How IJM’s founder Gary Haugen responded as a Christian when confronted with genocide in Rwanda.
An interview with Bethany Hoang from International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency that works with the legal system of countries around the world to bring justice for the oppressed. Bethany Hoang tells Simon Smart the story of how IJM’s founder Gary Haugen responded as a Christian when confronted with genocide in the African country of Rwanda.
This is a short segment from a longer interview. To watch the full interview, click here.
SIMON SMART: When you’re faced with this sort of grinding poverty, inequality, awful violence – is that ever a challenge to your own faith? Does that present some issues for you as a Christian?
BETHANY HOANG: Absolutely. And, you know, our founder at IJM – his name’s Gary Haugen – and before he started IJM, he was actually the chief investigator for the Rwanda genocide. Basically, what he had to do was go to the mass graves of over 800,000 people who were one by one macheted to death, and he had to go to these bodies and pick through them and find evidence of what their names were, who they were, count them. If ever there is an occasion to be completely in despair and to wonder, Where was God? – that is the place to ask that question.
And as Gary started to find himself going to that question of “Where was God?”, the thing that came to him instead was, “Where were God’s people? Where are the people who could show up and who could stop this violence from happening in the first place?” And that’s actually why he founded IJM, to give an avenue for people who believe in the God of justice to live that out and to bring justice to those who most need it in our world today.