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Graduation in September

A letter from Kay Day serving in Rwanda

October 2015


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Dear Family and Friends,

Philemon, Jean Claude and Athanase stood in line with 12 colleagues, all students of theology at PIASS (Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences) about to receive their bachelor degrees. I had stood as Philemon’s mother’s godmother as she joined the Presbyterian Church. I had worked with Jean Claude as the president of elders of the English chapel I pastor. I had directed him and Athanase in their academic theses. After graduation, they would leave to begin serving the parishes to which they have been assigned by the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda. I was proud of all of my students as they stood to graduate, but especially so for these three. I had watched them grow in faith and in leadership abilities.

Candidates of Theology to receive degrees

I knew they were ready to serve their assigned churches. They will serve two years of “directed leadership” in their presbyteries before ordination.  At graduation we “hand them over” to the churches from which they came; we give them back to serve. That is our role as theology faculty. But it is more than a job. It is a personal joy to be engaged in their lives and in their growth, to equip them for their lives. You were with me. You enable me to serve these students and the church here. I am here because of you. Thank you for standing with me in this ministry.

Old and new library buildings

Graduation in September is unusual in the States but it is the practice here at PIASS since our classes are year-round. So a September 30th graduation ushers in the new academic year in October. Graduation was only a part of the day’s celebration. It was a triple event. We are preparing to begin anew. We inaugurated the new library and installed a new Vice Chancellor. The library replaces a small, single room with a two-story building that will house an academic wing, a public wing and a children’s center. This is designed to serve the campus and the community, to encourage reading in a culture that has not had a reading focus. With the retirement of the Vice Chancellor, we installed a new leader, but one who is well known to the PIASS community and to the Presbyterian Church. The new VC is Dr. Elisee Musemakweli, the former President of the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda and former Dean of the theology faculty of PIASS. He brings knowledge and experience to the position and a passion for PIASS. He was the one who led the re-establishment of the School of Theology, the forerunner of PIASS, after the Genocide in 1994. This was an exciting time for us at PIASS.

As we begin the new school year in October, I am preparing courses and at the same time preparing to return to the States in April 2016 for six months of Mission Interpretation. I will be visiting churches and individuals to raise awareness of the ministry here. Please pray for me as I make these preparations and please invite me to your church if there is an opportunity. I would look forward to that.

Blessings to you all,
Kay (Cathie to the family)

The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 152
Read more about Kay Day’s ministry
Blog: Day’s Diary

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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