The Jenkins Remember KICS’ Beginning
Following their move to Rwanda from Uganda in 2005, Dave and Jana Jenkins realized with time that they simply could not make it in Rwanda without a school like KICS. At the time, they were unwilling to leave Rwanda and also unwilling to send their children away to boarding school. It was also clear that the need for a school like KICS transpired to many other families in Rwanda. Consequently Dave and Jana, together with the other founding families were prompted to start KICS. Their decision to start the school was strongly driven by the belief that Rwanda was ripe for an international Christian school with American curriculum.
After returning to Rwanda in September to celebrate KICS’ 10th Anniversary with us, Dave and Jana Jenkins take us through a journey of thoughts as they recollect key moments in KICS’ history.
As we returned to Rwanda after four years away overwhelming is the word to describe our feelings. We grief the loss of the community God gave us in Rwanda while also being filled with thankfulness to see so much progress in Rwanda. She is a country on the move for people who get things done.
We have been particularly thrilled to see the progress of KICS over the last 4 years.
A few have asked us, “Could you ever have believed KICS would be where she is now at?”
Yes. Without a doubt the current success of KICS is exactly what we hoped for 10 years ago as some of us had the privilege to start KICS. We believed the educational needs of both missionary and Diaspora families made Kigali ripe for a Christian International School with American curriculum.
I even remember Dwight Jackson as we realized the Caisse Sociale property was available remarking that it was a great place to start but that KICS would only develop sustainability when the numbers of students were double tracked in another facility. I only had to ponder a few minutes to realize Dwight again was right.
I had two distinct memories from the early vision bearing days. First, when we realized the property was available a few of us walked through the school. We found a passion fruit (maracuja) vine growing wild. Holding the fruit in my hands, I remembered the story in Deuteronomy 6 in which it was predicted that the Israelites would enter the Promised Land and eat fruit from vines they did not plant. KICS needed a facility quickly and the foresight of Rwanda’s leaders had one prepared for KICS that we did not build. All we could do was be faithful, fear the Lord, and thank Him for His providence.
Second, as we realized the task would be to raise $1,560,000 with only a little over 20 students and a dream of community I thought our missionary supporters in America would think I was a lunatic. Shortly after discovering the Caisse Sociale property was available we were visited by Tom and Sue Gooch and Larry Schwab, elders (and an engineer and architect at the Quail Springs Church of Christ.) I showed them the property. We walked down to the Creche. There was a low fence and gate. I jumped over the fence assuming it was locked. Sue came up to the gate, grabbed the handle, and opened the gate. She told me, “Dave, quit jumping over open gates.” She was right. The Lord was making the gates to the KICS’ dream open. All we had to do was walk through the open gates.
Jana summarizes our current feelings well with quiet joy as we hear the laughter of children as they enter and leave KICS each day. Our God is faithful. May these children remain lifelong dear friends. May His Vision and Our Future continue.
Dave and Jana’s journey after KICS
In 2012, Dave and Jana continued in the same work that brought them to Rwanda, and followed their kids and the relatives of Rwandan families to Chicago. They have gone to many East African community organizations’ functions, and now serve in similar capacities, shepherd people, and look for opportunities to start new kingdom endeavors.