Friday, June 10, 2011


Yes, I know my teenage children sometimes roll their eyes and think, “Dad, please not now.” I sometimes do odd things. Sometimes I embarrass those around me. Sometimes I confuse those around me. I hope it is the Jesus in me, but it may just be me.

I practice Amavubi Friday. Each Friday I put on my Amavubi shirt and go to work. If the occasion demands formality I put on a coat. Yes, it is odd, embarrassing, and confusing. Why?

I’ve been called to pastor. It’s a pretty simple job. I make friends, pray, and teach what I understand to be true.

One of my core beliefs about truth is that Yahweh God is a God of unity. Theologians call this unity the Trinity, and write books upon books attempting to understand incomprehensible mystery. The gist of it is God has three united parts – God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit. All parts of God instruct us human beings to seek unity with one another.

Thus I’m required to treat all my friends no matter whether we share the same race, ethnicity, educational background, economic standing, or church affiliation as my brothers and sisters in the family of man. It’s both remarkably simple and complex. We may have many disagreements, but all humanity is worthy of dignity and respect.

On occasion I’m given a way to move past the teaching of words and hope of prayers and just model to my friends what I believe God seeks us to become.

A few weeks ago Kigali’s Serena Hotel asked for the business community to wear Amavubi in preparation for Rwanda’s Under 17 games in the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
The first games will start on Saturday, 18 June. I could not think of a better way for a Kigali pastor to model unity. A friend of mine (and fellow lover of young people and sports) Mark Dudley was in Kigali and we stopped by the Serena to ask for Amavubi shirts. We were given four, kept two, and gave two away to Amavubi loving friends. Since then our CCR staff has joined in all wearing Amavubi on Fridays. CCR has found a few Amavubi shirts and sold them for no profit. We’re about unity.

Sport provides a wonderful way to model Rwandan national unity in the context of celebrating the unity of the family of man. I can’t resist wearing my Amavubi each Friday.

I’ve noticed that I’m one of the few people with gray hair and the illusions of success in Kigali who wears Amavubi each Friday. Usually, it is just the young, a few people in service industries, and the sports fanatics who join me. I hope next week we’ll be joined by thousands. (Come on my fellow bzee. Put on Amavubi.)

Not only have my friends joined me, but the newest addition in my home, Gabriel Mugisha is also a diehard Amavubi fan. There are a few things non-negotiable in our home – sports, love for the young, and passion for unity.

Will you join us for next week’s Amavubi Friday?


Please join us in praying for our friend, Shyaka Kanuma's daughter, Muhoza.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Here are the latest photos of Gabriel Mugisha. On Friday 3 June, 2011 he weighed 2.3 kilos (5 pounds and 1 ounce). He has gained 43% of his body weight in 3 weeks of Jana Jenkins care. This is an amazing testimony of what God can do when a child is placed in a family.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Dear Family and Friends,

Our family has spent the last 18 years of our lives intimately involved in church development in Africa’s Great Lakes Region. There are days that are thrilling. There are days that are tedious. There are days that are bewildering. On occasion a few matters that have been years of vision bearing, prayer, and labor come together.

One of the metaphors of God’s intent for the church is the Family of God. As Paul writes the Thessalonians he encourages them to live a settled life of humility, love, and labor (1 Thessalonians 4:9-11).

Practically, we’ve found that as we have sought to do what is good for families God has gone far beyond our humble efforts. Less than a week ago, Sophia graduated from KICS (Kigali International Community School). Her graduation was one of our most fulfilling moments since entering this region. Words can’t express our amazement at what God has done through Sophia and our community.

If you would like to read the whole story check out our blog at

Words seem short of the experience so you can see photos at

As we reach the season where Sophia will soon be leaving us, God has brought another into our home. Gabriel Mugisha has gained 25% of his body weight in just 17 days in our home. He is a testament to God’s intent for humanity to live in family. If you would like to see the most recent Gabriel photos they are on our blog at

With the experience of both Sophia’s graduation and Gabriel’s involvement in our family we find ourselves treasuring many things in our heart and prayerfully thanking God for all He has done. We ask this month for you to join us in thanksgiving for the last 18 years while beseeching Him for the future of children such as Gabriel Mugisha.

Thank you for your prayers and support that support our family and ministry.

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

Dave and Jana


Dear CCR Friends and Family,

Our study of the 10 Commandments is nearing completion. This week we are in Command Number 8, “You shall not steal (Exodus 20:15.)” At first it seems pretty simple. This is the week that we make fun of the boys who steal the mirrors from our cars.

However, this commandment is just the one to discuss in a complicated world. We live during a time in Kigali in which many of us carry great responsibility.
Many of us provide leadership in a multiple of different spheres. It can include government, business, church, school, and social function. In the midst of these complexities sometimes the line can blur between personal and community. The line gets complicated with both who is responsible and who is the rightful owner. In such a climate it is easy to begin a slow journey that others will later call outright corruption.

