8 February 2013

Rwanda: First Lady Attends U.S. Prayer Breakfast

First Lady Jeannette Kagame, yesterday, attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C in the company of the US First Lady, Michelle Obama, among other high profile guests.

Mrs Kagame was invited by Mrs. Grace Nelson, wife of Senator Bill Nelson, both good friends of Rwanda.

The annual event brings together many different religious and political leaders to pray for America. It was first held in 1953 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The event comes days after Rwanda's National prayer breakfast on February 5.

Speaking at the Prayer Breakfast yesterday, Mrs Kagame said Rwandans today see themselves not merely as survivors nor victims or even perpetrators of history, but as full participants in shared destiny, with their eyes resolutely fixed on the future.

She said the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was the result of a leadership that amplified differences between its people.

"My country is mostly known for its tragic past. However, more and more of my countrymen and women believe that they will soon be seen not through the prism of chaos and sorrow, but by that of hope, by the resilience, resourcefulness and optimism the people and leadership of Rwanda have displayed, in response to what seemed to be insurmountable odds," she said.

Mrs Kagame also called upon the people who attended the breakfast to pray to God to grant them the strength, give them hearts and minds of true leaders, the spirit of discernment and the compassion they need to do what is right.

She also stated that they should challenge themselves to be a voice of unity and reconciliation.

Obama calls for humility

Among dignitaries that attended the Prayer Breakfast were US President Barrack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr Benjamin Carson, the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, who was the guest speaker.

According to the Huffington Post, President Obama said prayer should transcend politics.

"We'd like to think the shelf life (of the prayer breakfast) wasn't so short. I go back to the Oval Office and start watching the cable news networks, and it's like we didn't pray. So, my hope is that humility, that that carries over every day," the US President was quoted as saying.

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