Rhiannon Lloyd

To best understand Le Rucher Ministries' Reconciliation Ministry, it is necessary to hear the background from Dr. Rhiannon Lloyd, who pioneered this work and is continuing to spread it around the world. In her own words. . .

 

Where it all began

Rhiannon LloydAfter training and working in Medicine and Psychiatry, I left Medicine in 1985 to train with Youth with a Mission. I was with them for just over 1½ years, during which God did a deep work in my life, healing many wounds, and giving me a new trust and confidence in Himself. For the next few years, I helped John & Pauline Hymus, who were with OM, to set up a course in N.Wales to minister to the needs of Christian workers. Many came from all over the world and received refreshment and healing.

 

Liberia / Rwanda

In 1992 I joined a Medair team for 2 short projects to do relief work in Liberia, helping to train orphanage staff in trauma counselling, and ministering to Church leaders and child soldiers. As a consequence to this, I was invited in Sept 94 to join another Medair group, this time to Rwanda, in the wake of a horrific genocide. Amidst the terrible suffering there, God began to give us a dream – that He wanted first to heal the church, and then the church could become the agent of healing in Rwanda. Medair then moved into another country, and I was invited to join African Evangelistic Enterprise – an indigenous African organisation which seeks to share the love of God in African cities in word and deed.

In June 1995, we began to run 3 day workshops for Christian leaders on The Role of the Church in Healing the Wounds of Ethnic Conflict. From the start we experienced the Holy Spirit healing wounds as we took all our pains and sorrows to the Cross (this part is called the ‘cross workshop’), Following this workshop, people found themselves able to forgive in amazing ways. As we stood in the gap and asked forgiveness on behalf of whatever group we represented, we saw reconciliation take place to a greater degree than anything we expected. Over the next couple of years I spent quite a lot of time in Rwanda, taking the workshop from town to town. From 1996-8, I had the blessing of having Kristine Bresser as a personal assistant. Others have helped for short periods from time to time since then.

By Aug 97, I was able to hand the work over to 2 Rwandan brothers, a Hutu (Joseph Nyamutera) and a Tutsi (Anastase Sabamungu), both working with AEE. They then began to run the workshops with great anointing, and also began to train regional teams, both Hutu and Tutsi together, to run the workshops, and testimonies of healing and forgiveness and reconciliation began pouring in.

 

South Africa

In 1996 I was invited to South Africa to run the same seminars there. Getting the ministry launched in South Africa was a lot more difficult, and there were many setbacks. The numbers attending seminars there have been a lot lower than in Rwanda but the majority of those who came were very responsive, and left the seminar with very different attitudes to each other. Living it out in the community, however, has been a big challenge. Apartheid was designed so that it would be very difficult to dismantle. Handing over the ministry there took a lot longer too, but we praise God for what He is doing there now.

 

Fire Lilies

On one of my first visits to Rwanda very soon after the genocide, I was praying for the nation with a couple of friends. In my mind's eye, I pictured the whole land covered with ashes, and I wept at the sense of desolation and despair. But as we prayed the picture began to change, and in my mind’s eye I saw beautiful red flowers growing out of the ashes. I told God there and then that I was going to believe for beauty to come out of Rwanda's ashes.

Some years later, I was in South Africa walking with a friend in the Cape. We discovered there had been a bush fire there, and the whole hillside was covered in ashes. Thinking this would not be a pleasant place to walk, we turned away, but then heard voices calling us from the hilltop. "Have you seen the fire-lilies?"  Two people walking down the hill explained to us that there are flowers in South Africa Fire Lilieswhich only bloom after a fire. The seeds may remain underground for many years, and it’s only when there is a fire above ground that the heat from the fire causes the seed to crack open and begin growing. "Go and see!" they said. So up the hillside we scrambled and sure enough, there they were! And they were red! With tears in my eyes, I told my friend, "I know the names of these flowers! They're Anastase and Joseph and Devota and Deborah and Judith and Abednego.....  They're my precious friends in Rwanda who have been through the fire and have come out beautiful!"

 

Le Rucher Ministries Involvement

In 1998, the ministry came under the cover of Le Rucher Ministries. This has been a great blessing to me. I could never have faced all the challenges of the last few years without their help. Now the ministry is running-full steam in many countries in Africa with input from Joseph Nyamutera.

 

Songs of Reconciliation

In July 2000,  Dave Bankhead of ‘We are One’ ministries in Swindon partnered with us to produce albums of new songs of healing and reconciliation. To date we have launched 4 albums. Mana Kiza Rwanda (Lord Heal Rwanda), a Heal Africa Albumchildren’s album Rabagirana Rwanda! (Arise and Shine, Rwanda!) and Hahirwa Ishyanga (Blessed Nation) were all produced in Rwanda. A 4th album has been done in English, 'Heal Africa!' It consists of translated songs from the previous albums, sung in English by children from Rwanda and South Africa. They can be purchased from We are One Ministries. (Note: for Rwandan exiles, the albums are offered at half price.)

