Roy sacrifices his hair for African dream
2007: Norfolk-based American Roy Floyd (pictured right), who works as a cook on the US airbase at Lakenheath, has cut off his Rasta dreadlocks, which took him 11 years to grow, to help fund a mercy mission to Rwanda in Africa.
In January 2007, a team from The Way of the Spirit Bible Reading Course left Norwich for a two-week teaching stint in Rwanda to help bring reconciliation between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes, in the county which is still recovering from a genocide in 1994 when over 800,000 people were massacred in three months.
Twelve years on, at least 100,000 suspected perpetrators are still in jail in Rwanda, which is about the size of Wales, and is one of the poorest countries in the world with an average life expectancy of under 40.
Roy came to England in the late 1970s and met and married Karen. They lived for a time in the US but eventually settled here. Roy has wanted to go to Africa ever since – on a hot August day in 1963 – he heard on the radio Martin Luther King's unforgettable 'I have a dream …' speech.
"I too have had a dream," said Roy. "Ever since I became aware of the struggles of black people."
Originally, he saw it as a human rights issue, but now he sees it more as a spiritual one. Roy fully agrees with one of the purposes of the trip which is to bring the word of God to help enable true reconciliation between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes to be established.
"When I was at Bible College," Roy says, "I was invited by students from Kenya, Malawi and Uganda to go to their countries. This opportunity to go to Rwanda is truly an answer to my dream.”
Story by Gail Halley