Thursday, April 28, 2011


This coming Sunday, 1 May I will preach a sermon I wish every single young person in Kigali and their parents could hear. It will be a tough sermon and one that most pastors dodge. However, I believe it is a vital one. CCR is continuing our preaching series on the 10 Commandments. This week we are on Commandment Number 6, “You shall not commit murder (Exodus 20:13).”

Though Rwanda has experienced the horrors of Genocide I do not believe contemporary Rwanda should fear this past. In a certain way this command is an easy one to gloss over.

However, I believe that as we wrestle with this command we will realize that protecting life has ordinary matters. Sometimes it is just too easy to minimize the value of life. On May 15 I will preach on how we must manage property to protect life. This week I will preach on how we must practice PREEMPTIVE FORGIVENESS to preserve life.

I will respect confidences, but you should know that I’ve pastored for 26 years. During that time I’ve listened to many stories of those who were pregnant before they were married. I’ve grieved, performed quick weddings, and held children in my arms that have no willing father. I’ve just finished reading some candid ethics essays from my KIST students and life has not changed. Single young people from good families sometimes have sex outside of marriage and become pregnant.

Then comes a very painful season of wrestling: Who will I tell? What will my parents think? What about people at church? Can’t I just find a way to make this go away?

There are voices that say the value of the unborn is less than life. I disagree. There are voices that say the preservation of social and church status is more important than life. I disagree.


I hope you can join us this Sunday,


P.S. This Sunday’s sermon would be considered PG13 in American movie rankings or 15 in U.K. rankings. Children will be dismissed to their classes during the sermon. However, I have asked for the youth to remain to hear the sermon. If you feel uncomfortable with the topic I will understand if you choose to attend another church this Sunday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Dear CCR Family and Friends,

This week is one that history remembers as the one that changed the world. Sometimes in our comfort with religion we miss the paradox of the ordinary and extraordinary. Two thousand years ago, a Jewish carpenter turned itinerant preacher, named Jesus of Nazareth was executed by the Roman government with Jewish religious and political support.

For news of the event check out -

To remember this horrific event Christ’s Church in Rwanda will have a Good Friday Service this Friday, 22 April at 7:00 p.m. We will use candles to symbolize the light of Jesus.

The Romans executed many people who they saw as threats. However, something was radically different about the death of Jesus. His family and friends were confused and grieved. What had happened to his promised kingdom?

Then three days later he rose from the dead. This is the reason for our Easter Celebration. We cannot escape suffering and death. However, Jesus’ resurrection confirms that death has no final mastery over man.

We are planning a special drama for both our 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Sunday Services to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection this Easter Sunday.
I hope you will be able to join us.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Human rights observers discovered an empty grave outside of Jerusalem where an apparently innocent man was executed several days ago. The killing has all of the classic marks of the continual cycle of religious based violence in the Middle East.

The executed man was a carpenter from the border area between Israel and Lebanon. He was the first born son of teenage girl with no father who grew up in obscurity until the age of 30. He began a pietistic religious order after being baptized in the Jordan River by an eccentric preacher. Religious authorities were continually baffled by both his words and actions. His religious order was popular in the villages of Palestine, but despised by most urban religious authorities.

Local village leaders have noted that he had a particular fondness for the most vulnerable of society such as women, children, and refugees. He was frequently in trouble with the police for his close association with prostitutes and corrupt government officials. It is also reported that he practiced faith healing.

His message was one of the oddest in modern Middle Eastern politics. He claimed to be a Prince and King, but repeatedly refused to take up arms. Several months before his execution a militia of over 5,000 men approached him in hopes that he would lead them to a military victory over oppressive authorities.

On Thursday of this past week, he was kidnapped by the military wing of religious fanatics. The performed a mock trial, severally tortured him, and finally executed him on Friday. His followers have been completely scattered in the aftermath.

He was buried in a grave outside Jerusalem. To preserve the evidence for human rights inspectors a detachment of soldiers was assigned to guard the grave. However, upon inspectors reaching the grave site it has been found empty.

Accounts vary about the possible location of the body.

(From Monitor FM, 2004, "Did You See The News This Weekend?)

Monday, April 18, 2011


Prostitutes and religious conmen hear me well. I am not a loaf of bread. I am husband. I am a father. I am a pastor. I am a runner. I notice that some choose to follow me. Some are seekers. Some are children. Some are prostitutes. Some are religious conmen. I am amazed at the similarities between prostitutes and religious conmen. I see they suffer from the same root causes. For the seekers and children, I know where you can find life giving bread. I hope we can find a shared answer.

