Tag: Rwanda

Spreading the Gospel in Rwanda

Photo by Nancy Greenhaw

By Nancy Greenhaw

Leadership Training

Our mission in Rwanda began with a week of teaching Charismatic leaders, including three priests, from all of Rwanda’s nine dioceses. The participants were very involved and asked many questions that revealed their understanding and insight. Lloyd explained that the Five Keys—a method of finding freedom in Christ by renouncing sin and claiming the Lord’s authority over one’s life—are a lifestyle that has the goal of not just being set free, but of moving closer to Jesus. As our trust grew throughout the week, participants began asking for individual prayer.

One religious sister experienced freedom during our prayer session, and she asked if we would also pray with her brother. He was an older gentleman who could only walk with help from his daughters, was confused, and fell a lot. He had been that way for six months—ever since his daughters had taken him to a witch doctor. He was clearly agitated that we were there, and he did not want to have anything to do with us. The more we prayed, the more agitated he became—but the Lord was doing things. Every once in a while, he would jerk around and look at me as I stood behind him and prayed. It was obvious he felt things leaving him, and each time, he was startled. I think this ongoing freedom came because he had given his daughters permission to bring him for prayer, and they had given us permission to pray for him. Lloyd asked him to say the name of Jesus, but he would not do it; however, after a while, he was more coherent and logical in answering questions.

Nevertheless, he would not forgive his daughters for taking him to the witch doctor. He also wouldn’t say Jesus’ name. So we ended the session; he was in better condition than when we had started, but he was not set free. That was Thursday. On Friday evening, we had Mass, and our friend who is the bishop emeritus of the Kibungo Diocese came to be with us and the participants.

We were sitting in the back of the small chapel when the religious sister and her nieces brought in the man who we had prayed for the day before. His daughters sat on each side of him. At one point in the Mass, he tried to leave, but they would not let him. That morning, he had asked his sister, “Why did you let those white people take those things from me?” He knew something was gone, but he did not know what. He refused Communion. (Later, we found out he’s been married three times, so perhaps he knew he wasn’t allowed to receive the Eucharist.)

After Mass, we adored Jesus on the altar. Then the bishop invited everyone up to the altar in a half circle. The man’s daughters brought him up to be included. Everyone was kneeling except him, when the bishop brought Jesus around in a monstrance. The bishop had no idea that we had prayed with this man. He stopped with the Blessed Sacrament right in front of him and lowered the Blessed Sacrament to his face. The man looked up, and very gently, very gracefully, got onto his knees to adore the Lord! We were amazed.

After Jesus was put into the tabernacle, the man’s sister sobbed on my shoulder and his daughters were elated. God is good! I went up to him to shake his hand, and he did it with no problem, which was totally different from the day before. We were all blessed and had our faith built up to see the power of our Eucharistic Lord!

CCR Anniversary

We then traveled to the Diocese of Ruhengeri for the grand opening of a new Charismatic Healing Center that was inspired by the teaching we shared there several years ago with Neal Lozano. It was also the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Rwanda. When we arrived at the medium-sized church, it had rained and was very muddy, but that didn’t stop the crowd! People were jammed in every square inch and spilling out of every door. Even the tiny priest’s changing room was filled with people! I estimate there were 5,000 people in attendance. They had many beautiful and lively dance groups accompanied by choirs, and at least three bishops were in attendance.

Charismatic Renewal Leader Sylvester Dukuzumuremyi spoke about how the community starting in 2009 in order to help people come out of bondage into freedom, using the Five Keys’ model. He said the place is for all who need Jesus. It was completely built and paid for by the Charismatics. They actually made each of the bricks by hand!

Lloyd said he had never seen anything like what they achieved by their unity of purpose and that the bishops’ presence showed they were working in the heart of the Church. He challenged them to fulfill their destiny in making disciples for the Lord and to not let petty differences and jealousy break the beautiful bond and unity they now had. I told them that there is nothing like this place in the Unites States; there is nothing like it in the entire world!

