Award-winning songwriter and worship leader Darlene Zschech and her husband Mark announced last week the launch of a project that unites Christian leaders and churches worldwide for 100 days in a joint effort to bring “the God-answer to the people of Rwanda” this year.
The project, called Hope Rwanda: 100 Days of Hope, was founded by Mark and Darlene Zschech of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, and will run this year from Apr. 7 to July 15. During these 100 days, hundreds of Christians from around the world will “help turn that nation’s horror into long-term hope.”
"We are excited about God's heart for this nation," said Darlene Zschech in a press statement. "We sense the call of Heaven to host Hope Rwanda and are confident that as we gather the strength of the global Church to serve this great nation in need, we will see it changed at its core forever.”
This year marks the 12th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that killed over one million people in the short span of 100 days. During that time, the capital city of Kigali “ran red with rivers of blood" as 10,000 innocent men, women, and children died each day, 400 each hour, and seven each minute, according to figures published by Aegis Trust for the Kigali Memorial Centre.
Despite this, there was no international intervention in Rwanda or forces that came to help stop the massacre. Instead, news reports referred to the genocide as “tribal warfare” or another “third world” incident.
As a result, the Rwandans themselves call the 100 days of genocide, “the time the world forgot us.”
Hope Rwanda will coincide exactly with the 100 days of genocide, Apr. 7 – July 15, and has the support of many of the world’s foremost Christian humanitarian organizations, bands, churches and Christian leaders including: Compassion, Bible Society, Samaritan’s Purse, Hillsong Church, Joyce Meyer Ministries, Rick Warren and Saddleback Church, Bill Hybels and Willowcreek Church, Hillsong United, Third Day, and Delirious.
Churches and Christian organizations will coordinate many projects and events over the 100-day period, including evangelistic outreaches in the national stadium and in outlying regions, leadership training, worship seminars, business seminars, prison outreaches, ten days of youth impact, building projects, medical projects, education projects, and humanitarian projects.
Book of Hope, an Assemblies of God ministry that distributes Scriptural storybooks for children, will distribute 2.2 million copies of its book to over 2,800 schools during the 100 day period, while the Bible Society and African Enterprise are planning to launch a HIV/AIDS literacy program and home care program that have proven successful in Uganda and Kenya.
Compassion will help to sponsor 1,000 Rwandan children by July 2006.
Hope Rwanda is a global effort designed to bring hope to the nation the world seemingly forgot during the nation’s time of greatest need.
“It’s about the Church working together and having a major impact,” declared Mark Zschech.
“Join us as we work together, to serve Rwanda and its future generations with the Hope of Christ,” he added. “We serve the potential of this great nation. This is our chance to rewrite history.”