I live in Kimihurura between the Papyrus Restaurant and Cadillac Night Club. Between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights I see women who appear to be prostitutes outside my home. They are scantily dressed. My Saturday morning usually starts with a run. My Sunday morning usually starts with leaving home early to prepare for worship at CCR. Many times, I have short conversation with the women who appear to be prostitutes. They call me sweet names, try to initiate conversations, and some even try to touch me. I am 44 years old. I have never been described as handsome. I have a bad back, five kids, and a missionary salary. A young scantily dressed attractive woman who has a romantic interest in me is either mentally deranged or a prostitute. I am a husband. I am a father. I am a pastor. I am a runner. I am not a loaf of bread. When a prostitute calls me, I keep running. They leave me after less than 100 meters.

I am a Muzungu. I at times appear to have money. I sometimes attract religious conmen. They find me at all hours of the day and a multiple of times per week. Their dress is either immaculate or shabby. They try to make me either feel sorry for them, or be amazed by their spiritual power. I have learned not to trust them. However, some of my Bazungu friends will listen to their stories. They speak sweet Kilokole. However, like the prostitute they only see me as a loaf of bread. When the religious conman calls me I keep running. I am not a loaf of bread. They leave me after a few pastoral running strides.

On my morning runs sometimes the children of Kigali choose to join me. We run together. They make me laugh. They seem to know who I am. Sometimes, they chant, “Jesus,” or, “Imana ishimwe.” They follow me kilometer after kilometer. They make me a better runner. They enjoy my friendship and seem to know I seek the bread of life.

At Sunday mornings at CCR and throughout the week, seekers choose to join me. We pray together. We share. We laugh. We cry. Sometimes, we dance. They find my failings and still follow me kilometer after kilometer. They make me a better pastor. They enjoy my friendship and seem to know I seek the bread of life.

As the children join me on a run I notice some are girls. I wonder if the prostitutes who follow me for a few meters once were little girls who shared a run with me for kilometers. Something went terribly wrong.

As the seekers join me for prayer I notice some are hurting. I wonder if the religious conmen who follow me for a few meters were once honest seekers who shared life with me. Something went terribly wrong.

I don’t like prostitutes or religious conmen. I don’t like being treated like a loaf of bread. However, I find that both suffer from the same disease. Prostitutes and religious conmen thrive in a world of non-literacy and poverty. In a way they are victims.

I do enjoy children and seekers. I think they follow me for the much the same reasons. We both seek friendship and the bread of life. Life may have struggle, but we refuse to be victims. We thrive in a world full of love, hope, and joy.

Prostitutes economically thrive by finding those who are sexually unfulfilled. Religious conmen economically thrive by finding those who are emotionally unfilled. I find the prostitute’s and religious conmen’s clients to be more repulsive than the prostitutes or religious conmen. Some like to rant at prostitutes and religious conmen. Some intend to police them out of existence. However, let me propose a few solutions to make Kigali a more pleasant city. Let us build schools and businesses. Let us build a literate and wealthy population. There will always be a portion of our city that is poor. However, let us make the options of prostitution and religious conmen much less financially advantageous.

Next, let us find a way to police the financiers of prostitutes and religious conmen. If we dry up the money the prostitutes and religious conmen will go somewhere else. Maybe, we would be well served to run internet photos of both prostitute’s clients and religious conmen’s financier with a short story?

Prostitutes and religious conmen, I feel mercy for your situation. However, I am not a loaf of bread.

Children and seekers; let us continue to run. Together we can find the bread of life.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I am in the final stages of unpacking my office and sorting through files. I just found a private business document that I believe I need to make public so God can be honored. It reads:

11 June 2009


To Whom It May Concern;

We appoint Tom Gooch, John Osborne, and Sophia Jenkins to serve as our power of attorney in the event that one of us is unable to conduct business. Such appointment grants any of these individuals power to make decisions on financial or medical matters at their sole discretion. This appointment shall last until revoked by another document. This appointment can be used if one or both of us are outside of the United States, not able to communicate, or incapacitated due to health reasons.