 

Democratic Republic of Congo

In 2002, the Rwandan team was invited across the border to DR Congo in the wake of the catastrophic volcanic eruption in Goma. Although initially invited to run trauma healing workshops, it became evident that reconciliation between Rwanda and Congo was very necessary.  This was followed by seminars in South Kivu in Bukavu and Uvira. 

Towards the end of 2002 we received an invitation to Ituri in north east Congo, where a civil war was raging. Ituri is bigger than Rwanda. A small group of local Congolese Christians working for a Christian hospital in Nyankunde were told about the reconciliation ministry in Rwanda, and through Medair, were given a copy of our seminar manual. They became convinced that God wanted this seminar in Ituri, and contacted us. I planned to go there in Nov 2002 with a Rwandan team, but in Sept ‘02 we heard that hostilities had greatly escalated, and the Nyankunde hospital had been completely destroyed. Thousands were killed and many had fled into the forest. Sadly, the plan had to be laid down. . . 

But this small group of Christian friends, who came very close to death, continued to pray together through all the troubles and believed the day would come when they would be able to host this seminar. I was eventually invited to enter Ituri in August 2004. By this time, hostilities between Rwanda and Congo had increased and it was no longer safe for the Rwandan team to come with me. Although I went in much fear and trembling, the ground was so well prepared in prayer that I was amazed at the response. The civil war continued in varying degrees, but God is in Congo, raising up a very different army of peacemakers.

 

Ivory Coast

Late 2003 we received an invitation to Ivory Coast, where there was mounting unrest. They had heard of the blessing in Rwanda and were asking for help. First Joseph and Solomon from Rwanda went to assess the situation, and then in January and May 05, I accompanied them (mainly to ask forgiveness as a European.)  We met with some very dear people in 3 reconciliation seminars and held a mini-training seminar, but were discouraged that only a small section of the church was involved (2 denominations only). The small numbers who attended from the various parts of the nation were very responsive, but because of the continuing unrest, the strong base needed locally to support these people was not available. Recently, we partnered with Micah Network, this time, and now several teams have been trained are operating in the nation.

 

Cymru (Wales) - Path of Hope

Over the years there has been a significant change in my heart regarding my own nation. I had lost hope for Wales, and felt with sadness it had become, both spiritually and culturally, a nation of what was, not what is or what will be. In a prayer time with some intercessor friends in February 2004, one said she felt God wanted to say to me, "Welcome home!" My response was, "Where is home?" In many ways I was happier to identify with Rwanda. At least there I had many friends with the same passion and faith to see God glorified in the restoration of the nation. "Coming home" was not easy. Another word was given for me: "New clothes for a new season."

Very slowly my attitude began to change. I began to sense that God had not finished with Wales, though we had largely turned our backs on Him. I felt that the land, as in C. S. Lewis' "Narnia," had been under a grip of a cruel winter for a long, long time, but now at last there were signs of a thaw, with even one or two spring flowers peeping through the ice. God began to open doors for me to speak at meetings in Wales about the hope Rwanda had found - a land of revivals, now returning to the cross and finding new life. The same could happen to Wales!

Path of HopeUnknown to me, God had other plans, too. An interview for a Welsh Christian magazine (when staying with friends) extended into a 3-day recording session. My friends' conviction was that this should be published as a book, essentially a biography. I took some persuading, but when I considered the dearth of such contemporary material in Welsh, I consented. My friends had excellent writing skills and transcribed and edited my spoken words. The result is a book called, "Llwybr Gobaith" (Path of Hope). Launch meetings in north and south were blessed times, and the feedback is positive. My prayer is that this book will be used to help draw Welsh-speaking Wales back to God.

Then the group of intercessors, who had prayed for me previously, approached me to ask for a reconciliation seminar in Wales - between national Welsh-speaking Christian leaders, those who didn't speak Welsh, and incomers. This seminar took place in May 2005. It was much more difficult than conducting the same seminar in war-torn Africa! Another one was held in May 2006 and this time there was a definite anointing. The overwhelming response was that it had been a signficant time and our perspectives were changed as dividing walls came down. I stand amazed!

 

Great Lakes Regional Reconciliation

Meanwhile, back in Rwanda the momentum had grown into a regional work. The team in Kigali had trained workers all over the nation, plus had expanded into Burundi and Bukavu, Congo. In 2006 they held a regional forum with more than 80 reconciliation agents from the region joining together to realize a new release in reconciliation as they forgave one another across national borders. Le Rucher Ministries realized that the Lord was compelling them to get more directly involved in this movement, in order to support and provide structure to the work so it could expand even more. Now, there is a Le Rucher Ministries Great Lakes Regional office in Kigali under the leadership of Joseph Nyamutera, working to support reconciliation workers all over the region. My involvement at this point is as a consultant to the content of the work, and providing encouragement and pastoral care to the workers.

 

What's next?

I am always open to prayerfully consider going to new places. Meanwhile, I continue to regularly visit the Great Lakes Region of Africa (Rwanda, Congo, Burundi and Kenya) and to provide input. I've run workshops in Zambia and Sri Lanka most recently (partnering with Micah Network for both of them). I have now formed my own advisory board under the name "Healing the Nations" and am operating as a consultant to Le Rucher Ministries.