Our Blessed Mother at Mass

We were not able to go to Kibeho, due to our guide’s illness and strict government regulations that would have significantly lengthened our trip. I felt badly that we chose not to go, until I read a book by Catalina Rivas of Bolivia, who is said to receive messages from Jesus, Mary, and the angels. She has the approval of Bishop René Fernández Apaza. The following text is from a reproduction of a booklet The Holy Mass, in which Our Lord and Our Lady explain what is happening during the Mass. Mary says,

It surprises you to see Me standing a little behind Monsignor [the Archbishop], does it not? This is how it should be . . . With all the love that My Son gives Me, He has not given Me the dignity that He has given the priests of being able to perform the daily Miracle with My hands as they do with their priestly hands. Because of this, I feel a deep respect for priests and for the miracle that God carries out through them, which compels Me to kneel here behind them.

My God, how much dignity, how much grace the Lord pours over the priestly souls, and neither we, nor perhaps some of them, are conscious of this.

This reminds me again that Mary is with us at Mass, as well as at any apparition sites! The Lord in His mercy knows that few have the money and time to travel around the world, so He gives them something better at every Mass! This gives me peace and challenges me to seek a deeper faith in the Eucharist.

Once again, I know that Renewal Ministries has made a difference in the lives of many. Hearing the many testimonies of freedom and seeing the huge new complex dedicated to evangelization through the Five Keys was confirmation that what we have been doing is not in vain. Thanks for the opportunity to serve!

Mission Rwanda: A Dream Come True

Lianna Mueller ministering to an elder at the Palative Care Hospital Kigali, Rwanda 2016
Lianna Mueller ministers to an elder at the Palative Care Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda.

By Lianna Mueller

In November of 2016, I had the most incredible experience of my life. I went with Renewal Ministries on a mission trip to Rwanda, led by the dynamic duo Lloyd and Nancy Greenhaw. Going on the trip was the fruit of years of prayers, tears, being immersed in other cultures, and faith. All glory be to God for the miraculous way in which He paved the way for the Rwanda trip to happen!

I had been interested in mission work for many years. There are many great organizations serving the material needs of people. This is very important and a tenet of our faith. However, I was grieved to find that many organizations do not spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or do not even allow the sharing of one’s faith. From sea to sea, and the islands in between, people are yearning for Christ. People are literally dying every day without having heard the Gospel. Not only that, people are living lives without purpose. They are living life without hope. They are eating the lie that so many societies feed that there is no God, or that God is irrelevant. They have no idea of why they are here on this earth, Who has created them and loves them and desires to spend a joyful eternity with Him. The ache for the Lord and the need for healing is present in every nation. It is my love for the people of every nation and my love for Christ that compelled me to seek out mission work.

Originally I heard about Ralph Martin and Renewal Ministries from my father, years ago. As a charismatic Catholic, I was seeking other Catholics on fire for the Kingdom. I also prayed that one day I would have the opportunity to go on a mission. I had experienced Christ’s healing love in a powerful way. My heart ached to be able to share that love with my brothers and sisters in other nations. In 2015, I attended my first Gathering. Each Gathering has been miraculous in its own way. In 2016, a miracle of God’s provision occurred through a fellow attendee of the Gathering. The door opened for me to attend a mission. My heart overflowed with gratitude. My heart had been in Africa for years, though I still had never set foot there. Plans were made to go to Rwanda.

The Holy Spirit worked marvelously in each area of the mission. For me, the experience was a taste of heaven on earth! This taste came from the smooth flights, to the friendships made and the way in which the team worked together and complemented each other, to seeing God’s hand at work in those we ministered to. We witnessed and heard of many healings of marriages. Many people also had deep-rooted issues related to the genocide, and we prayed with them using the Unbound method. They discovered the grace to forgive, which eased a burden from their lives and healed relationships. Sometimes we heard of instant healings of relationships, such as an unexpected visit or phone call from the other person shortly after prayer! I had the impromptu opportunity to preach to street boys in a shelter, and I pray they know the fullness of God’s love. We were also invited to pray with people at a palliative care center, people suffering unspeakably with various ailments. The people were so grateful. One elderly woman even found the strength to dance with us! What an unforgettable experience. I can’t wait to dance together again in heaven! God’s grace truly abounds in the beautiful country of Rwanda, possessing not only a magnificent landscape, but also resilient people able to turn to God and keep faith even after the most terrible tragedy.