David Lloyd Jenkins

Jana Denise Jenkins



Jana had been suffering from severe pain in her lower left abdomen from January 2009. We had seen doctors in Kigali with little help. During the first two weeks of June Sophia, Jana, and I traveled to Nairobi to seek medical help. We had gone through two years of birth pains with the launch of CCR and KICS that we now believe broke our physical health. While in Nairobi we saw movies, ate at Java House, drank Dr. Pepper, reconnected with old friends, worshipped at Nairobi Baptist and Pentecostal churches, and in two weeks laughed more than we had in 2 years. However, Jana’s pain was increasing significantly. At times we could manage it, but we spent one night in the Emergency Room at Aga Khan Hospital in which I had not seen Jana in such pain since she was in labor. It appeared she had a tumor, but much was undiagnosed. We began having discussions about exploratory surgery.

At this point we decided that it was time to send Jana to the USA to seek help. I put her and Sophia on a plane to Oklahoma City. I then flew back to Kigali to be with our other 4 kids. We did not know where this would end.

A little while before Jana and Sophia’s flight, Jana told me how to manage life if she did not live through the next few days to weeks. I wrote the previous Power of Attorney note in the event that something went horribly wrong on Jana and Sophia’s travel. I prayed for it not to happen, but in the back of my mind knew my 17 year old daughter may have to make the toughest decisions of her life on that trip.

Fortunately, the Power of Attorney was never used.

I was beginning to feel familiar pain in the back of my left shoulder radiating down my arm.

Six weeks later Timothy and I joined Jana and Sophia in Oklahoma City. A few days later Jana had a hysterectomy and a benign tumor removed from her colon.

A couple weeks after this I was diagnosed with 2 herniated discs on my neck. The three children remaining in Rwanda joined us in Oklahoma City and we enrolled them in school. In late September, Tom and Sue Gooch replaced us in Kigali. A few days later I had a plate put on my spine as the herniated discs were removed.

We spent a year in the US healing our body and spirits. In the process we learned our loss of community and physical health was the Kingdom of God’s gain.

We still have residual pain, but it reminds us of God’s grace and sovereignty.

We revoked the Power of Attorney, but this note hangs in my Kigali CCR office as a reminder of God’s Providence.

May God receive all glory for His healing power.


Thursday, April 7, 2011


Today is 7 April, 2011. Seventeen years ago, Rwanda’s Genocide began. My memories of those days have never left. I sit as a strange teller of stories. I was not in Rwanda in 1994. However, I was next door in Uganda with Banyarwanda friends. Last year, I told some of my memories. Another one came to mind a few months ago. It is one that I am ashamed did not trigger outrage in 1993. I remember, regret, and repent. I just did a Google search and am confident though my memory is true, it would be difficult to document. If I do not leave a record of my memory I strip victims of their dignity. Truth heals and it must be told. One of the weapons of genocide was rape. Such brutality is not the nature of man as image bearer of God. Such brutality must be nurtured with hateful mythology. Only when man’s eyes are blinded by hate can one destroy the daughters of men. One of my acts of repentance is to hold a prophetic stand. I seek out places where I can speak publicly so that I will never be silent when God’s people must speak. Thus I seek out friendships in the media. However, the history of Rwanda’s media has left me so troubled that I must seek to understand and wrestle with my motivation. A few months ago, I found a must read book, The Media and the Rwanda Genocide by Allan Thompson and Kofi Annan. I picked it up to judge my motives. In the process I found a chapter on media and sexual violence. (As I sit in my office I do not have the book, but a related link can be found at My best summary of the chapter is that Tutsi women carried a sexual mystique that was hated. Thus the haters found justification for horrific rapes. As I read the chapter, I remembered an article I read in 1993 in Uganda’s independent newspaper, The Monitor At the time, The Monitor was just getting off the ground. Sometimes its articles were cultural non-sense and gossip designed to sell newspapers. Sometimes these played to stereotypes. The article I remember was on the sexual prowess on the women of various Ugandan ethnic groups. It started in Uganda’s east and worked its way west. It had the tone of dorm room humor mixed with academic research. I suspect the author was in his twenties. As it started with the Sabei on Mount Elgon it made the case that due to Female Genital Mutilation the Sabei women had little sexual prowess. It made comments about women in various ethnic groups in Uganda. Its conclusion was about the great sexual prowess of Tutsi, Rwandan refugee women living in Uganda. It even discussed the anatomical details of Rwandan women compared to Ugandan women. I do not remember the author’s name or his sources, but I am confident of my memory. In reading, The Media and the Rwanda Genocide, I realized I had once read hate literature that seemed almost academic while in reality being pornographic. I remember, regret, and repent. Seventeen years ago, I should have been outraged and sent a letter to The Monitor editors. How do I display my repentance today? First, it is personal. My daughters are now beautiful young women with beautiful young Banyarwanda women as their friends. They are all daughters of men and children of God. As such they are all worthy of respect. A sin against my Banyarwanda women friends is a sin against the humanity of all. I cannot lose my empathy. Second, history is a great teacher. A few months ago, I found a book from 1948 in a Rwanda missionary library called, New Congo (I have now misplaced the book and working from memory.) It details the story of an American traveling through Belgium’s African colonies. Like many of us when he reaches Rwanda he is stunned. He made one prophetic commentary that I can never forget. He was convinced that the colonial enterprise was leading Rwanda towards disaster. His biggest concern was that young Banyarwanda women were not receiving quality education. He predicted without Banyarwanda women being educated Rwanda’s future would be tragic. There are many reasons for Rwanda’s tragic history, but the non-literacy of many Banyarwanda women must be factored in as a significant one. My understanding of Rwanda pre-colonial history is that women served as the unifiers of society. With a colonial system that marginalized women and a post-colonial media that treated them as subjects to sexually exploit disaster was imminent. Thus today I cheer loudly for all Rwandan women I know who succeed as students, entrepreneurs, and leaders. Their dignity must be guarded. Their voices must be heard. Last, my repentance means I must be a participant and advocate for all academic and business enterprises in my influence who give extra opportunities for women. I should never assume “girls are not good at math and science,” or “business and politics is too rough.” My delayed outrage is delayed repentance. May my voice for Banyarwanda women be simply one of many that say, “Never again.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Dear Family and Friends,

