Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Letter in the Mail

Dave and Jan walking in the Fall in Wheaton
Fundamentally, missionary callings are very personal.    God speaks.  He asks for us to go.   The call is tested in community.  Friends and family send.   The missionary arrives, preaches, and lives are changed. 

Sometimes the changes come so fast it is almost impossible to communicate back to the senders in a personal way.   We’re in a season that though “overwhelming" has given us time to reflect and communicate more personally. 

The last week, we’ve done something we have not done in years.   We did it because all of those involved in our African journey are important.   We’ve hand addressed, stamped, signed (and frequently wrote a p.s.) to our entire snail mail postal mailing list.    

If you are on the mailing list you should get the following letter with our prayer card.  If you are not on the mailing list and would like our prayer card please send us your postal address. We’re in a season where we need your prayers and support as much as we did in 1993 when we entered Uganda and in 2005 when we entered Rwanda.  

Thank you for sharing this journey with us,

Dave and Jana

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement that sustained us for 19 years in Africa’s Great Lakes.   Enclosed is a magnetic prayer card.   Please place it in a visible place, and remember to keep our family in your prayers.

One word that can describe our call to return to the USA is “overwhelming.”   An older and wiser missionary than ourselves, Alan Avery described his feelings of having his young family scattered on 2 continents as “it felt like death.”   Our last year in Rwanda felt that way with Sophia being in the USA.  It was a season in which God opened our spirits of the need to return to the USA so that we may best nurture our family.

As we returned it caused us to pause and remember God’s goodness.   Again it was overwhelming.

In 19 Years in Africa's Great Lakes we experienced 2 nations of day by day labor, 2 church plants, 1 school start, 3 1/2 years at Monitor FM, 6 years writing for FOCUS, 200 children sponsored by Christian Relief Fund, 300 Presidential Scholars, 2,000 university students in lectures, 10 adoptions facilitated, volunteering with Kampala Kids’ League, a difficult to remember  numbers of baptisms, baby dedications, weddings, and funerals;  countless friends, and ONE SOVEREIGN PROVIDENTIAL MYSTERIOUS GOD!!

Many spoke blessings on our transition to the USA.  

Leila Merritt Sewell wrote, “Congratulations on closing out this chapter of ministry… Looking forward to seeing what's in the next chapter ...”

Dwayne Guthrie wrote, “You guys will be in our prayers as God turns another chapter in your Christ following journey. I'm sure it will be an exciting read just like the previous chapters.”

Stan Paregien wrote, “I have an idea your most productive days are still ahead of you. But you have certainly made a great contribution to the church in Africa and to the kingdom of God in general.

Missionary colleague Rebekah Donaldson wrote, “Now to see what He does with you for the rest of your time on Earth! God Bless you all!”

Younger Cashes and Jenkins in mid 1990's at Kampala Church of Christ
Missionary colleague, Cheryl Cash wrote, You were the very first smiles I saw when we pushed through the Entebbe airport doors.  Two very white faces in a sea of Ugandan community in October 1995. Your hugs were warm and welcome was enthusiastic…. We honor the treasures you’ve tucked away. Memories. The overcoming. The gifts… We pray with joy.   Confident.    That the doors you push through next will bring you to spacious, blessed places.  God promises this.  His abundant provision awaits those who trust in His Name.  It is an honor to serve around His throne with you.” http://www.gentlyled.blogspot.com/2012/06/pushing-through-doors.html

Missionary colleague Brett Shreck wrote, “Today is a time to mark the ending of your ministry here at Christ’s Church Rwanda and the beginning of your ministry in the Chicago area… Together we have served the Lord and shared in each other’s joys and sorrows… You will take comfort in the knowledge that His plan is one to prosper you  His plan gives you a hope and a future…   Your family will be blessed with righteousness by faith from generation to generation forever more.”

Isaac Sanyu with a young Ruth at the Kampala Church of Christ
Our Ugandan colleague Isaac Sanyu wrote, “And those seeds will keep growing for generations to come, the journey is just beginning. God is good!!!!

Rwanda’s Director General in the Ministry of Local Government and good friend, Fred Mufulukye wrote, “As the Word of God says, "there is time for everything", this is indeed true, we are going to have time without you, without your wisdom and guidance, without surprise calls and door knocks, without, without.... We shall miss you …. May God's love, guidance, grace, providence.....be with you wherever you will go.”

One of Rwanda’s newest Senators, and our friend and CCR colleague, Marguerite Nyagahura wrote, Thanks for your beautiful words and indeed your prayers... I feel so honored and humbled to be in such a great position to serve my country. …  I truly believe my meeting with both of you was not a mere coincidence. I have now confirmed more than ever before that the Lord sent you to prepare me for this moment. Dave - when I returned to Rwanda you were the first person that put a microphone in my hands and pushed me on stage when I had no confidence in myself… Jana - thank you so much for being such an inspiration and role model, but most of all for being my friend and loving me as I am…. Praise be to our Lord!”

John Osborne the ROC Board Chairperson and friend wrote, “Dave, Jana, and their children continue to see God’s blessings as they discover new friends in the Chicago area.  … In the near future, the ROC Board will be hosting a special reception for the Jenkins to express our appreciation to them for their faithful service.  Please join the ROC Board in expressing our heartfelt appreciation for the Jenkins family.  We bless you Dave, Jana, Sophia, Caleb, Ethan, Ruth, and Timothy!  You mean more to us than you’ll ever know.” http://www.rocpartners.org/_blog/ROC_Blog/post/September_with_ROC/

Alexis Hixson and Ruth
The season of grief as we left Rwanda was so overwhelming that at times all we could do was sit still.   Communication escaped us.     Thank you so many for your memories and blessings upon our family as we transition to the USA.

We are still missionaries.   We are still with ROC.   ROC is a new organization.   Yet it is based on the historic “faith missions.”   There is no endowment.   There is no guaranteed salary.   ROC’s personnel are dependent fully upon God for our sustenance.    God is the master creator so we many times also create.   Yet, there is a principle that where one’s treasure rests is where one’s heart rests (Matthew 6:20-22).   Thus we ask for others to share in meeting our family’s financial needs as a way of investing in the kingdom of God through the ministries of ROC.

In 2010 our family depleted all of our savings and retirement to pay for our medical expenses when we both had surgeries.   A little over 4 months ago, we sold all of our earthly possessions except our most treasured memories to pay for our settling in the USA.   After we used the proceeds of our sale to pay bills in Rwanda, and bless our community we had $7,000 in pocket.   We estimated we would need $30,000 to settle.  We now could use your help.

Jan, Debra (Carr), Jana (Jenkins), and Wade in Kenya in 1970's
We are moving forward believing God has called us to be a missionary in the USA.    Can you help us as a financial partner?   Can you make a one-time gift to our settling expenses?

If so write a check to ROC Partners with Jenkins in the memo and mail it to

3007 NW 63rd Ste 205
Oklahoma City, OK 73116-3605

Thank you for sharing this journey with us.     
 Mungu akubariki (God bless you),

Dave and Jana

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