New Life

A letter from Kay Day serving in Rwanda

April 2017

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Dear Family and Friends,

Greetings as we approach the celebration of the Resurrection. This is a season of anticipating new life. For that we all rejoice. I remember when I lived in Western Pennsylvania looking closely for the first sprouts of Spring, the buds of new growth. But the growing cycle is different in Rwanda. We are blessed with budding and flowering year-round, with various fruits and flowers coming in a continuous rotation. This last month I have been delighted with the “new life” that has come to the guava tree just outside my kitchen window. That life has been much more than just the fruits on the tree. Its fruit has given life to others of God’s creation.

We have had sporadic rains this year, so the farmers’ crops have been challenged. Many people, especially in the rural areas, have had little produce from their labors. Many are hungry and the cost of produce has gone up in the markets, causing added difficulty for the poorest in the region. Ironically, my guava tree has produced a bumper crop. Many around me have benefitted. My students have a small garden in my backyard that supplements the food supply in the school’s dining hall. Because of the irregular rains, they have needed to water their crops to keep them alive. To do that, they must walk past the guava tree. They have been eyeing the maturing fruit. When some of the guavas ripened, the head of the garden project asked me if the students could pick some of the guava fruit, for they had not been able to afford to buy fruit for some time. I easily agreed. The tree produces more than I could ever eat. So the next time they came to water the garden, a group came to harvest guava, too. It was a delight to watch some of them climb through the tree, tossing fruit to those on the ground. They now do this on a regular basis, leaving each time with a full bag to take back to share.

But they are not the only ones who harvest. The other day one of the women who routinely comes with her small children to ask for food because I give them rice, came with a bag and asked if she could take some fruit. She adroitly climbed the tree and tossed guavas to her waiting son, who quickly bagged them. They planned to take them to sell as well as to eat—the small income from selling the fruit along the road will improve their lives, even if only a bit.

And then came the monkeys. Of course, they didn’t ask but just took. I was not about to argue with the whole family of them, with their long teeth and claws. They feasted to their hearts’ content and then strolled off to plunder someone else’s garden.

The adventure of the tree is a small matter, but it has served to remind me of the abundance of new life that we have in creation, and in the renewing of life through Christ. The celebration of the resurrection is to remind us of just that. What a delight to have such a physical reminder as the guava tree. I pray that you are able to see around you the evidences of abundant life in Christ, too. I pray that God gives you a tangible reminder of his grace to you and to yours.

I wish you a blessed Easter. I want to also take this opportunity to thank you for your generous support of the ministry here. I could not observe the life-giving guava tree were it not for your support. Thank you for making the ministry here possible. You are a part of it with me.

Blessed Easter Season,

Kay (Cathie to the family)


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