda 15 years ago. A Hell that lasted 100 days and took the live of 1 million people while the rest of the world turned its head away and did nothing to intervene.
This is a story about 15 of those skulls
A man named Charles welcomed us as we entered an old Catholic Church. During the genocide many had fled to this church hoping that it would be a place of safety. 20,000 Tutsi crammed into this building with one thing on their mind, SURVIVAL. Unfortunately only seven of them survived the Hell that was unleashed on them. The clothes of the 20,000 victims were left in the church as a memorial reminder of what had taken place there. I couldn't help but wander if Charles was just a tour guide or if he had actually witnessed this massacre.
Charles later opened up to us and told us that he was in the church with 15 of his relatives when the rebels broke into the building with grenades. When the church got word that the rebels were coming. His mother gathered the family and said that it would be best for each of them to separate themselves to increase the odds of survival. Charles' older brother told him that when people are killed that their blood would flow to towards the front of the church and that it would be best for him to lie down in the blood if he was going to survive.
The rebels surrounded the church and broke into a small room with grenades. The room was the same one in which his mother was hiding. Charles saw the rebels take her life. The men then began their rampage slaughter. They were killing ruthlessly. They began to line people up in the back of the church. They cut off limbs and began to wave them high in the air as an act of saying 'goodbye your all going to die' to everyone. They also began to decapitate individuals as a spectacle for all the survivors to see. They would then throw the decapitated heads of the victims into the crowd of youth while shouting, "Who wants to play football?". They cut babies from the wombs of women and swung children by the feet crushing their heads against the wall to kill them. They declared that the Tutsi tribe were nothin more than rats and cockroaches as a means to justify their actions. They mocked, the slaughtered, they raped, they killed.
Charles continued to lay in a puddle of blood and witnessed the slaughter of his entire family. The only exception being his older brother. His brother was also playing dead at the front of the church. However, Charles' brother decided to move closer to Charles when the guards weren't looking. But a killer saw him move and took his life right in front of Charles.
For three days and three night Charles laid in that puddle of blood. During one of the nights Charles snuck out of the building and ran to the swamps. Only seven out of the 20,000 people survived. All 15 of his relatives died. He was now an orphan. He was only eight years old.
Charles doesn't not know why God chose him, but he feels that his story needs to be told as an attempt to make Genocide History...forever.
I purposely left the story graphic so that readers would know the extent of the horrible things that happen in our world...TODAY. We can't live as if we don't know this stuff exist and if we don't know this stuff exist we must become aware. The world is so full of NEEDS and so many of us live in a life of WANTS. What if all we WANTED was meet the NEEDS of the World. Imagine the impact we could have. May God propel us to action to be the love of Christ and to proclaim the life saving grace of Jesus to all.