A letter from Kay Day in Rwanda
Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings from Rwanda. August is the beginning of the long rainy season. As if on cue on August 1 at 7 a.m. we had a slight drizzle in Butare. The rest of the day was dry, but we had the promise of what is to come and lived the day in the hope of rain for the crops and growth for the country.
That is how I felt on Tuesday evening also when I had a Skype conversation with the first meeting of the Rwanda Network of the PC(USA). This was a small group, fewer than 10 participants and a number of PC(USA) staff members, gathered in Louisville to discuss how each is working in Rwanda and to imagine how they might work together in the future. I was able to share some of what God is doing here at PIASS and the doors that God has opened for me in just the four months that I have been here. My time with them was short but I was encouraged by all that I heard that is happening. There is only one presbytery-to-presbytery partnership active at this time, but there are several church-to-church projects in the works and some work with schools and with World Vision. While the group was small, there was real joy and encouragement in the sharing and the envisioning of the future, much like the experience of the drizzle of rain, a promise for the future.
In July I had the opportunity to spend time with a group of six here from the Outreach Foundation, visiting and planting seeds for future ministry. This was followed by a group from a congregation in Nashville who came to help dedicate a church building they partnered to help construct. The excitement around these two visits is palpable. This has been the inspiration of Ebralie Mwizerwa, a Rwandan working for the Outreach Foundation. She is one of several who have a passion for ministry in Rwanda.
Communication has been challenging between English-speaking partners and Rwandans in the past, but now that English is the international language of Rwanda and more Rwandans are learning it, communication and therefore partnerships are easier. There is a need for those relationships as Rwanda continues to grow out of the ashes of genocide. The church is rebuilding, not just sanctuaries, although that is part of it, but even more in evangelistic outreach, in development projects, in rebuilding communities. Twenty years seems like a long time since genocide, unless you are one of the widows or orphans, one of the survivors or one of the perpetrators working to put your life back together. Then it is but the blink of an eye, and the pain is just momentarily out of sight.
Now is a perfect time for partners to come alongside and work together. That was the hope of the Network meeting and was the hope of these visits this summer. My prayer is that, like the drizzle of August 1st, this is the promise and the hope for more to come in the months and years ahead, for more individuals and more churches to look at how to partner in tangible ways. Might you be one of those?
I invite you to ask God to speak clearly to you about Rwanda. Then, I ask you to join me in prayer for some tangible things happening this month. Students are on break now, so I have time to work on my Kinyarwanda. Please pray that I make good use of the time and that God enables me to hear and learn and use the language. I am meeting with support staff during this quiet time to help them with their English. Please pray for their ability to learn as well.
Thank you for the ways in which you are supportive of me and of ministry here. I’m trusting God for what he will continue to do in us and through us.
Blessings and love,
Kay (Cathie to the family)