A Brief History of Le Rucher's involvement in Reconciliation
Hope for this broken world
Even in the face of all the pain in this broken world, we believe strongly that there is hope, because we believe in the God of hope (Ro. 15:13). Hope is part of His character – He cannot be otherwise. God has a strategy to use His church to be the agents of healing and reconciliation in the different nations. But first, the church must be healed.
In the weeks following the end of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, while there were still unburied bodies lying on the ground, Dr Rhiannon Lloyd, a British Christian Psychiatrist was asked to travel there to help establish a counselling program to start the process of reconciliation. What she found, in this deeply Christian country, was totally overwhelming. Not just a nation destroyed, but a church discredited and implicated in what had happened, with its leaders bitter, confused, angry and in despair. In a land of eight million people, up to one million had been killed in the most terrible way by their neighbours in towns, villages and churches.
It was clear that, above all else, the church needed healing. The church should have been the expression of God’s love grace, peace, and refuge, but for many, it had been a place of killing. As Rhiannon tried to speak to gatherings of Christians, she was faced with an explosion of pain, anger, recrimination and rage. Nothing in her training as a psychiatrist had prepared her for this. So, in the midst of this outpouring of grief and anger, she prayed. God began to show her that people in such pain cannot begin to forgive until they have had their pain dealt with. She saw that the cross of Jesus was not just a place to find forgiveness for sin, but also a place where people could bring all their grief, pain, and sorrows. She saw that in Isaiah 53, before sin and iniquity is mentioned, scripture talks about Jesus bearing our griefs, carrying our sorrows and paying the price for our healing.
And so began the development of a three day workshop based firmly on the truths and principles established in the Bible. In the most astonishing and outrageous ways men and women who had suffered abuse or were abusers were reconciled. The destroyed nation of Rwanda took notice. The workshop, originally called Healing Wounds of Ethnic Conflict, was used throughout the nation, and spread to neighboring countries and beyond. In the years that followed, it has changed the lives of millions around the world.
This workshop was born in Africa. It has been developed in Africa in the wake of multiple violent conflicts. It has proved the power of God’s truth to change lives, stop wars and reconcile different groups within nations. This is an opportunity to let God’s truth, distilled through the pain of Rwanda, speak into other conflicts and broken hearts.
Today the workshop Rhiannon developed is usually called “Healing Hearts Transforming Nations (HHTN) workshop.” It is being run actively by Africans in Rwanda, Congo, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Uganda and Southern Sudan. In addition, others have carried it around the world.
Copyrighted translations of the materials Rhiannon and her teammates developed now exist in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Welsh. Many more translations have been made from these into local and tribal languages.
For more information on these and other materials, check out the HHTN Global website:
We first got involved with Rhiannon and the ministry of reconciliation in Rwanda in 2001 and opened a regional office in Kigali in 2006 run by Joseph Nyamutera to serve the many teams working around the region in reconciliation. Our goal was always to see the team in Kigali operate as a separate entity and in 2016 we were pleased to release them to open a new ministry called “Rabagirana Ministry” doing even more in the region and expanding around the globe. We continue to work with them as a partnering organization.
Today Rabagirana Ministries has a physical center where they run international reconciliation schools, Bible training, simple skills training for the poor in their community, run ethnic reconciliation workshops in prisons, produce reconciliation music cd’s and dvd’s, showcase positive signs of reconciliation and work with community development projects–just to name a few things they are doing! Click on their logo to get a full picture.
Way of Peace is another very active reconciliation project operating in Africa. They are also fully trained in debriefing and have assisted us in debriefing other teams around the continent. They have won awards in Kenya for their peace building and are being showcased on radio programs. Check out their website for more up-to-date info by clicking on their logo.
We are physically located in France, only 15 minutes from the Geneva, Switzerland airport:
2067 Route de Tutegny
01170 Cessy, France
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