Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

It's past my bedtime. Well past. But sleep won't come easily tonight. I finally got to see "Hotel Rwanda" with Mark, Paul, Jack, and Bill. It's not the kind of movie you walk away from and forget. This genocide is recent history. It happened while we lived in Abilene. Nearly a million people were hacked to death in Rwanda while the world turned its eyes the other way. (As one journalist explained in the movie, people will see it on t.v., they'll be upset, and then they'll go on with their meals.) Remember how so many churches rented out theaters to watch "The Passion of the Christ?" I wish we had done this with "Hotel." And instead of encouraging people to read the latest tripe on the Christian distributors' best-seller list, we ought to beg people to read Philip Gourevitch's We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda. Genocide is still happening in Africa--in Darfar (Sudan) and in the Congo. AIDS has ravaged whole populations of parents. Malaria and other diseases continue to take their toll. And starvation is a real possibility for nearly half the population of the continent. So tonight is a night for prayer and for wondering what this means for my life.

12 Comments:

  • i just happened to be browsing blogs tonight and came across yours.

    i totally agree with you about hotel rwanda. it is easily one of the best movies i've seen in the past 5 years or so. I admit I didn't see Ray, but I really don't think there could've been a better actor's performance this year than was performed by Don Cheadle. I also saw the ebert and roeper say that the movie was one of their favorites.

    The movie could've easily been exploitive and overdone, but the subject matter though heart wrenching and emotional it was presented in an intelligent and thoughtful manner.

    just my two cents.

    By Blogger Rhomea, at 3/08/2005 10:35:00 PM  

  • I'm right there with you on all of the above, Mike. I'm glad you finally got to see it. You must be visiting a "selected city"! :-)

    By Blogger Matt Elliott, at 3/09/2005 07:02:00 AM  

  • Mike, Gourevitch's account of the genocide in Rwanda should be a must read for everybody, especially Christians. I was glad to feel educated and informed about what happened, but my biggest response was one of guilt. Since we know Jesus said "I was hungry, and you didn't feed me and I was thirsty and you didn't give me anything to drink", is it that big of a jump to hear him saying "I was about to be murdered in a very tortuous manner, and you did nothing to help me"? I don't see that being far fetched at all. Therefore, the guilt. I can hear someone responding, "well, I didn't KNOW about it until it was over". Who's fault is that? I bet they knew about much more trivial things that were going on.
    I bet I did too.

    My response is three very specific prayers. The first is to ask for forgiveness. The second is to pray that God will change the hearts of anyone who wants to participate in this level of hate.
    And lastly, I pray that God will give me the ability to know about situations like this and have the courage to act to help prevent them.

    Thanks for this post, Mike. Rwanda is a deer in the head lights moment for all of us.

    By Blogger David U, at 3/09/2005 07:05:00 AM  

  • Amen Mike!
    Your post reminds me of a quote from Edmund Burke:

    "All that is neccessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

    I hope your post encourages many to see Hotel Rwanda and read Gourevitch's powerful book.

    By Blogger TKP, at 3/09/2005 08:53:00 AM  

  • Jana and I saw it. It was a great lead into the 1st Chapter Mere Discipleship. Picked up Gourevitch's at the public library last week, will start on it this weekend.

    Aids is going to wipe out Africa. There is going to be millions of orphans and we are spending billions on a war to drive our cars. Sorry.

    By Blogger happytheman, at 3/09/2005 10:01:00 AM  

  • Yes, I can see a movie and feeling guilty, but the question is what can we do to make a diiference? Does anyone have any suggestions?

    By Blogger spot, at 3/09/2005 12:27:00 PM  

  • If Rwanda had oil reserves like Somalia then maybe....

    By Blogger Arlene Kasselman, at 3/09/2005 12:28:00 PM  

  • Spot,
    I would encourage you do look into supporting Fair Trade products where more of the money goes directly to third-world farmers instead of the "middleman" businesses. Right now, Fair Trade coffee is available at most grocery stores and also at Starbucks. Also, if you're interested in stopping further genocide in Sudan, you could contact your congressmen and senator to tell them to support the Darfur Accountability Act. The US basically did nothing during Rwanda. We should never let such inhumanity repeat itself.

    By Blogger TKP, at 3/09/2005 05:06:00 PM  

  • Here is where you can find the address of your Senators and Congressmen letter can make a difference.

    Nicholas Kristof is a columnist for the NY Times, and he has made it personal mission to write about the atrocities in Darfur. To read Nicholas Kristof's article please go here.
    To read Bono's recent editorial concerning Africa go here

    By Blogger J-Wild, at 3/11/2005 01:29:00 PM  

  • this is so difficult; and no one has easy answers. I wrote about this in my blog that I just started. I made suggestions related to refugees -- something that we can do a great deal about as we show hospitality to the foreigner, widow, and/or orphan that comes to this land for refuge and a start-over.

    www.urbanekklesia.blogspot.com

    By Blogger Jared, at 3/12/2005 01:35:00 PM  

  • Been trying to comment for days!

    My political views may vary from many of the commentors here. I do think it is good to be politically vocal and active. That said, I feel as Christians we should do more than pass the buck to our government. Why is it that so many times when we see injustice in the world we want the almighty US government to "fix" it?
    I think as Christian communities it is our responsibility to lead by example and organize and send our own releif to the poor, raise funds for AIDS research, and yes let our government know what we feel is important. BUT it isn't just a problem for governments to solve.
    I would like to see more action on plans where individual churches and communites target areas, such as the Sudan, and really work towards impacting the lives of the inviduals in that area. How do we do that?

    By Blogger SG, at 3/13/2005 07:51:00 AM  

  • Hotel Rwanda is too narrow in scope.

    Please buy or rent the Frontline documentary "Ghosts of Rwanda"

    By Blogger Chris Ewing, at 3/15/2005 05:55:00 AM  

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