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Immanuel, God With Us

A Holiday Greeting from Kay Day, serving in Rwanda

December 2017

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“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matt. 1:23

Dear Friends and Family,

Advent greetings. This season of anticipation is an excellent time to consider what God meant when he came to be among us–Immanuel, God with us. I believe that one of the things that is meant is that we are to live in community–not alone and on our own, but in the company of others. That is what he did for us when he came to us. This point was demonstrated to me this past weekend, as Advent began.

Samuel, Alex and Gady, who traveled for me and with me as part of the community of faith this week.

On Saturday, someone boldly walked into my house while I was at the back of the house and stole my cell phone and my e-reader from the coffee table in the living room. It took less than 3 minutes. I saw the open gate and ran after the thief, but he or she was gone. I locked the gate and went to get help. Staff and students were gathering for a marriage celebration in the hall across the road from my house. They came immediately and searched for the thief, reported to the security guards and the police and offered suggestions and comfort. One of the staff members went with me to make a formal report to the police. Students canvassed the area, looking for possible traces of the person or the property. On Sunday, I was prayed for in worship and accompanied by my student Samuel for a follow up with the police. Sunday evening two colleagues came to check on me and to pray with me. On Monday, one of the staff had options for me for a cell phone replacement. Monday afternoon, my student Gady made the 3-hour trip to Kigali to purchase a new cell phone and to find out how to retrieve my old cell number. That proved more challenging than first thought, because my original phone and the number were registered to a staff member of the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda who helped me “get connected” when I first arrived five years ago. But community came to the rescue again. I have serviced my phone and internet at the same MTN (phone company) service center since I arrived in Butare five years ago. They know me. Gady and Alex, who had been helping with all of this, went with me to the MTN center on Tuesday morning to explain the situation. A phone call to the manager produced authorization to re-register the phone number in my name. The young agent then spent over an hour converting “ownership” and downloading all that I needed to be fully connected, including retrieving all my contact information. By noon on Tuesday, I was reconnected to the world. We then went back to the police with the MTN information. They are hopeful they may thus find the thief. A precious friend in the States is getting me a new e-reader and will send it soon. As I “played” with my new phone Tuesday afternoon, I was so aware of the grace and care of a community of believers who surrounded me and aided me on something as relatively small as this theft. How much more does God want us to gather round one another and be with each other in all the events of life?

My friends, I deeply believe Jesus modeled community for us when he came to be with us and that he calls us to live in community in his name and by his power. My Advent prayer is that you may experience and be the community of faith in new ways this season and you may know afresh Immanuel, God with us.

Merry Christmas,
Kay (Cathie to the family)

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