I’ve written previously about Carl Wilkens, the only American to stay in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide:
- Adventist Today interview
- AU Summit on Social Consciousness
- God’s Compassion through and for Humanity
Today I finally read his book, I’m Not Leaving (2011). It’s powerful. Very moving. It’s a testimony to the heroes he collaborated with over those dangerous and uncertain months as he worked to bring food, water and medicine to orphans and others in Kigali. Where was God throughout the bloodshed? We are invited to see God in the lives of these people who cared for others regardless of personal risk.
I appreciated that Wilkens allowed characters to be complex. Murderers help those stuck on the side of the road, while a volunteer who passes out aid is a local leader of the genocide. We are complex and mysterious creatures!
For me this has been an adventurous week of reading (oxymoron?)–first John Weidner, now Carl Wilkens. These two Adventists served humanity in the gravest of crises; however, even after both extreme periods had passed, they continue(d) to serve–Weidner through the church, Rotary Intl, and other organizations, and Wilkens through World Outside My Shoes. Interestingly, Weidner died in May of 1994, in the middle of the Rwandan genocide; the torch had been passed.
Look for this 40-minute documentary coming some time this year: