A letter from Kay Day in Rwanda
Dear Family and Friends,
School has been in session for over a month in the States, but it is just beginning here at PIASS (The Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences). The anticipation of a new school year is palpable—faculty meetings to determine policies and final schedules, cleaning staff prepping the classrooms, the registrar confirming details, faculty finalizing lectures, returning students trickling in with tales of their time at home or on internships. The excitement is building. Friday will be the opening convocation and registration and Monday classes begin. Since I have been here six months, I have some experience now. That is comforting as well as exciting. I’m looking forward to greeting returning students and resuming teaching. In addition to English and Practical Theology, I will be teaching a New Testament course, which delights me. We are in readiness mode.
The School of Theology is the smallest of the three schools at PIASS, with only 40 enrolled (the other two are Education and Development with a combined enrollment of 1,100). We are so small because students and the supporting churches do not have the money to support more students. Even in the midst of the anticipation of the new term, we know that a few of our students will not be returning to complete their studies because of lack of funding. Regret over this is personal for the bright individuals who are not able to finish what they have begun and corporate for the churches that are hungry for pastors. If Angelique does not have the aid of a scholarship, she will return to her village to resume subsistence farming with her sisters and widowed mother and the church will lose a gifted preacher. In the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda the ratio is one pastor for 3,000 members. This situation is even more regrettable when you realize that the cost of a year of study is only $1,400, a small amount by American standards, but a fortune for most Rwandans. There are some local scholarships, but not enough to assist all the students in need. We have a deep need for friends to join us in this endeavor or train pastors for the church. If your heart is stirred to assist, click here to see a brochure that gives more information on the need and on how you may become part of the solution. This is a validated project of the PC(USA). Sorry for the “commercial,” but this is more than statistics or even a project to me. These are my students and in just a short time I have become involved in their lives and their struggles. That is ministry for me, standing with the people we serve in their joys and their struggles.
In the break between terms I have had the opportunity to get to know the language and the culture a bit more. I have developed relationships with the staff as I we have shared “English Tea,” a time for conversational English learning. I have developed lectures for the coming term and have worked on a few small writing projects, and I have explored the countryside a bit. I’ve been productive, but I am more than ready to begin to teach again. Thank you for your prayers during this time and your support to make this possible. Please join me now in prayer for the beginning of the school year. Please pray for the students’ safe return. Pray for creativity and insight for me in teaching. Pray for the 10 new students who will be entering preparation for a new calling in life.
Thank you to those who have so faithfully supported me. You enable me to be here and minister in your name. If you are new to this ministry, I invite you to join us with your financial support and with your prayer support. I would love to hear from you and be able to share more with you about the amazing things God is doing in Rwanda. May God bless you in your autumn activities as God is blessing us at PIASS in this new school year.
Yours in Christ,
Kay (Cathie to the family)
The 2013 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, Rwanda, p. 102
The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 128
Read more about Kay Day's former ministry in Malawi
Blog: Day's Diary