Lessons from Rwanda
"I know there is a God, because in Rwanda I shook hands with the devil. I have seen him, I have smelt him and I have touched him. I know the devil exists and therefore I know there is a God!"
Shake Hands With the Devil
These are the words of Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, the Commander of the United Nations Mission to Rwanda (UNIMIR). His book, Shake Hands With the Devil (which has also been made into a dramatic film), documents the unfolding catastrophe, and as he puts it in the subtitle of his book: "The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda."
20 Years Ago
As the people of Rwanda soberly reflect on the holocaust which was unleased upon them 20 years ago, April/May 1994, there are still compelling questions which demand answers.
Who Won the War and Who Initiated the Peace?
As South Africa marked 20 years since the first one-man–one-vote elections in South Africa, we have been subjected to an extraordinary amount of propaganda, inverting reality and rewriting history. If one was to believe films like Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom, and take at face value pronouncements by politicians and news commentary and documentaries on SATV, it would appear that the ANC won the war and were gracious and merciful to their defeated enemies.
In fact, the reverse is true. There can be no doubt that the South African Defence Force won the war. As a military force, the ANC's Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) was a failure. So too was the Pan African Congress' (PAC) APLA. Yes, they managed some high profile terrorist attacks, such as the Church Street bombing and the St. James Church Massacre, but they were never able to defeat the SADF in battle. In fact they could only operate as terrorist movements, planting landmines, limpet mines, suitcase bombs, car bombs, engaging in necklace murders and assassinations.
The Missionary Roots of Freedom and Prosperity
The Health of Nations
Sociologist Robert Woodberry of the Political Science Department of the University of Singapore has created a sensation in academia by publishing the results of his 14-year long study on the health of nations. Woodberry's conclusion is that Protestant Missionaries laid the foundations for democracy around the world. He identifies as the most significant factor in standards of living, literacy, political freedoms, women's rights, life expectancies, productivity and prosperity - the effect of Missions in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Fruit of the Greatest Century of Missions
For Missiologists, this is hardly news. The first World Missions Conference at Edinburgh, in 1910 presented overwhelming evidence for just that. My book: The Greatest Century of Missions, published in 2002, made the same observations.
Muslims are Coming to Christ
Despite intense peer pressure and violent persecution, millions of Muslims are being drawn to Faith in Jesus Christ. In "A Wind in the House of Islam, how God is Drawing Muslims around the World to Faith in Jesus Christ", Missiologist David Garrison documents 82 historic Muslim movements to Christ, each of which consist of at least a thousand baptisms, or one hundred new church plants over a two decade period.
In one Arab nation, an Islamic book publisher, Nasr, was brought to Christ through satellite Evangelism broadcasts. Nasr then started a local ministry, that in one year, baptised 2,800 individuals.
Livingstone 200 Mission
It was quite a contrast from my first visit to Livingstone in Zambia. In 1987 I had been arrested and abused. The Frontline Mission team I was leading had been arrested at Kazangulu after refusing to bribe Zambian officials. After an excruciating day and night of abuse at the hands of the Zambian security forces, we were thrown into filthy cells where the overpowering stench was nauseating. After a night of being attacked by swarms of mosquitos, my skin had been turned into relief maps of angry red bumps and bites. Then blindfolded and shackled, we were taken to Lusaka where weeks of interrogations and incarceration followed. That was October 1987, when Zambia was a one-party dictatorship under Kenneth Kaunda's UNIP. Their official policy was socialist humanism.