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Get to Know the Faces behind Rural Diaspora Community

Since our founding in 2023, Rural Diaspora Community has developed and grown to meet the needs of the communities we serve. We have a team with combined experience of over 40 years serving in East Africa and now in North Dakota


Jana Jenkins

Executive Director

A well-respected member and leader of the Rural Diaspora Community team, Jana Jenkins, one of our founding members, has played a vital role in shaping our vision and programs.  She brings years of experience making Rural Diaspora Community what it is today.


Dave Jenkins

Church and Diaspora Relation Coordinator

An invaluable part of the Rural Diaspora Community staff and leadership, Dave Jenkins has witnessed the continued evolution of our programs from that start. With extensive experience in non-profit and private sectors, Dave offers a unique skill-set that ensures undeniable impact.

Meet Dave and Jana


Dave and Jana have been married for 33 years. They met at an African Missions Fellowship at
Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. They have five kids, two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-
law, and two granddaughters. They spent 19 years in Africa as missionaries. Besides starting
churches, they hosted a popular radio program in Uganda on Monitor FM (now KFM) and started an
American Curriculum International School (KICS – Kigali International Community School). Dave wrote a
popular column for Rwanda Focus and taught ethics at a local university, KIST – Kigali Institute of Science
and Technology. Jana helped facilitate adoptions. Dave also coached youth sports for Kampala Kids League,
helped resolve sports conflict for the Federation of Uganda Basketball Association, and was the
Basketball commissioner for Kampala Kids League. During their Africa years, they invested in the development of the middle class and shepherding thought leaders. That led them to notice the diaspora influence which led to their current mission of following the relationship webs from past postings to North Dakota.


Dave grew up in Minnesota and always wanted to live in North Dakota. As a kid, he sometimes
followed his dad or Uncle Allen as they worked in the Dakotas. Dave has a bachelor's degree in Bible
from Harding University and a master's degree in Missions from Abilene Christian University.
Jana is the child of missionaries. She was born in Cameroon, West Africa after her family evacuated from
Nigeria due to the Biafra War. She grew up in Kenya and later Abilene, Texas. She has a bachelor’s
degree in Organizational Leadership from North Park University.
Dave and Jana enjoy hiking in the Killdeer Mountains, shopping in small towns, and sharing
meals with friends at local diners.

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