How to Share Your Faith Using Hotel Rwanda
Our society has made a habit of making heroes out of people based on physical abilities, intellect or fame. We place athletes, Hollywood stars, and musicians on pedestals and strive to be like them in the way we dress, talk, act and live. It is easy to let ourselves be duped into thinking if we could only look like them, play sports as well as them, or have as much money as them, we would have more friends. Yet sadly many times we become disillusioned and disappointed by the self proclaimed heroes and miss out on what really matters. The Bible says,
“This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” (John 15:13 message)
Would most of us sacrifice our own happiness or security for the good of another? Probably not. But let me tell you about one man who epitomizes this truth and has been overlooked as a real life Hero. His name is Paul Russesabagina. Paul never planned on becoming a hero, but surrendered everything, or put everything on the line if you will, for the sake of his family, friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers. The movie “Hotel Rwanda” takes place in 1994 during a mass genocide in the African city of Kigali Rwanda. The Hutu’s and the Tutsi’s were two differing groups with a deep rooted hatred for one another. Much like the Nazi’s refused to view the Jews as real people, the Hutu’s wanted to cleanse the country and the world of all the Tutsis. In less than one hundred days close to one million people were slaughtered by machine guns, machetes, and were burned out of their homes.
Paul Russesabagina managed an upscale hotel within the city called the Milles Collines which generally attracted rich tourists and important diplomats visiting the country. When the genocide began, Paul refused to accept the fact that anything bad could be happening. In fact, he did not want to believe it to be true because Paul was a Hutu and his wife Tatiana was a Tutsi. Nevertheless, the violence quickly escalated and Paul was forced to focus primarily on saving his family. Before time, people looked to Paul and his hotel as a refuge and came running for protection. Promptly the upscale hotel became a makeshift refugee camp, where Paul was obliged to become their only hope from the atrocities being committed outside the hotel walls. Paul used expensive liquor, jewelry, and cash to save more than 1200 people when all was said and done.
A few odd people came to the aid of these unfortunate victims, but the Africans rapidly came to learn that not many cared about their plight, especially the western world. In fact, one videographer from the United States, who wanted to share the images with the world said, “I think if people see this footage they’ll say, ‘oh my g**, how horrible,’ and they’ll go on eating their dinners.” The fact is that Rwanda was not the only place this happened, it is happening even as you read this. The country of Sudan Africa is faced with the same difficulties day in and day out, but often it goes on ignored.
- This leads to the first point and one of the main messages being portrayed by the Director, Terry George, and it is this: we have a responsibility to make a difference in a world where this magnitude of carnage happens daily in other parts of the world. The movie is made in such a way as to provoke deep feelings of guilt and anguish for those being silenced by violence and evil. It was made to shake us to the very core of who we are and who God calls us to be. It should drive us to impact the world with the hope of Jesus Christ. Each and every one of us is called to go into the world and make disciples. We have been equipped with the GOSPEL message for our friends and loved ones. If we are not able to show love and compassion to those who are hurting, who will? Moreover, if we do not reach out to those half a world away, who will? We are called to a higher standard, to give through the blessings God has bestowed upon us, and be a voice for those who do not have one. There is so much we can do, and it starts with being aware of the world we live in.
- Next, it means speaking up. We can write politicians and urge them to take action, and share within our circles of influence and schools what is happening. Maybe you can even do a fundraiser to help, which gives a great inroad to sharing your faith. It is always a huge testimony to people who are not believers when they see Christian’s reaching out to complete strangers. Last, but not least, you can pray for those undergoing constant persecution for their faith.
- Another great way you can use the movie “Hotel Rwanda” to witness to your friends and family is by bringing up the all too common question, “Why does God let bad things happen to good people?” You can use the GOSPEL Journey and discuss how we were all created by God, but sin separates us from God, yet Jesus paid the price for all of us to spend eternity in Heaven. Because sin is in the world, people make sinful choices and bad things happen. There are no certainties in our lives, therefore it is important to make the decision to follow Jesus Christ and have a right relationship with Him, no matter what happens. This is not a scare tactic to make your friends follow Jesus, it is simply the truth we face when we are a part of this world. Jesus is the only one who can offer peace and bring us through hardships. However, it is our prayer that you and your friends will never have to endure something as horrible as a mass genocide like the Tutsis of Africa, or the Southern Sudanese people, but that each person would choose Christ in the comfort of their daily lives. It is also important to realize we are incredibly blessed to live in such a great country, but we cannot forget those who are less fortunate. Another angle you could take would be to compare Paul with Jesus. Just like Paul gave up his comfort and happiness to save others from destruction, Jesus gave up His home in heaven and even His very life to save all of mankind from an eternity in hell. Jesus is the ultimate hero, and the best part is that He wants to have a relationship with us!
WARNING- This movie contains sensitive material and it is suggested you are 16 years or older to watch.