I made a new friend in the heart of Africa!

My recent 2-week journey to FOUR different countries in Africa was a wake-up call for sure!
I also made a new friend, and his name was HELGE!

Kigali, a beautiful city looking like a park!

I have so much I could share with you from my 2-week trip to Africa recently.  So much it is hard to know where to start.  However, I am tempted to start by sharing some impressions from the city of Kigali, the capital of a small country known as Rwanda in the heart of Africa.

My friend Jan Ernst and I came to Kigali after having spent a few days in the capital of South Sudan, the city of Juba.  What a dramatic difference!  South Sudan of course is a new country, only less than one year old, and when coming to Juba we saw poverty and what simply looked like "hopeless" conditions everywhere.  However, ONE thing stood out in a rather significant way in the middle of all this poverty and "hopelessness":  The big number of very good looking, very expensive cars!

When I asked about this, our local friend pointed to all the big aid organizations operating in the city.  We saw their signs everywhere:  Unicef - UN - Oxfam - World Food Program and many many others! He told us:  All these cars are bought by all these organizations, who equip hundreds of their employees with those expensive cars you see everywhere!

Hmmm..?  This made me think?  Is this how much of the money is spent donated to those organizations by millions of people in the USA and Europe?

Since Rwanda was included in our travel plans, I was also told about one of the first this that the president of this country did when he came into power:  He asked ALL those same big aid-organizations to pack up and leave his country immediately!

This fact was therefore very much in my mind when coming to Rwanda.

Welcome to the country of Rwanda!

Arriving at the airport and going through customs, we were greeted on the other side by the father of three children.  His two 3-year old twins and their much older sister.  I am sure you can understand my surprise when I was told that the boy was named HELGE!  I never thought in my wildest imagination that it would be possible to find a black, 3-old boy in the heart of Africa named Helge!

But there he was smiling at me and welcoming me to Rwanda!  His sister was also a joy to look at and we all quickly became friends.  And when later visiting the Genocide Center in Kigali, pictures was taken of me and these children.  More on this later.

However, when sitting in the car driving from the airport into the city, we saw something we had NEVER expected to see:  Everywhere we looked we felt like we were driving through the most beautiful park!  Beautiful flowers, nicely cut bushes and trees EVERYWHERE!  And in strong contrast to the other places I have been to in Africa, this place was so incredibly CLEAN!  In fact, we noticed that a lot of people, mostly woman, was busy everywhere keeping the place clean!  And most people was smiling and was so happy.

And not a sign of any aid organizations anywhere!  Wow!  There must be message in this somewhere? President Paul Kagame, who was elected president of Rwanda in the year 2000, wanted the people of his country to learn how to take care of themselves, and he has been extremely successful in doing so.

Almost one million people where slaughtered in Rwanda in 1994.

Unfortunately, Rwanda has become famous for the horrible genocide which took place in this country in 1994, when almost 1 million people was killed and just plain slaughtered in one of the most horrific mass killings in human history!  Can you imagine that this happened from the beginning of April that year and lasted until the end of June.

During a period of less then 3 months, more than 10.000 people were killed every day!  Every hour, 24 hours a day, almost 500 men, woman and small children, just like Helge, was brutally killed by an army of plain evil and brutal killers, who massacred them using guns, big knives and swords!  Some people may find it hard to believe there is a God when something like this takes place, but should not believing in Satan then be much easier?

One thing is for sure:  When I walked through the official Kigali Genocide Memorial Center minutes after the pictures was taken of me and Helge and his sister Esther, and seeing pictures of lots of other 3 years old children having been killed, I knew there was a Satan, but I still felt the love of God!

So ask yourself:  Where does EVIL come from, - and where does LOVE come from?

Kenya, South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda, - I am coming back!

After the first 24 hours in Kigali in Rwanda, I said to my friend Jan Ernst:  

"This is a place I actually would enjoy living my life!"

There is something unique, something very special with Africa these days.  I left with such a strong impression that I was leaving the future!  Africa has fantastic resources!  And its people are turning their back on evil and they are embracing love and God  like never before.  And THAT might in the years ahead become their number one most significant resource!

Compare this to Europe.  A continent on the brink of being pushed off the cliff.  A continent being very short of resources compared to most African nations.  And most of all, a continent where God is almost absent and love is very cold.

Africa:  I am coming back!  Helge:  Be proud of who you are and I pray to God that you will be able to grow up becoming a leader in your wonderful nation of Rwanda!

Best regards from
Helge Normann