A letter from Kay Day serving in Rwanda
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Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings from Rwanda, where God is at work in people’s lives.
Consolee is a 55-year-old mother of nine—she has eight sons and one daughter. Her youngest son, Philemon, is one of my students. When he cut his Achilles tendon at the beginning of the school year I aided him as I could as his pastor, since he is a member of the English chapel. In November when I preached at a parish in his home area Philemon translated for me. His parents came to see him. His mother hugged me and thanked me for helping her son. We chatted briefly through Philemon’s translation. He explained that his parents are struggling farmers. His father spent two years in prison because of his participation in the genocide. When he was released, his father turned to the Presbyterian Church but his mother turned away from her faith community, the Roman Catholic Church. Now she was attending no church at all.
Philemon said he was surprised that she had come to church. It seemed that she had come only to see her son, to see how he was recovering from his injury. So I was surprised a month ago when Philemon came to me with a request from his mother that I stand as her “godmother” when she joined their local Presbyterian church. Godparents, usually for children and young people, are part of the church tradition here, a custom strongly influenced by the first Anglican missionaries. Philemon explained that Consolee, his mother, wanted “a spiritual mother” to stand with her. I was deeply touched.
This past Sunday I stood behind her as a spiritual mother as she was confirmed with 11 others who were joining the Presbyterian Church from other churches. During the service I also participated in the baptism of 18 infants and the confirmation of 14 youth, but nothing thrilled my heart as much as being Consolee’s “godmother.”
Philemon’s family lives in a simple dwelling literally carved out of the side of a mountain. At the family celebration at their home, after the worship service, I was humbled when Philemon’s oldest brother stood and praised God, explaining that he had been praying for his mother for several years. He proclaimed: “She used to love banana beer, but now she loves Jesus. God has answered my prayers.” God had used Philemon’s accident and his brother’s prayers to move their mother’s heart. By being privileged to provide pastoral care for her son, I was one small part of the large picture of God’s working in Consolee’s life to bring her back into fellowship with a community of faith. We never know what God will use in the lives of those around us to bring them to himself and to bring glory to His name.
Be assured that you were as much a part of Consolee’s returning to Christ as I was because I am here because of your prayers and financial support. Thank you for making it possible for me to serve God’s people in Rwanda. I humbly ask that you continue to walk with me, sharing in this ministry through your financial support and continued prayer. At this time please pray for Philemon and his 10 colleagues who are finalizing their papers and presentations for graduation. Pray for strength and wisdom for me as I correct their English.
For you, I pray that this last month of summer brings the refreshment you need to prepare for the coming season of renewed activity. May Christ bless you and continue to use you.
Yours in Christ,
Kay (Cathie to the family)
The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 152
Blog: Day’s Diary
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