Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | August 27, 2018

Remarkable Rwanda

I am visiting Rwanda for the first time and I am beyond impressed. Of all the countries I have visited on the African continent, Rwanda is by far the cleanest and, I must add, beautiful. From the manicured streets of Kigali to the dirt roads leading to countless villages, I was hard-pressed to see a single piece of litter.

Rwanda’s cleanliness is not something that happened by accident. Rather it is a testimony to the visionary and intentional leadership of President Paul Kagame. My friend and host David Leatherwood explained that there are mandatory days on which all Rwandans participate in cleaning the streets and beautifying their surroundings.

This among other initiatives has resulted in a pristine environment as well as social and economic reconstruction that has set Rwanda on a successful course into the future. Rwandan’s are consciously committed to building a better Rwanda — by eliminating one piece of litter at a time and more.

What makes all this even more remarkable is that only twenty-four years ago, Rwanda descended into the tragedy of genocide. Hollywood movies like “Hotel Rwanda” tell the story of how Rwanda became hell on earth as the majority Hutu people engaged in the slaughter of the Tutsi. Earlier today we had lunch at Hôtel des Mille Collines, the real Hotel Rwanda.

The saddest part of this slice of Rwanda’s long history is that upwards of half a million people lost their lives. So, for Rwanda to have made such strides from the hell of genocide to the Rwanda of today is indeed remarkable. I am still trying to process it all. I can name no other city that I have visited on this continent that even comes close to what I have seen in Kigali.

Our primary focus this week is to help our friends the Leatherwoods to prepare for the launch of their new mountain biking expeditions business — a platform they will harness to bring the beauty of Jesus to the hearts of Rwandans along the Congo-Nile Trail. Located along Lake Kivu in Rwanda’s wildest corner, this trail is a bucket list destination for mountain bikers from around the world.

We have spent the past two days assembling mountain bikes and getting things ready for the launch of their business. Papers have been filed with the government. Things are in motion. We will also spend a couple of days bike-packing to villages along a portion of this epic 141-mile off the beaten path trail. This will help David to plan the various riding options he will offer as a part of his business.

My friends Jay and James and I still have a lot to do in our remaining time here. We trust that God will use this new initiative to reach into the hearts of people who still remember what it was like to see the ugliness of hell unleashed on their country.

We want for all the people groups in Rwanda to know that Jesus always offers something better — better then death, better than violence, better then hatred, better than genocide. He alone can transform hearts and lives into something remarkably beautiful. Along with our friends the Leatherwoods, we long for the day when His beauty will be reflected in the hearts of all Rwandans.


  1. Wow, complete goosebumps…what a moving testimonial to what God is doing in Rwanda. Thank you for this hands on, birdseye, upclose view.

    • 🙂 Excited to be here to see what is happening. Thanks for reading and for your comment.

    • Thanks for following our journey, Linda.

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