During my visit to Rwanda I had the most amazing experience during my first night there. I had to share a room with someone but I arrived earlier than my roommate. I was drowzing off when I heard someone knocking. I woke and opened the door (pretending to be wide awake!) The first word I heard was: “Oh God help me …. a white man!” I laughed and gave my great black brother from Africa a big hug. He was a big man with an even bigger smile. I could see the love of Christ in his eyes though. I said to him: “Hey brother don’t worry about my skin. I havent been in the sun that much this year. I am an African by birth and by choice.” (One of my favourite sayings.)

Only then I realized as we were in discussion that he was a Zulu from South Africa. I mean what is the chance of me meeting and sharing a room with a Zulu in the middle of Africa – Rwanda. His name is Reggie (or his real Zulu name Rev. Sakhele Makhubo) He shared his pain and what he had to go through in pre-Apartheid South Africa. I could sense the hurt and pain. He wasn’t bitter and joked about many of the terrible things he went through. He was well articilated and a great man of God. I listened quietly (and although I love to verbalize I could just listen and cry!) During our few days together we connected in a Godly way (I mean we were in Rwanda to converse in dialog about Reconciliation and Healing).

Our last night together changed my whole life! We sat on the bed getting ready to sleep (….. it was one o’clock). He took both my hands and said something astounding. He said: “Francois we have connected in a great way. I asked God to take me out of this room when I saw you the first night. You were white and a South African. I did’nt feel comfortable at all. I wanted to run!” And then he said with tears flowing: “Francois, I need you to need me!” I came as such a surprise because I always feel others need me – living and working in Mozambique with the poorest of the poor. He reached under his pillow and took out his wallet and handed me R100. Everything in me screamed “NO” – there must be other people out there who needed this more (and believe me there were others who needed it more in Rwanda!) God spoke to my heart with just a simple word “BE QUIET!” I accepted the R100 (it obviously was not about the money!)

Reggie himself did not have a lot of money. He himself was a poor preacher with a family in South Africa – Johannesburg. “Thank you that you excepted the money and showing me that you needed me”, he said. “In fact I am going to empy my whole wallet and give you all I have.”

He emptied his already empy wallet and gave me R400 to take with me for the work of God.
I could only cry and realized how we rob people of their selfworth. They need to feel needed.

Maybe you need to feel needed. Maybe your neighbour has the need to feel needed. Maybe it is your enemy who has the need to feel needed. As God to help you ….. to show you someone who has the need to feel needed. I came to Rwanda to give but God taught me the biggest lesson ever: “Make other people feel needed” – this will bring true reconciliation and healing.