A letter from Kay Day in Malawi
Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings from Pittsburgh, Pa. God has been with me as I have returned to the States for three months of travel and reconnection with many of you for a time of Mission Interpretation. I arrived safely on July 15, after a tearful farewell to family and friends in Malawi and 32 hours of traveling. I have had the blessing of seeing several of you from the Pittsburgh area already and look forward to seeing many more in the next three months.
The first stop for Mission Interpretation was the New Wilmington Mission Conference (NWMC). What a blessing to be with more than 25 serving missionaries and dozens of retired missionaries during the course of the week, and to speak to and interact with over 900 children, youth and adults interested in or questioning about mission work around the world. The serving missionaries spoke with all the age groups at various functions, but focused on being with the high schoolers, sharing about the work we do and life in the countries in which we serve. The questions they asked were insightful and at times challenging. It was a great opportunity.
But for me the highlight of the week came on Wednesday night when the conference recognized all long-term missionaries, serving and retired, by inviting us on the stage as part of the evening program. This was a special time since the PC(USA) is celebrating 175 years of mission work around the world. That work began even earlier with Women’s Missionary Societies in western Pennsylvania. It was the women who pushed for the denomination to enter into mission work. At one point in the evening’s program the missionaries' names were called and we were asked to stand as Don Dawson, the director of NWMC, read the country or countries in which we served and the number of years of service. Several couples had served for 30 or 35 years each, but the “winner” was a couple who had served in Ethiopia for 53 and 56 years respectively, a total of 109 years of service. Then the conferees were asked to guess the total number of years we had all served. Some had been tallying as we were recognized and quickly came up with the figure of 906 years of collective service. That was greeted with wild applause and cheers, as loud and enthusiastic as if we were a football team being introduced. What a blessing to hear that level of affirmation for God and his work. Then we all sang the Doxology. How humbling to be counted among God’s servants in that way. I felt that though my work is small, God’s work is so great. Our God is so awesome and so faithful to invite us all to be a small part of the great things he is doing and has done for centuries in his world.
This was a great “send-off” to my assignment for the next three months. I am looking forward to seeing many of you as I travel, sharing God’s work in Malawi. I ask for your prayers for me as I move about the country and for those who will attend the gatherings... I will be in Kentucky, North Carolina and Colorado during August. Please pray for the ongoing work in Malawi while I am away, that God will continue is work there. If I don’t get to see you in person, I would be delighted to at least speak to you on the phone (U.S. cell phone 412-600-9295). Please know that your prayers are a major part of God’s work in me and in the world. Thank you.
In Christ’s love,
Kay (Cathie to the family)
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 106