Monday, March 25, 2013

In the Saturdays of life

 I love going to the movies. Most Friday nights are date nights and Dave usually takes me to see a movie. This is one of the things I enjoy in America because we didn’t have a movie theatre in Rwanda (I have heard one has opened since we moved).
            One of the things I like about movies is that there is a clear beginning, middle and end. Most movies are pretty well tied up in an hour and a half.
            Unfortunately, life is not as clearly tied up. There are lots of beginnings and endings but many times you are in the middle. I heard a sermon recently that said we like to hear the Friday---‘Jesus dying on the cross for our sins’---sermons and the Sunday----‘Jesus rising from the dead’-----sermons but we do not hear many Saturday –--- ‘the in between – waiting – what is going to happen next?'sermons! 

 Well this newsletter is just that –--- a waiting –--- what is God going to do next kind of a letter…

            This has not been the easiest season in our lives but we have tried hard not to give way to depression, anger, and bitterness, as we have allowed ourselves to grief, cry, relinquish, celebrate and be thankful for the journey that we are on. We know that God has called us back to the States for a season and we thought we had a pretty clear picture –-- we had a good “preview” of what we were going to do.
            We thought our primary role coming back to the US was to build ROC’s network –--- tell the story of what God has and is doing in Rwanda and recruit others and raise needed resources. We have and are doing this. Dave just got back from a week at York college in Nebraska where he spoke in chapel and taught in several classes. He had several meals with folks doing just that - recruiting KICS teachers and sharing about all God has done through those of us with ROC.

            But as we were leaving Rwanda and sharing with our CCR family that we were moving to Chicago many shared about children and relatives that were living in the Greater Chicago Area and we have also sensed God calling us to shepherd the Diaspora living here in Chicago Area.

 What does this look like?

 Currently it looks like 3 main things:

1.     We first began following up visiting all the children and relatives of our CCR family. It was almost 15 folks but the number has grown to over 30 relatives from CCR. 

2.     We have widened our network to include those from the Great Lakes region of Africa. This includes Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Congo. Dave and I started going to different fellowships of Kenyans, Ugandans, Tanzanians, and meeting lots of people – making new friendships and renewing old networks of our Uganda years and my Kenya childhood.

I love all the fellowship and prayers that this African Table has seen!

3.     We have been having these people in our home on Saturday nights for an African meal, fellowship, and prayer. We have also been going to their homes as well.

TCK(Third Culture Kids) both missionary and Diaspora have so much in common!  

Laughter--- a universal healer!

 Prayer-- Brings us to His feet
 in utter dependance!

But what does all this mean

We are in the Saturdays right now……. We can look back at Friday and feel the loss of our 
19+ years in East Africa – see how God used us and was so gracious with us ...We can look ahead to Sunday.... though it is not fully clear... will we be working at a local university, on staff at a local church, or involved in church planting????…. We are not sure how God is planning on resurrecting our gifts and experiences for His Glory but we know Sunday is coming!

            But today we are in the Saturdays serving whom He brings us, praying, grieving all our losses, praying, eagerly waiting, praying, learning, praying, playing with different possibilities, praying, filling out different job applications, praying, sharing about ROC and CCR, praying, recruiting for KICS, praying, helping our kids adjust and thrive in their new environment, praying, meeting lots of new people, praying, slowly starting to build community, praying

            Will you join us in our Saturday? We have lost some big contributors, we are praying for our daily bread… God has been so faithful and many of you have given so sacrificially and faithfully! Thank you for joining us in our Saturday time! We need your prayers and support!

            We will keep you updated and I assure you when our Sunday comes we will share in more detail what God is asking for us in our next chapter!


Jana for the Jenkins