This week we’ll look at a basic building block of enduring nations. Property rights are respected.
An easy temptation is to make this a glorification of individual’s creation of wealth. Instead, God will call us to audacious responsibility. According to God, we humans own nothing. All is God’s entrusted to us. At best we are only renters or refugees on God’s property (Leviticus 25:223-28). Thus property must be developed with God’s excellence always in mind.

I hope you can join us this week.


P.S. Make sure to plan to attend CCR’s Love Fest on Saturday, 18 June with Next Generation (Music band from Church of Harvest Oklahoma City USA), Beauty for Ashes (United musicians from Rwanda), Christ Doves United (Music Band from Christ's Church Rwanda), and God's Army Dance Force (Dance group from Kampala, Uganda.)

For more information see our FB Event Page at!/event.php?eid=202263409819134

Kigali’s new Relative-Free Zone

The global financial crisis has fi­nally caught up with Rwanda. Our econo­my is stalling. Despite our dreams and labor business is not as we hope. Savings and in­vestment are down. It is time for a bold move. Something needs to be done that is within easy reach.

Over Friday dinner in Kigali a few entrepreneurial minds have come up with a wild new idea. What Kigali needs is a Relative-Free Zone (RFZ). It is a remarkably simple concept. Designate one square mile of Kigali in which one’s extended family cannot come and ask for money. With this simple change in Kigali social structure savings and investment will skyrocket. Kigali desperately needs a Relative Free Zone.

How would the RFZ work? One of the Kigali Friday dinner group is a pastor who liberally interprets the family of man to include all who share human flesh. Thus to keep our liberal pastor in the mix we’ll need to not police extended family structure and just make it illegal to ask any one for money in the Relative Free Zone.

The RFZ is easily within our Ki­gali reach within just a few weeks of preparation. Almost all of the infra-structure, training, and personnel are already in place. Here is how the RFZ will work.

When one enters the RFZ he stops at an MTN Hotspot and posts his Facebook status as, “I’m in the Relative-Free Zone. Don’t ask me for money.” With this simple procla­mation all are now held accountable in community. In the RFZ we use our Facebook wall profusely to minimize private conversations. Thus if someone asks us for money it is quickly public information.

RFZ officials promise to reform your troublesome ex­tended family with a 72-hour promise. RFZ officials will immediately arrest the misguided relative when he asks for money. As he may be asking for money for failing health RFZ officials will immediately take him to the RFZ state of the art Medical Diagnostic Unit. If your relative is really sick RFZ will have a complete diagnosis within hours, certify the results, and make a recommendation for medical care to your extended family as RFZ ejects your sick relative from the RFZ.

If your relative is in good physical health RFZ will assign him to a full day of Umuganda labor and lectures. Your offending relative may simply be one who has forgotten that we all must work for our lunch. Thus he will do a full day of labor, be fed a simple but nutritious lunch, and lis­ten to a long informative (but boring) lecture at the end of Umuganda. At the end of the lecture he will be given a written exam on the merits of responsible living in com­munity. If your offending passes his Umuganda day he will be ejected from the RFZ with a certificate of health and distinction for Reformed Responsible living.

If your offending relative fails his first day of Umuganda he will be given Supplemental Umuganda on the second day that he is in RFZ. Upon the completion of Supple­mental Umuganda he will be given a Supplemental Umu­ganda exam. If your offending relative passes Supplemen­tal Exam he will be ejected from the RFZ with a certificate of health and passing marks for Reformed Responsible Living.

If your offending relative is still under the watchful care of RFZ officials in his third day of detention RFZ officials will begin intense diagnostics of your offending relative’s true state. First he will be given a comprehensive IQ test to certify that your offending rela­tive has the intellectual capacity to understand right from wrong. If he does not have sufficient IQ he will be ejected from the RFZ with a cer­tificate of intellectual deficiency for your extended family so you will not waste educational resources on your simple minded relative.

If his IQ is sufficient he will be giv­en a comprehensive psychological diagnostic. If he is found to have a mental illness he will be ejected from the RFZ with a certified diagnosis so your extended family can proceed to get him appropriate psychological help.

The last stop at the RFZ for your offending relative after all other ven­ues have been tried is pastoral counseling. The RFZ will have a comprehensive team of clergy to represent all our faiths. Whether your relative needs a priest, pastor, or sheik one will be found who will comprehensively diag­nosis your offending relative’s spiritual condition. Upon the completion of pastoral counseling the RFZ will eject your offending relative with a certificate of good physical, intellectual, psychological, and spiritual condition. Thus you will no longer be needed to financially rescue your extended family.

The RFZ will be run as a one year pilot project. Upon completion of the RFZ pilot project it will be assessed if the RFZ should expand in geographic scope. RFZ proponents believe it will significantly boost Rwanda’s domestic sav­ings and investment. RFZ proponents also anticipate that the RFZ will become both a vacation and business hub for those weary of irresponsible extended family members from the Great Lakes Region.