Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chicago Cubs World Series Goat Roast

Dave's parents, Lloyd and Lois Jenkins 50th Wedding Anniversary

Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement over the years.     2016 has been both a busy and profound year.    Dave’s mom transitioned home after a struggle with dementia.    In her closing years she blessed us.    Mom could be memorable.   Having missionary children and grandchildren requires a tremendous sacrifice.   Occasionally she wrestled with God and humanity.   Once she even said, “I believe in missions yet I’m not sure my son should be a missionary.”

Yet, when we returned to the USA it was apparent we should not give up our missionary call.    After our daughter, Sophia’s African wedding in 2015 mom told us, “This is exactly what you should be doing.   I’m so glad you’ve done this.    You’ve raised great kids.   The people you serve are just what America needs.”     2016 was a year of memories.   Most were ones that made mom proud.    We’d like to share a few with you in coming newsletters.    One enduring part of mom was her great parties.
In order to be a missionary one must blend the best in several cultures.  It requires creativity and a sense of humor.    Parties seem to be one of the best ways to do this.   The Lord did it as He changed water to wine.  

Dave’s mom was a Minnesota Lynx, Twins, and Vikings fan.   Cheering for the Twins came natural.   Yet, as Dave matured he discovered the National League.    It seemed fitting to choose a National League team for which to root.    Ideally, they should be a Midwest team.   Also, ideally they should be a team that was unlikely to ever reach the World Series.    Dave never wanted to have to choose in a World Series between his beloved Twins and another.   Thus, Chicago’s lovable losers of the Cubs became Dave’s National League team.    WGN in the 1980’s allowed Dave to watch the Cubs whether he was in Minnesota, Arkansas, or Texas.   

Then came the 1990s and our move to Africa.   In Africa our family became goat eaters.    We particularly liked goat roasted over an open fire served with some good spices and grilled onions.  We also became in Africa very aware of the power of curses, blessings, and covenants.

Dave can’t remember exactly when he said it, but after our move to Chicago Dave began telling people, “When the Cubs win the World Series I’ll roast a goat.”   (For those that don’t know about the goat curse see   

On Wednesday, November 2, 2016 we watched the final game of the World Series wondering if the goat curse would continue.   Then came the final out and we danced around our home as the Cubs were World Champions.

Now it was time to live out our covenant.   The Cubs had won the World Series and we would roast a goat.   With our phone, social media, and email we invited our Chicago area friends.  There is a Pakistani butchery in Glendale Heights a few miles northeast of our home.   We bought a dressed goat and marinated it.    Then on Saturday, November 12 the goat was officially roasted.

Elisee Rugambarara visiting others
We expected about 30 to 50 people to attend.   Instead, over 100 people showed up.   For the first time that we can ever remember we ran out of food.     Yet the crowd stayed and we laughed and laughed.    Those coming to join us had origins in India, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and the United States.   

Our goat roast was a hit.   We think we heard God whisper, ”If the Cubs can win a World Series and you stay faithful to your call I will build multi-national American church in Chicago.”     Mom would be proud.   She taught us to cheer for our home team, make many friends, and throw great parties.

Mungu akubariki (May God bless you),

Dave and Jana

P.S. Contributions may be sent to:

Ignite Church Planting
P.O. Box 189
Schererville, IN 46375 

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Lois Patricia Grapevine Jenkins Eulogy

Lois Patricia Grapevine Jenkins threw her ultimate Christmas party on Sunday, December 25 2016.   Her children and grandchildren were scattered around the United States and she wanted them all home for Christmas.    She transitioned to her home in heaven and all of her family started traveling home for Christmas.  She knew how to get them together.  

She was born on November 1, 1940 to Ike and Madeline Grapevine in Blue Earth Minnesota.   She grew up kitty corner from the city dump and across the street from the rendering plant.   She had 3 sisters – Darleen, Audrey, and Donna; and one brother, Bob.    Of her siblings Bob was her favorite.    She went fishing frequently as a child and mothered her younger siblings.   Occasionally, she was naughty.   In fact, she threw apples at people and never was caught.   It bothered her conscience for years.    

She was the first in her family to attend college and she graduated from Mankato State College in 1962.

She married Lloyd Ross Jenkins on June 6, 1964 and she really had to think about it when he proposed.   Of their 52 years of marriage Lloyd frequently tried her patience and even bought a deer rifle on her birthday.  Also, no one was ever convinced that he painted the mirror with a clear conscience.     She continued to forgive Lloyd for his many escapades with his chainsaw and .22. 

She is preceded in death by not only her parents and niece, Lori; but Morris and Tom the cat, her pony, Honey; and numerous dogs such as Tim, Suzie, and Nancy.   

Of her survivors her daughter, Patty is her favorite; Dave makes lots of mistakes, Mark never stops moving, and Tim leaves his cats where ever he goes.    She has 13 grandchildren and she fed them ice cream for breakfast.    She taught her children and grandchildren how to ride bikes and skate by simply moving alongside them and catching them before they fell to the ground.

With Lois’ passing the exact number of her nieces and nephews has been eternally lost.    However, we do know that there was also an eternal supply of rice crispy bars and chocolate chip cookies in her home for each child.  

She holds the Owatonna Hospital record for marathon walking.   She walked a pace of 1 mile per hour for 20 hours for 5 days.   The staff estimates she walked 100 miles during her July 2016 stay.