Last week we sent out our first postal mailer in some time. With it we sent a prayer card (photo of our family with our contacts) to encourage our family and friends to remember us in prayer. We also sent news about a transition in ministry infrastructure we are making due to the significant growth we have experienced in the last few years.
Following is the letter. If you did not receive the postal mailing and would like to be included and receive our prayer card please send us your address.
Dave and Jana
Dear Family and Friends,
It’s been a long time since we’ve sent out a postal mailer. Thank you so much for your partnership in our lives, your patience with our struggles, and your willingness to listen.
We offer no excuses for how we fell off the face of the earth the last few years. It seemed that every time we tried to communicate something got in the way. Maybe, it was God or maybe it was just our weakness? We’ve had both a wonderful and trying few years in Kigali. Maybe, for a season it was best to be quiet. However, we believe today is a season in which it is best to communicate widely and clearly all that God has done. We hope in doing this God’s honor will be seen through humble servants.
We have long approached our African journey believing that the starting point for all endeavors is prayer. Thus as we begin anew we desire to make our first communication one in which draw attention to the need for prayer.
In June 2005, the Quail Springs Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma commissioned us to go to Rwanda with the call to start a new English speaking Bible based church targeting Rwanda’s Thought Leaders. During our first year in Kigali, we wondered if we would receive the necessary legal documentation to start, but in May 2006 Christ’s Church in Rwanda (CCR) was legally recognized, the first new church to be legally registered in nearly 4 years.
Within months of arriving in Kigali, we wondered if we would be sustainable with 5 school age children while Kigali had no school using American curriculum. We found several other families in the same situation, and in September 2006 our families began Kigali International Community School (KICS).
When we were given our legal registration to start CCR we were instructed to quickly develop property by the Secretary General in the Ministry of Local Government, Mr. Eugene Barikana. Fortunately, several years earlier a model community was built that contained a hall that seated 500 and a school that accommodated 250 students. It was a dream facility, but we pondered if our dream was connected to reality.
The Quail Springs Church of Christ sent two of their elders; Engineer Tom Gooch, and Architect, Larry Schwab to help us explore options. They concluded that we were best served to purchase the school and hall for $1,356,000 as offered by the Rwandan government.
We returned for furlough in October 2006 and with some good friends began the Rwanda Outreach and Community (ROC) Partners to discover the resources to purchase the property. With God’s help all of the resources have been discovered. One of Rwanda’s premier properties is now completely owned by the ROC Partners.
On March 7, 2007 Christ’s Church in Rwanda began our first worship service. CCR has grown and now over 300 people attend each week. These members are those who provide much of Kigali’s leadership in fields such as education, government, business, and the non-profit sectors.
Kigali International Community School (KICS) moved into the facility in April 2007. KICS has grown to nearly 200 students from over 30 nationalities. It is a distinctly Christian school that seeks to empower the faith community to build lasting institutions in Rwanda. Forty five percent of KICS student body comes from Rwandan families. Another thirty percent of KICS student body comes from families of Christian Cross-cultural workers.
Managing all of this quick growth has been a constant challenge. Our small group of friends has realized how true Jesus’ words of "What a huge harvest! How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands! (Matthew 9:37-38, The Message.)”
Bryan and Holly Hixson joined us in August, 2007. Brett and Keli Shreck arrived in Rwanda a few months ago. Rusty and Onawa Linden are in the process of fund discovery and hope to depart for Kigali shortly.
As you can see your prayers are vital to the fruitfulness of this endeavor. Thus as we begin anew we are sending you our prayer card. We ask that you place it somewhere that is easy to see as you remember us in prayer such as your kitchen refrigerator.
As we’ve grown we are making some transitions. ROC Partners has grown significantly to become a ministry serving multiple missionary families and the oversight responsibility of education efforts, community development projects, and faith-based initiatives. To be organizationally cohesive our family will join the Hixsons, Lindens, and Shrecks underneath the ROC umbrella. Quail Springs Church of Christ will still be highly involved in our endeavor and their leadership will continue to serve on our ROC board. Tom Gooch, Larry Schwab, and our former Missions Committee Chairman, John Osborne are key leaders on the ROC board. Quail will still be our home church when we are in the US. They have been the first in faith for 5 years and are worthy of honor.
Thus if you desire to contribute to our ministry we now ask that you send your check (Jenkins in memo) to:
3007 NW 63rd Ste 205
Oklahoma City, OK 73136-3605
In making this transition we will continue to embrace our wonderful heritage of unity and revival. Our desire is for Christ’s Church in Rwanda to be a place where that heritage thrives. We hope ROC will be an organization that widely reaches to the faith community to form partnerships which bless the Rwandan people.
We thank you for your prayers and support over the last 5 years that have empowered our family and this ministry. We will continue to communicate through e-mails, our blog, Facebook, and postal mail in the coming weeks about ways you can become more involved.
Imana ikurinde (May God Stay With All of You),
Dave and Jana