A Letter from Kay Day, serving in Rwanda
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Dear friends and family,
Greetings from Rwanda. As 2019 has begun, there have been a few new things ushered in with the New Year. Each has provided an opportunity for seeing God at work in wonderful ways.
The first week of January, I traveled to the Karongi campus of the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Science (PIASS) to teach homiletics. Karongi is about three hours from Huye, near Lake Kivu. The campus was opened in 2014. Until October, we only offered education courses there, but because the government of Rwanda is now requiring that all heads of worship centers must have bachelor’s degrees in theology, many lay leaders, much like the
PC(USA)’s commissioned lay pastors, find themselves needing to upgrade their education. PIASS decided to add theology to the Karongi offerings. Eighteen lay leaders were sent to this new program by their churches. I went for a week, staying in the guesthouse that PIASS has just outside the campus, to teach all morning and all afternoon, Monday through Friday. I was delighted to find eager, bright students who were afraid of English and an American teacher, but the students quickly proved they were up to the task. By the end of the week, each had preached a sermon in English, much to their own amazement. It was a demanding and great experience for all of us. I am eager to go back this month for another week to continue the training in preaching and worship leadership. Please pray for these young leaders.
Then on Sunday the 20th, I was invited, along with the choir from our English chapel, to help launch a new English service in Muhanga, at the newly opened Gitarama Presbytery building. The facility houses the presbytery offices, a nursery and primary school, and a sanctuary for a Kinyarwanda service and this new English service. The building was inaugurated the week before. Our group arrived in two waves. Eight of us got the service started, and the other 18 members of the choir came after they had completed the English service at our chapel. The first team was warmly welcomed, and we worked with the new leadership to organize the service and assign parts, sharing with the president of the presbytery and the team there. The new congregation has a worship team of young folks who have studied English in school and are eager to use skills in singing and leading. What a joy it was to sing with them and to be led in singing by them. At just the right moment in the service, the Huye choir arrived and joined this praise team to swell the sounds of joy. I preached on the use of the gifts of the body of Christ, from 1 Cor. 12, affirming the gifts already evident in the congregation. After worship, we were given a tour of the new school while the deacons set up a dinner for the 26 of us from Huye and the 40 in the new worshipping community. During dinner, various combinations of folks stood to sing and praise God, continuing the joy. Each Sunday for the next three months, our English chapel will send two students to this English congregation to assist them in leadership until they are fully able to manage on their own. What a blessing to be part of this new congregation. Please uphold them in prayer to continue to grow.
My prayer for you is that you have had some joyful new beginnings in this new year, too. May God continue to direct us to see the opportunities he has placed before us.
Yours in Christ,
Kay (Cathie to the family)
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Tags: Kay Day
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