Kay Day PC(USA) and Scholarships for Presbyterians at PIASS- October 2016 Update
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:19)
What is involved in reconciliation, pardon and reconstruction? How does that relate to our call as Christians and our struggles within the world? What role can or does the church play in all of this? These were some of the topics of “Winter School” in February 2016 at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS). It was a “winter break” for twenty students and four faculty from The University of Geneva (Switzerland) who came to participate, but a welcoming summer for hosting the event at PIASS for our twenty students and theology faculty and four students and two faculty from ULPGL of Goma and Bukavu (DR Congo). I had the privilege of preaching two of the five mornings for devotions.
The presentations and discussions were more than academic for the African students who have lived with and through violent conflicts. This was made clear in the presentations the African students and faculty gave. These were powerful testimonies to the reality of reconciliation for individuals and for nations. It was eye-opening for the Geneva students to realize that these young theology students were living out peacebuilding, even as they studied, since they come from different ethnic backgrounds and had very different experiences during the Genocide of 1994. They are all personally committed to reconciliation. Together all the students visited the Murambi Genocide Memorial site, one of the most overwhelming of the memorials, where the skeletal remains of many of the more than 50,000 victims rest in open sight. It gave a new face to the importance of reconciliation, combining academics, theology and reality.
This was made even more personal for me when, in the middle of the week, I had a visit from ten of our international students from DR Congo and Burundi. The discussion turned to Winter School and then to the conflict playing out at that time in Burundi. Three of the five students from Burundi could not return home at that time because it was unsafe in their regions, with fighting and killings happening outside their homes, friends being killed and families endangered. Each of the international students was studying peacebuilding here at PIASS. Peace and reconciliation is not academic for them, but the academics give them a foundation for living productively in their home countries when they return. The verse from 2 Corinthians is powerfully real to us here at PIASS, through Winter School, in the peacebuilding program of Development Studies, in the theological training that we give our pastors-to-be. I am privileged to be a part of all of this as I teach in the theology department of PIASS. Our theological training is centered on the gospel of peacebuilding, as we contextualize the message of scripture to the lives of the people we serve. This is part of our everyday lives.
Grateful for your support,
Rev. Kay Day, PIASS Rwanda
Read more about Scholarships for Presbyterians at PIASS by clicking HERE.
Note from The Outreach Foundation
Outreach partners with PIASS in providing scholarships for Presbyterian students studying theology. Our partner, the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR), is in dire need of trained pastors for its growing congregations. Rev. Kay Day is a PC(USA) mission co-worker teaching English and theology at PIASS. Support is needed for her second term in Rwanda as well as scholarships to increase the number of pastors for EPR.