Sunday, October 01, 2006

Remembering Roz

I am saddened today as I have just heard the news of Roz Carr passing away in Gisenyi, Rwanda. She passed away peacefully in her sleep Friday. She was to be buried on her farm in Mugongo, Rwanda today.

I have always been fascinated by Roz' persistence in life to help others, especially in Rwanda. I first met her when her orphanage was about four years old. She was thrilled to finally get "her children" in life. And after the terrible events of the genocide, she took responsibility for over 100 orphans who had nowhere else to go. She was 82 at the time. She named the orphanage "Imbabazi" which translated in Kinyarwanda language means "As a mother cares for a child". Her heart truly loved those children as if she were their real mother.

Over the course of seven years, I believe I visited Roz and the children six different times. She was always so welcoming and hospitable. I always had at least a truck load of visitors with me as I wanted others to see and be inspired by her love and service to those children. Offering hope was her mode of operation.

She was also loyal and persistent. She encountered many difficulties in her life in Rwanda, the worst being the genocide of 1994 where many of her friends were killed or maimed, but she never really considered leaving Rwanda. She loved the people and the land too much.

If you haven't ever read the fascinating life story of Rosamond Carr, please order her book and read it now. If you have read it, or if you are one of the lucky few who have actually met Roz, please share your favorite stories or memories you have of Roz.

Please pray for wisdom for those of us on the Imbabazi Board as well as those making decisions in Rwanda now regarding the future of the children of Imbabazi.


At 3:18 PM, Blogger Clint said...

A quick update. I heard from one of Imbabazi's board members in Rwanda today and he said that Roz' funeral was simple - just how she'd like it - but also very emotional. She meant so much to the people of Rwanda.

At 8:30 AM, Anonymous kit said...

I read her book several years ago, and it awakened in me a keen interest in Africa. Through her book, she has had a lasting impact on my outlook on the world and on life

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Sam Shewmaker said...

One afternoon last November, Mark Long, Darla Bennett and I went over to Roz' house in Gisenyi for tea and a visit. Roz as always, was so gracious and interested in the lives of her visitors. She answered several phone calls while we were there, including at least two from the U. S. Each time she tottered across the room, I worried she might lose her balance and fall. I asked her if she has considered having a live-in attendant to be with her, but she seemed more concerned with getting 'her children' moved out to her farm at Mugongo where there had been some unrest that had delayed the move.
I will remember Roz as a remarkable lady who loved and served the people of Rwanda.

At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Miriam Mannak said...

I have e-mailed with Roz' neice, and on the 25th a Memorial service will be held in Mugongo. I wish I could be there. Her death came as a shock. Although it has been over a decade since I saw her ( I lived in Rwanda until 1989, until I was 12 yrs old), but we were in touch on a regular basis. She meant a lot to me, and to Rwanda. While the world turned its back to Rwanda, she embraced it. She was an angel who staid when heaven turned into hell. OIf only there were more people like her ...

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Clint said...

Thanks Kit, Sam and Miriam. You are right, she stayed and totally gave of herself through difficult times - all the way to the end. She provided for Rwandans in need when few if anyone else would do the same. And as you wrote, heaven turned to hell and then she brought the light and hope of heaven back in. Now there must be a grand celebration going on in heaven with Roz' arrival.


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