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Dancing Before the Lord

A Letter from Kay Day, serving in Rwanda

May 2018

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Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings from Rwanda. Easter was a month ago, yet the joy of the celebration at our English chapel here still resounds with me. I want to take this opportunity, the first since that celebration, to share some of the blessings of that day. As I shared with you in my last letter, many worship centers in Rwanda are closed until renovations can be made. That has left the congregations without worship opportunities, including our brothers and sisters of the Mugombwa chapel.

The English chapel offered to hire buses on Easter to take them to the Karabanda parish, our “mother” parish, whose service is in Kinyarwanda, so the congregation could at least worship on Easter Sunday. They came back to us with the request to come in time to worship with us in the English chapel before going to Karabanda, even though most of them do not understand English. They wanted to express in person their joy at our partnership. Many of the students from the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS), who regularly worship with us, had returned home for the holiday, but there were about 25 who remained, plus other worshippers of the English chapel. Several were willing to help with translations. So we eagerly agreed. Our service begins at 8:30, but at 8 a.m., there were 36 of our Mugombwe friends waiting for the doors of the chapel to be opened. They had made arrangements so they would not be late. As we waited for the rest of the congregation to gather, they joyfully sang and danced for the joy of the resurrection and for the first time they had been in worship together in over a month. They could not contain themselves, not that anyone wanted them to. Their joy was contagious. As English chapel members arrived, they joined in. Soon we had Rwandans, Japanese, Koreans, Congolese, Burundians, Tanzanians and Americans dancing before the Lord. Language was not an issue.

Me with the Mogumbwe congregation

When the service began, we had an overflow crowd. We had to bring in benches so everyone had a seat. We provided a balance of some translation but no elaborate translation, being careful of time, since our friends wanted to enjoy the Karabanda service, too, and it began at 9:30. Usually when I worship in Rwanda, the service is translated for me into English. This service was from English to Kinyarwanda. Translations did not slow the joy. Mogumbwe assembled a choir and they sang in the service. As they sang and gave thanks, they affirmed their faith in the resurrection power of Jesus to raise up their chapel. When the service was over, many of the students accompanied our friends to the next service, to continue the joy. There were no trumpets or Easter lilies, as many of you might have had, but it was one of the most powerful Easter services I have ever been part of.

Last week, the evangelist who leads the chapel informed us that the congregation had managed to purchase land for their new chapel. Without meeting for worship, they have coordinated activities and are preparing to build. This is a testimony to the resurrection power they hold to be true. We continue to rejoice with them and to partner with them in their building project. Please pray for them and for the other worship centers that must be restored in order to reopen.

In just 6 weeks, I return to the States for a time with many of you as I share updates on all that God is doing in Rwanda. Please pray for all the details that need to be attended to for this trip to happen. I am eager to be with you. I pray that God’s resurrection joy and power reign in your lives and circumstances. I am eager to hear you share how this is happening when we are together. As of now, my Sunday schedule is full, but I have week days open and would welcome a mid-week evening picnic or dinner or meeting with groups to share together what God is doing. Please feel free to contact me so we can make plans. I look forward to being with you soon.

Yours in Christ,

Kay (Cathie to the family)

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