One week ago, the tragic bus accident involving the Humboldt Broncos occurred. To date 16 people have died and 10 are still in the hospital with varying levels of injury.
As a small town girl from Canada... ok, I grew up on a farm! ... this hit close to home. Small town hockey teams were a part of my life and I spent many nights trying to keep warm 'in the barn.' My brothers played on multiple teams - mostly pick up and church hockey league and my youngest brother played Junior C and rode the bus all over southern Ontario.
The local Junior B team was one many aspired to and as a family, we spent many a wintery Friday night listening to or going to watch the Kitchener Ranger Junior A team.
Hockey is part of the fabric of Canadian life.
Pondering all this while living in Rwanda and seeing the outpouring of Canadian compassion and pride ... my heart swells. This is where I come ... hockey sticks put on the doorsteps, everyone sporting their favourite team jerseys and money being raised to help all in need.
It's not lost on me that this happened on the eve of April 6th.
Since 1994, on the eve of April 6th each year, the week of memorial starts in Rwanda - remembering 1 million people who were killed just because other people had been told by colonists that they were better than the others. It all happened in 100 days.
This means that there were 625 Humboldt crashes EVERY DAY for 100 days in a row.
Now I know that some may argue that what happened in Rwanda was 'brewing' for decades and that is true and I won't go into all the history. I will argue that many innocent lives were taken and all was unnecessary.
One story of many heroism stories I love, is the story of a girls school here where they came to kill and asked the classes to separate - Tutsi on one side and Hutu on the other ... and they refused to separate.
All of them lost their lives that day.
They make Rwanda proud to this day.
The day after the Humboldt crash, on April 7th, President Assad of Syria, ordered a chemical weapon to be used - the largest to date. Over 40 people were killed and 500+ needed medical attention.
I also know that Congo is in the worst state it has ever been and thousands are fleeing to safety.
Then there is Sudan, Central Africa Republic, most of Puerto Rico is still without power... and the list goes on...
What I ponder is ...
'Do Canadians really see the rest of the world?
Do they see the suffering?
Do they understand that what goes on in the world is not 'over there' or 'they had it coming to them' or 'they are uneducated peoples' but that we do indeed live in a world where all is connected in one way or another?
Do my fellow Canadian believers honestly seek out how God is calling them to be Jesus in response to what is happening around them - not just at home but to all people who are made in the image of God?
How are we loving our neighbour?
I know that from the response to Humboldt (which is overwhelming fantastic!), Canadians have it in them.
Let's take what has happened in the Humboldt community as a point in time to reflect and evaluate personally our global knowledge and impact and our response to it.