Dr. Ann McLannly blames herself for her niece’s tragic death. And after her mother dies, this young doctor volunteers with an international aid organization for a mission in Rwanda. Pressed into a grueling work schedule with limited facilities, she has little time to adjust. Still, she forges relationships with the remarkable people she meets and finds herself drawn into a relationship with a priest, who introduces her to a Catholic orphanage that needs a physician to care for the growing number of orphans.
It all seems the perfect escape until she finds herself in the middle of the Rwandan genocide of 800,000 Tutsis in a matter of 100 days. As the horrors unfold around her and her colleagues flee for home, Ann remains in Rwanda to honor her contract and to help her new friends. She is also painfully aware that she is not yet ready to face her family in the US. As Ann struggles to care for her patients under desperate circumstances, she discovers that the priest she has grown so fond of is complicit in the genocide conspiracy.
Cut off from the outside world, Ann and her companions embark on a harrowing journey to a refugee camp in Tanzania, joining the flood of Rwandans frantic to escape the killing. There, Ann finds love with a blue-eyed surgeon. Love blossoms as the conditions within the camp deteriorate. They struggle to remain neutral in an increasingly convoluted world as they live with the brutal reality of deciding who lives and who dies. Ann’s outrage grows when they discover that the ethnic conflict continues in the camp. As the threats become personal for Ann, she realizes she must take a side.
Mission Rwanda is a work of fiction, but is based on historical facts, as well as Zink’s own experience in the field.
Discussion questions are included. A percentage of the book’s profits are given to nonprofits who work effectively overseas.