My trip to Rwanda confirmed to me that I would like to continue mission work, perhaps even living abroad as a missionary at a later point. I am now pursuing a master’s degree in counseling, with the goal of combining therapeutic knowledge and techniques with faith. I know this will come in handy on the mission field. My current work is service to refugee women and children. For now, I am continuing my pursuit of mission work in whatever form the Lord sets in front of me, whether it be to a refugee at work, someone I meet at the store, or a close loved one. I look forward to the day I can again serve Him in Africa, or wherever He pleases. I am forever blessed for the trip to Rwanda with Renewal Ministries and for the fruit borne by their work!

Fr. Ubald Shares Message of Forgiveness

Fr Ubald
Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga

Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga will be at guest at this year’s Gathering.

By Lloyd Greenhaw and Katsey Long

Our time in Rwanda with an amazing and gifted team was very rich, but one especially beautiful fruit to come of our time there was our relationship with Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga, who you can learn more about at www.frubald.com.

One of our team members, Katsey Long, is a social worker who is in the midst of filming a documentary on Fr. Ubald. For the past eight years, she has spent her time between Rwanda and the US.

Fr. Ubald has a harrowing story from the Rwandan genocide. He was a participant in our first Unbound training sessions in Rwanda and found freedom in Christ. His story, from Katsey, follows:

During the genocide, Fr. Ubald was pastor of a parish. He had hired guards and was trying to protect his 45,000 parishioners, when the mayor and the district leaders suggested he leave. They told him they wouldn’t hurt anybody if he left. This was in May, and genocide had been going on for a little while. Fr. Ubald called his bishop, who came to get him.

When it was time for him to leave, the people formed an aisle for him, and he walked through the pathway out to the car. Everyone was sobbing, because they knew they were going to die after he left, so the bishop said he would stay with them that night.

The bishop left the next day, and within two days, they started killing everyone. About 45,000 people died within three days. At the time, Fr. Ubald wanted to die; he wanted to go back with his people and die with them. He was devastated at what happened and that he had trusted the leadership.

Fr. Ubald stayed at the bishop’s house for about three weeks. After that, he got a phone call from a friend who warned him about plans to kill him. “They will put your head on a stake and process it through the parish so everyone will know you have no power,” they said. He decided to escape.

Fr. Ubald took the money he had and paid for five other people to escape with him. One of them, a priest, did not make the rendezvous point and was killed in the genocide. The rest of them escaped in the middle of the night to the Congo. Once he got there, Fr. Ubald continued on to Lourdes, France, where people paid for him to come to find healing.

In fact, he was healed at Lourdes. While going up the hill during Stations of the Cross, a priest said, “Jesus accepted His cross,” and Fr. Ubald heard a voice say, “Ubald pick up your cross, the genocide is your cross.”  Once he accepted it as his cross, Fr. Ubald stopped crying. When he returned to Rwanda in January of 1995, he started preaching forgiveness, because he knew forgiveness is the only way.

At that time people, did not want to hear the message of forgiveness, but Fr. Ubald continued to preach it and to visit the prisons of Rwanda to tell the perpetrators to ask for pardon for what they had done. One day, he was preaching in a prison, when a man came up to him and said, “I need to ask something of you Fr. Ubald. I was the one that ordered your mother to be killed, and I would like to ask for your forgiveness.”

Fr. Ubald wept, then went over and hugged the man and said, “In the name of Jesus, I forgive you.” Then, on his way home, he was thinking, “I wonder if that man really believes that I have forgiven him?” He decided he wanted to do something to prove his forgiveness.

Later that day, Fr. Ubald received a call telling him the man’s children were now basically orphans. The mother had died, and since the father was imprisoned and could not pay the school fees, they were kicked out of school. Fr. Ubald adopted both of those children. He continues to help them as they grow up and try to make a life for themselves. One of them is at medical school, and he continues to pay her educational expenses. The father will get out of prison next year, and Fr. Ubald will help him find a way to make a living and to help people. He continues to preach that message all over the country.

