Sunday, January 23, 2005

hotel rwanda

Some friends and I just finished watching Hotel Rwanda at a local theatre. At this point in time, I don't think I have anything else to say about the movie except, "Wow!". This movie was incredible in so many ways.

First, cinemagraphically, it was very well made with great acting and without a hint of the cheese most see in independent films. I'm not sure if I expecting something cheesy, but independent films normally aren't that well made (i.e. Left Behind). I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the quality of the movie. It was simple cinematography, but it was very well done.

Second, the story line and plot were incredible. It is based in Rwanda just before and during the Civil War and genocide that happened there in the 1990's. We see the stupidity of racism. We see the inaptitude and callousness of the West, especially the United Nations. We see what one man can do when he cares and acts upon his compassion.

The story is a true biography of one man who managed a hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. When the fighting starts, he begins to allow Tutsi refugees (the object of genocide to the Hutu majority) into the hotel. Facing war, the loss of family members, and nearly 1300 refugees taking up residence, the man attempts to live life as best as he can.. The main character used everything he could to safeguard the lives of not only his family, but also those who lived within the hotel grounds now. One man giving all he had to save the lives of those whom he didn't even know. He didn't plan for it to happen, but when the cards were dealt, he did as best as he could. When the pressure is up...that's when the true character of a man shines through.

How different would the world be if Christians had that kind of sense of sacrifice? What would it be like if all who called Christ their Lord would give up all in order to safeguard the lives and souls of others? All around us, people are dead. We have life to give to them...only we actually have to talk to them. We have to go to them. We have to befriend them. We have to sacrifice time, money, health, safety, security, life.... I don't know what God would have us sacrifice to preach the gospel to all people of all nations, but He is calling us to do something and sacrifice all for His sake.

Is God calling us all to Africa? Probably not. He is probably not calling all of us to the international mission field, but he may. What He is calling us to is a daily taking up of our cross, walking with Him and sharing life to those we come in contact with at work, school or at home. We have opportunities every day to befriend those who are undesirable to man but loved by God. We have opportunities to meet needs in ways we could not even imagine.

As I've thought about all of this, I've made a decision. I'm going to let my life be a hotel rwanda where people are safe, helped and will hear words of life spoken through audible and physical voices. Perhaps that is something we should all do. With enough hotels, no one would be left outside.

What does this entail? I have no idea. I'm just going to live life as God has intended and when opportunities and even crises appear...I'm just gonna act. When new cards are dealt, I'm gonna do as best as I can. In reality, it is not any of us who do it. It is God and God alone. We are just vessels. God's asking for a heart that is willing to love and to sacrifice. He'll take care of the rest.

My friends, let us all be hotel rwandas, willing to risk everything in order that some may come to know Christ and find true life in Him. If not total sacrifce, then how much? The Apostle Paul was willing to even give up His election in Christ for his kinsmen. Let us have this same attitude. We can never lose our salvation, but let us be willing to give up all in order that some might be saved!
I am speaking the truth in Christ--I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit--that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. --Romans 9:1-3

until Christ is formed in us...


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