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Building the Church

A Letter from Kay Day, serving in Rwanda

June 2019

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Dear Family and Friends,

Greetings from Rwanda. When I lived in the States, I always thought of May as a month of new growth, as trees and plants began to bloom. That has proven to be true here in Huye, Rwanda, this month, but it has not been vegetation burgeoning, but buildings and lives.

Several months ago, Gitarama Presbytery decided to renovate the building they own here in Huye that houses the English chapel in order to meet government regulations. The plans developed slowly, but this month the building began. For that to happen, it meant the English chapel had to temporarily relocate for worship. We

arranged with the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS), which is located just across the street from our building, to use their chapel. But first we had to store our chairs, pulpit and other materials. Again, we arranged with PIASS for storage space, and in one hour of intense carrying by hand, we transported furnishings to a storage area next door to our building and packed soft materials and loaded them into my spare bedroom. Even as we were working, the builders were laying the foundation for the enlarged building. The plan to expand what exists is to add onto the current structure, so that the foundation will be built around and onto the current one. It has been fascinating to watch as the structure has taken on a whole new face. I confess, I check daily on the progress and marvel at the evolution of the building.

But the reality is that bricks and mortar are only the housing for the real growth of the church — the people. That has been as much a delight as watching the bricks going up. The elders and deacons, mostly students at PIASS, have taken ownership of this transition, making the arrangements for the relocation and the storage, adjusting programing to fit the temporary situation, all the while maintaining a caring ministry and doing their studies. One of the aspects of caring was to minister to a young family who was expecting their second child. The mother, Alice, is a first-year student living with her son, Jasper, on the campus, while her husband visits when he can from their home and his work three hours away. Alice developed blood pressure and blood sugar problems the last two months of her pregnancy. The deacons cared for Jasper and attended to Alice’s needs, escorting her to classes, as she was able. She attended classes until two days before the baby was born, and since her husband lives at a distance, she depended on the church to be with her for the birth and after-care, until he could arrange to come. The young leaders have made time to cook, clean, shop and care for the young family, including helping Alice stay up with her courses. They are building the Christian community that will be housed in the chapel that is being build. What a delight to my heart. This is the growth of the Christian community around the world.

You are part of this building as you support me with prayers and finances. Thank you for helping to build the church here in Rwanda today and for the future. We are partnering together to build the kingdom of God, something much greater than a mere church building or one single congregation. I pray that this spring is blessing you as you have blessed me.

Yours in Christ,

Kay (Cathie to the family)

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