About two years ago, I had an interview for a scholarship that was available to students with my major (Theology). If one "passed" the interview, they were accepted to receive financial support from the Southern Baptist Association. Accepting the scholarship meant many things. One thing is, you are to serve the Southern Baptist Church for five years after you graduate (or serve the Lord in some form, supporting the Baptist church) and you are to attend seven meetings a semester. These meetings are both International Mission Board and Minister Association meetings. Every time we meet together, the Lord reveals Himself in so many ways. I cannot recall one meeting that did not draw me closer to the Father's heart. Today was no exception. My friend JP shared his life with us, to kick off the IMB meetings.
There was a movie released in 2004 called Hotel Rwanda. There is a big chance you saw it or heard of it. The movie was filled with horrific scenes, chaotic circumstances and terrible endings. To bring awareness to the situation in Rwanda, the movie was very specific with details and excused modesty.
Imagine being in Rwanda is 1994. Really use your imagination now. There are two people groups dominating the land. The minority being Tutsis and the majority being the Hutu people. Power is being passed back and forth between both groups. After the death of a leader, all of the Hutus (majority) decide to kill the Tutsis (minority). The Hutus make EVERY effort to kill every single Tutsi left. The goal is to end the life of every Tutsi in order that Hutus will be the only people left. This is more than imagination. This happened. My friend JP was a Tutsi. He was separated from his mother and father & brothers and sisters. His family split up into three groups. His dad sent JP, one of his brothers and one of his sisters to escape on their own; his mom went off with other siblings and his dad did the same. Before he knew it, he was separated from his family completely. Every where he went, there was someone coming after him to kill him. He hid in the bush, found refuge in local churches, spent nights hiding out in abandoned houses and remained homeless without family. JP watched the Hutu people kill his brother and sister. He managed to escape. After years of running and running from the Hutu people, he was safe to settle down. The orphanages were full; this left him with no where to go. He remained homeless. Eventually orphanages were opened specifically for people like JP and he had a home for a few years. Because of need of space, he was not able to stay past the age of 14. This is when he started a life of his own with another surviver. JP started playing volleyball and went to high school. Schools from the U.S. came to recruit him to be on their team. He ended up in the United States and went to three different schools, learning english for the first time. His goal was to make it to the NBA. Before coming to the United States, he had not played basketball. In order to receive the scholarship he needed, he worked so hard to become an amazing basketball player. This he is! The University of Mobile found him, helped him receive the surgery he needed for his knee and offered him a full-ride. Because of his desire to finish his education, he said yes to this small Baptist "country" school that he had never heard of before. JP said at UM he feels loved by family for the first time since he lost his, blessed to be surrounded by godly people and most of all protected by God. Hallelujah.
JP is an amazing friend that I cherish. His love is always extended to me perfectly from the Father. Since the first time that I met him, he has recognized me as a daughter of the King and always calls out the godly qualities he sees in me. There are not many people like JP. His testimony of God's provision is amazing. He knows the grace of God and lives from that grace. By God's grace and provision, he is still alive.
His story has been on my heart today.
Think about all that God has done for you. Rejoice in the life that has been given to you today! Enjoy life & life abundant!!! Enjoy God.
Thankful for: LIFE.