“…we’ve got to recognize in each one of us, there’s such a potential for good and there’s such a potential for evil…”
– Carl Wilkens
I will never forget the first time I watched the 2004 PBS Frontline documentary, “Ghosts of Rwanda
“. Among the many horrific heartbreaking and gut-wrenching stories, listening to Carl Wilkens was incredibly inspirational. A missionary living in Rwanda before the genocide, he got his family to safety when danger became obvious, and then was the only American that chose to stay in Rwanda throughout the genocide. In 2009 I had the great privilege of participating in the Carl Wilkens Fellowship inaugural class and this gave me the great pleasure of meeting and getting to know Carl. Many lives were saved due to his compassionate and courageous decision to stay. A few years ago, one of my Facebook friends in Rwanda, someone I had never met in person, sent me a message after seeing me post something about Carl. The Facebook friend said, “He saved my life!” and I asked to hear the story that wound up giving me chills. I found out he was one of 200 hundred children in a Rwanda orphanage, surrounded by genocidaires armed with machetes, moments from being attacked and slaughtered. It was only by Carl’s quick thinking that they were saved. If you do not know this story, it is one of many worth hearing from Carl directly. Watch the video excerpt.
Also, the vegan & zero waste GWC Peace Conference is tomorrow. See details below. Living Ubuntu will be tabling so please come visit us. (In fact, I have not found a volunteer to help tend the table with me yet. Anyone interested?)
Carl and Teresa Wilkens
In 2004, noting the 10 year anniversary of the Rwanda genocide, PBS Frontline released, Ghosts of Rwanda. To this day I continue to feel it is one of the most exceptional documentaries I have ever seen, despite the fact that it is deeply disturbing to watch. This film was my first introduction to Carl Wilkens. Within the film’s horror, scenes featuring Carl are where the filmmakers remind us of our shared humanity and what a mixed deal that is. It is Carl that gives the viewer hope.
I posted a little clip from Ghosts of Rwanda recently on my Facebook page.
Already deeply moved from reviewing the film scene, I wasn’t at all prepared for what happened next. One of my Facebook friends lives in Rwanda and I knew he knows Carl, but I didn’t know the context. He saw the video clip about Carl on my page, and wrote to me how happy he was that Carl was arriving in Rwanda that week so he would be seeing him in person. We wrote back and forth a bit, and then he asked me, like in a oh-by-the-way-did-I-ever-mention tone, did I tell you I was in the orphanage he saved?