April is likely the most difficult month in Rwanda. This is the month where we remember the Genocide of 1994. During this month more so than others we ask you to remember the nation of Rwanda, and our ministry and family in your prayers. Please keep the following matters in your prayers this month:

1. Genocide Memorial Week. On 7 April, 1994 the Rwandan genocide began. Over the next 100 days as many as one million people lost their lives. The tragedy is beyond comprehension. For a sacred week, Rwanda will remember, grieve, and seek hope. Please pray for an extra measure of comfort and hope to be found during this week.

(Last year, Dave decided to blog about our memories of being in Uganda during the time leading up to the Genocide and the days it occurred. If you have interest in reading the blog it is at

2. God’s word (2 Corinthians 1:1-7) teaches that one of the purposes that we suffer upon this earth is so that we may empathize with another and be a tool of God’s healing grace. Dave has been through 4 spine surgeries and lives with slight pain each day. During the last semester of lecturing at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), it became apparent that one of his favorite students, Joseph Kaberuka is also suffering from similar back issues. One of our Christ’s Church in Rwanda (CCR) members is Dr. Emmanuel Nkusi, a neurosurgeon. Please keep Joseph Kaberuka and Dr. Emmanuel Nkusi in your prayers as we seek to find an answer for Joseph’s pain.

(To read more about Dr. Nkusi’s work see today’s New Times at

3. Last month saw the successful launch of a second worship service at CCR. With it has come increased attendance and also increased spiritual seeking and fellowship. May God be honored. Also, may CCR continue to grow into all that God intends.

4. Our oldest daughter, Sophia last month was accepted into her first choice for a future university, Wheaton College. We are facing the future with both hope and holy fear. God has blessed us beyond measure with experiences and friends, but we are puzzled about how Sophia’s education will be financed. This is a season for God’s glory to be shown. May God richly display His providence through Sophia’s education.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and support that empower our family to serve in Rwanda.

Imana ikurinde (May God Stay With All of You),

Dave and Jana

Friday, April 1, 2011


Dear CCR Family and Friends,

This Sunday we will reach the command, “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you (Exodus 20:12 New Living Translation.)”

I am very eager for our discussion on this command. My observation is that there is a season of Rwandan history that is not well documented. This season is the time of our youth’s grandparents. They have much to be remembered and honored. One of my pastoral joys is listening to family’s stories of faith. This Sunday, I’ve asked several friends who I’ve heard repeatedly speak well of their parents to join us for a panel discussion. They are John Kayihura, Joshua Mbaraga, Colin Mohozi Kakiza, Eddie Mwunvaneza, Arthur Muguga, and Brett Shreck. I’m eager to listen to their stories. I will not preach, but just ask a few questions and listen.

I hope you’ll be able to join us.


P.S. A few have asked for sermon copies of last week’s sermon on AUDACOUS FORGIVENESS. You can read the sermon on my blog at I truly believe the greatest African virtues are the paradox of audacity and forgiveness. Only Africa has been able to show the world how these virtues can be institutionalized.