A Letter from Kay Day, serving in Rwanda
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Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings from Rwanda. It had been my plan to write this prayer letter from the U.S., as I began three months of meeting with you to share what God is doing in Rwanda. Instead, I, like the rest of the world, am practicing “social distancing” because of the coronavirus. I will remain in Rwanda until this threat is over. To be honest, I believe that this is the safest and most productive place for me to be at present.
This is part of God’s plan for me.
On March 11, PC(USA) requested that all mission personnel remain in their countries of service. The following day, President Trump limited travel from Europe. Brussels was my jumping-off point to the U.S., so that door was closed. On Saturday the 14th, the first case of the virus was discovered in Rwanda, and the government immediately acted. They closed all churches and other gathering places of more than 10 people. Funerals could be held, but only with a few mourners. All schools were closed, including universities, for at least two weeks, and so we sent our students home. Handwashing and social distancing were enacted.
As more cases were reported, the government took further action. On March 20th, all arriving and departing passenger flights were cancelled for 30 days. All work was to be done from home. Only essential markets were open. Then, on March 22, as Rwanda was closing all borders and restricting all travel between cities, PC(USA) summoned all mission personnel to come home. That was impossible for me, since all travel within and to and from Rwanda was stopped. So I am here for the duration, but that is not a bad thing. I have all that I need to be comfortable and safe. In addition to food, I have internet access and can communicate with my congregation, my students, and with you. I am doing more writing, and sharing that with my congregation and students. I am finishing sermons and PowerPoint presentations for when I can return to the States.
Ministry is taking a different form. It is about communication—with those in my life, and with the God of my life on their behalf. I am used to moving at a rapid pace, but I find this time of quiet a blessing, an opportunity to be more creative and more intentional in how I do things and in what I do. I praise God for this time to slow down and re-image what I do, for now. God’s ministry does not stop because of our circumstances, but adapts to them.
I know that many of you are facing more difficult circumstances than I am. I pray that in this time you will be able to refocus and see God’s hand of protection and provision. I know that financial needs continue for all of us. If you are blessed to be able to continue to financially support me and other ministries, please do so. If not, please join me in prayer in a more intense and purposeful way for God’s care and direction for all of us.
I keep singing one of my favorite hymns, “It Is Well With My Soul.”
The first stanza says:
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
Chorus: It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.
May we be able to sing this with our whole hearts as we work our way through the coronavirus and all that it has done in our lives. May we continue to trust in the God of all provision and care to give us what we need, when we need it.
Yours in Christ’s love,
Kay (Cathie to the family)
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