Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Arrival at Kikago Airport
Dear CCR Family,

It is still hard to belief.   We wake up in the morning and it feels like a dream to be in Kikago (Chicago).   Yet this is real.   God called us to leave Rwanda to begin a missionary journey in Kikago.    Thank you for the blessing of our Send Off.   We have gone as your missionaries to serve Africa’s Great Lakes Diaspora in North America.   We are back to the early missionary days of learning to live, establishing a home, making friends, and praying for God’s guidance.    Out of this process came all that was good about journey in Rwanda.  We trust God will bless the same process in Kikago.

We have been fortunate to live in a 4-bedroom furnished apartment at a very low cost in the lovely Kikago suburb of Wheaton.   We are only 2 blocks away from Wheaton College.   Our oldest daughter, Sophia is home with us through her vacation.   In August she’ll begin Wheaton’s “In Chicago” program and actually be over an hour away from us on 2 different train rides.   We are savoring this season of us all being together again. 

Our air shipment has arrived with memories from our Great Lakes.    Our house is feeling more like home.   We hope some of you can visit us in the future.   We’re a bit tight, but can always find a little space for all of you.

Celebrating Sophia's 20th Birthday in Kikago with no power, but a fire
We’ve twice been without power since moving to Kikago.   Both times electrical lines were broken due to storms.   We enjoyed posting our power loss on Facebook and giggled at expatriates in Kigali who share every detail that makes Rwanda look a bit less than ideal.    Our neighbors and we did umuganda.   Our family joined another neighbor with a fire at night to have some light and conversations.   In a way we felt at home in the community, resiliency, and laughter of a 17 hour power outage.   (Some of our Kikago neighbors were without power for 4 days with no generator or inverter.)

Our kids are adjusting.  Ethan has been playing football (American soccer).  Also, today we registered him to begin the 10th grade at Wheaton North High School.   We were proud of him that he chose more difficult academic subjects.  

Caleb is registering to attend the College of DuPage in August.  He plans to take dual credit courses that can be transferred back to KICS for graduation while also earning university credit.   We are proud of his resilient adaptation.

Ruth is taking a ballet class once per week and also frequently at Wheaton’s public library.  She has a way of bringing graceful beauty to our adaptation.

Timothy has done 2 football (American soccer) and 1 track (Athletics) camps.   He seems to be one of the fastest boys his age.

With all of us there are some struggles to adjust to America.   Home is not here.   Home is heaven.    Everything else is temporary.   Thank you for your care in our temporary situations and your prayers and concern for our family. 

We are in the process of finding a local church to place roots.   Thankfully, we have many good churches from which to choose.   In some ways, we seem to have too many choices.    We do not know exactly what God intends for us to do in Kikago, but we believe we first must find a church home so that we have others near us who can guide our discovery.   

As we go on this journey God has been surprising us with African friends.   We’ve met African missionaries a bit older than us who have settled in Kikago.  We need our bzee and they are nearby.

Also, on our first Sunday as we walked through a church parking lot we made eye contact with a familiar looking Rwandese family.   They asked, “Are you the pastor in Gaculiro?”   We visited and found they had moved from Kigali to Kikago a little before our journey and that they had in the past visited at CCR.  We’ve since been visiting each other and enjoying our shared journey.   Without a Sovereign God how could this happen?

Another time, Dave was driving through our neighborhood and thought he saw an angel.   A woman from our Great Lakes was walking with a hoe on her shoulder, baby on her back, and a bucket of dodo in her hand.    After convincing himself she was human, Dave greeted her.    Later we visited her family and found they were Barundi refugees by way of Congo and Tanzania.

This past weekend we had our first house guests, Yves Ntare Musiine and Nicole Kamana.   Dave will be performing their wedding in a few weeks in Indianapolis.   We enjoyed some extra time with them to plan for their future marriage.

We have yet to visit all of your family and friends in Kikago, but trust we will at the appropriate time.   We continue to discover that God has prepared the field in Kikago before we arrived.   There are Great Lakes Diaspora here from students to refugees to professionals.    One of the umudugudus near our own has their English signs translated to Kiswahili.  We sense we are just where God needs us to be for His glory.

You are frequently in our thoughts and prayers.   Thank you for the privilege of pastoring you.   Now thank you for the privilege of representing you as a missionary.   We miss worship at CCR and hunger for a day in eternity in which all nations and generations will worship together.

Imana ikurinde,

Dave and Jana

P.S.  We plan to see Gabriel Mugisha Jacobs in a few weeks and will pass on your greetings and post photos to Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. My apologies for the confusion of my Kiganda spelling of Chicago as Kikago. My Rwandan editors suggest Cyicago instead. To be "all things to all men" I will use the Bakago's spelling of Chicago for North American audiences, but in my heart the city of our current calling is either Kikago or Cyicago.