At Fr. Ubald’s healing services, it is not uncommon for there to be 30,000 people, and when he does them at a place like Kigali’s Maharo Stadium, 80,000 people will come to hear him preach about forgiveness and reconciliation, and he sees many, many healings: physical, emotional, trauma, cancer, HIV, bones healed, lame walk, blind see. However, he considers the greatest miracle when someone chooses to forgive and to be free. His services are not just for Catholics but for everybody, including Muslims and Pentecostals. He also comes to the United States twice a year.

Dream Team at Kibeho, Rwanda with Fr. Ubald
Renewal Ministries’ Rwanda Mission Team

The Five Keys is an important part of Fr. Ubald’s work, and he learned it from one of Renewal Ministries’ earliest retreats in Rwanda. Prior to that, he had often done hands-on healing in small groups. He had told his bishop that people were coming back to him saying they had been healed. The bishop said, “That gift is not for you; that gift is for the world.” After five years of having a healing gift, the Lord gave Fr. Ubald the gift of the word of knowledge. He continued to pray faithfully that God would heal, and He did. And then, five years he got the word of knowledge gift, he learned the Five Keys from Renewal Ministries. With that knowledge, and with the experience of processing with a monstrance amidst a huge crowd at Lloyd Greenhaw’s request, he found the confidence to start to do healing services on a large scale.

With the help of donors, he has since purchased land on the shore of Lake Kisu for large missions—200,000 people can attend events there. A huge statue of Divine Mercy overlooks the venue. Fr. Ubald also has started a center for forgiveness and reconciliation here, called The Center for the Secret of Peace.  He brings together perpetrators and victims to participate together in the process of reconciliation.

Mercy Shine at Kibeho, Rwanda 2016 (3)
People reaching out to touch the Divine Mercy statue.

 

Rwanda Team Visits Our Lady of Kibeho

Mercy Shine at Kibeho, Rwanda 2016 (1)
The Mercy Shrine in Kibeho, Rwanda

Renewal Ministries recently sent a mission team to Rwanda, led by Country Coordinators Lloyd and Nancy Greenhaw. The team’s time with Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga was featured in our April newsletter, which you can view here. Below, you can read about another beautiful aspect of the trip—celebrating the thirty-fifth anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Kibeho with Immaculee Ilibagiza.

By Lloyd Greenhaw

Our team was blessed to conclude our time in Rwanda by being in Kibeho for the celebration of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Kibeho, the name given to Marian apparitions that many believe foretold the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Our team met with Fr. Ubald there, and he greeted us with great joy and thanksgiving.

It was no coincidence that anniversary happened while we were there. She is the Mother of the Word, and we should ask her to plant the Word deep within us; to transform us; and to ask that it flow from us like a river of living water, watering the parched land, and bringing forth new life in Christ Jesus our Lord!

In addition to Fr. Ubald, we joined Dr. Francois, the national chairman of the Charismatic Renewal, and Immaculee Ilibagiza, who had brought a large group from the USA. Immaculee and Katsey were old friends, and it was through her that we got rooms in Kibeho, since up to 20,000 people were there. Father said Mass for Immaculee’s group and us the night before the anniversary, and afterwards we went to the shrine and watched the various nations dance and sing in honor of our Lady. It was beautiful.

The next day, we got to the apparition site early for the special Mass for Our Lady of Kibeho. Immaculee had reserved seats down front, and we were invited to join them. While I watched over the seats, Nancy took the many petitions people had sent us and put them in the intention basket and prayed for each of them. They were prayed over multiple times in following days. There was a special air of anticipation over the whole venue, and even though there were thousands of people, the crowd was polite and calm. It was a huge joy to be there! We all felt there was a special commissioning that day and that the Lord was sending us out as Ambassadors of the Word, with the blessing and the protection of Our Queen.

That evening, we returned to Kigali, which had been our “home” throughout most of the mission, and prepared for the journey home. Looking at the team, our sessions’ participants, and our trip to Kibeho, I believe this trip that will bear much fruit. There were many testimonies of freedom and healing from our sessions. A new day has dawned and we are excited to be part of it. Thanks for letting us serve!