Thursday, December 26, 2013


The Lord taught us how to celebrate Christmas in Africa.    After the Lord’s birth He soon fled as a refugee to Egypt / Africa (Matthew 2:13-23.)   In Africa He was safe and blessed.   

  There is something about the experience of sojourning that displays Africa’s ability to bless.    Home is heaven.   Everything else is temporary.    Home for Christmas means we are where God has called us on this earth serving with family and friends.   

Young Sophia with Jacob and Mona
Our first years in Africa were difficult during the Christmas season.    Yet, those first years taught us that we must display the Lord’s compassion.    The churches we shepherded were open at every opportunity over the Christmas season.   Our home also was full of people.     We assumed there were many who felt a sense of loss at Christmas.    Thus we must celebrate in community.   The Lord is near.   The Lord saves us from all our sins (Matthew 1:21-23.)   In that process of service Africa blessed us.  

Our second Christmas in our Chicago missionary posting had a familiar feel.   Africa blessed us again.    

In our early years in Uganda Jana and I mentored a young couple preparing to marry, Jacob and Mona Zikusooka.   Sophia was in their wedding.     We may have blessed the Zikusooka’s, but we were also truly blessed by their youth.   

Timothy, Gabe, and us with the Zikusookas and their daughter, Jasmine
As time went on the Zikusooka’s moved to Nairobi.    We lost a bit of touch.    Yet, in 2011 when we traveled to Nairobi seeking healing from seizures for our foster son, Gabriel Mugisha Jacobs we stayed with the Zikusookas.    When Mugisha went into seizures our families held him and prayed.     Eventually a drug combination was found and the seizures went away. In Christmas 2011 Africa blessed again.   

Starting over as missionaries can be a very lonely season.    Mystery reigns.    We can be active in prayer and listening.     Yet when asked by donors, “What are you doing?”   The answers only make sense if one understands the missionary journey.

Chicago is not where we grew up.    America changed greatly while we were away.   Being a missionary to America is not “home.”   In seasons like this visitors from “home” are the treasures of earth.    They remind us of the kingdom in our midst.

Jacob and Mona traveled to the USA this Christmas for Mona to do her residency as she
Chrismas Eve 2013 with the Zikusookas
studies for a Ph.D.    An added blessing was for them to visit family and friends.   They spent Christmas Eve with us.   

Then they gave gifts.    One was a kitenge shirt for Dave.   Another was a purse for Jana.   Yet, one was a very deep blessing that proclaimed our future and gave ongoing responsibility.   Jacob gave us an African map key chain.   On the map were nations in which we have served (Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda) colored in.   
Then he spoke, “I believe you are just where God has called you to be.    In Africa you can only serve in your location.   In Chicago you can serve the many places of the Diaspora.    Your influence will grow here.”

Last year Dave preached at a Liberian church.   This year Dave preached at a Tanzanian fellowship.  A few days ago Dave was asked to preach at a South Sudanese church.   Jacob told us to have each nation we serve in Diaspora to etch their nation off of the map.    Africa blesses again.

As we come to the end of the year we trust the blessings of our African family.   In relinquishment of being located in Africa we can have greater influence for Christ in dispersion.

Can you make a year end gift to bless our family and ministry?   If so you can send a check to 

ROC Partners
- Jenkins Memo
3007 NW 63rd Ste 205
Oklahoma City, OK 73116-3605

Or you can make an on line donation at

Mungu akubariki (God bless you),

Dave and Jana

No comments:

Post a Comment