During the genocide in Rwanda, 90 percent of the people claimed to be Christians. We don’t want to see that happen again. We did some work in Uganda a few years ago between two tribes, both of which profess to be Christian. It was a situation very similar to Rwanda. After Idi Amin left Uganda, his armories were unguarded, and 14-year-old kids got AK-47s, and 50,000-100,000 people were killed in cattle raids.
A missionary seeing this bloodshed contacted her church in Portland, Oregon, for help. A team trained through our Peacemaker resources went to Uganda and trained 20 pastors from the two tribes. They went on to train warriors, women, and elders. Eventually the two tribes called for a reconciliation meeting in the valley between them, which had been abandoned as a war zone. Some 2,500 people walked 15 miles from both directions to participate.
The gospel was preached and a revival occurred with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The people decided not only to make peace but to live together. They have now planted 60 villages of peace in that war-torn valley, 11,000 people have relocated, and truckloads of weapons have been taken away.
When visitors to the area asked, “What happened? How did you do this?” a woman who had been a catalyst for the reconciliation kept saying, “It’s the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
So whether the conflict is between a husband and wife or two warring tribes, the peacemaking principles remain the same. And church leaders committed to peacemaking will see it spill over into other areas.