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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is your denominational affiliation? 

We consider ourselves flexible evangelicals.   If you are familiar with creeds we subscribe to the  Apostles Creed ( which is a historical affirmation of the Christian faith affirmed by the Catholic Church and most Protestants.   Some have recently used the term, “Post-Denominational” to describe the place where we have landed. We try our best to keep our focus on major Christian truths and be gracious in areas where many thoughtful Christians have disagreements.   We particularly see that in rural areas and with immigrants arriving from so many locations a flexible posture is needed to create the best Christian services for a community.   Some call this focus on unity and service “missional ecumenicism.” 


  • What churches have you worked with in the past?
    We grew up in a Capella Churches of Christ. (If you are not familiar with them, they arose out of the Second Great Awakening in American history.  Some call them the Restoration Movement or Stone Campbell Movement.)   We originally went to Africa as missionaries serving this fellowship.  As time went along, we became much more aware of the broad body of Christ and served in various places and capacities.   Dave has been a pastor in Southern Baptist and Independent Christian Churches.   Dave served for 2 years as the hospice chaplain for Catholic Health Services in Dickinson.  We currently are members at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Killdeer.    During our time in North Dakota, we have preached at American Baptist, Assembly of God, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, North American Baptist, nondenominational, and United Church of Christ congregations.   
    We do find that we have been influenced by the broad church in the Global South that is now the center of the global church.    We typically ask questions related to the community impact of different theological understandings and Christian practices.  We tend to be resistant to the excesses of individualism.   

  • Can you preach for our local church as we are between pastors, or our pastor is out of town?
    Absolutely.  We so much enjoy the beauty of a Sunday country drive in North Dakota and meeting people in local churches.   We are so frequently surprised to find so many ordinary people in North Dakota who have interacted with such major events in American history.   We find country wisdom to be insightful.  We come away wiser and thankful each time we get an opportunity to interact with rural congregations.  

  • If you preach at our local church, what should we expect?
    We just try to preach a sermon rooted in a Bible text that we think is relevant and will bring encouragement to your local congregation.    Frequently, we base our sermon from one of the Revised Common Lectionary readings (  (a collection of diverse Bible readings many Protestant churches use to read through most of the Bible in 3 years time.)   We try our best to respect your congregation's time expectations.   Sometimes our sermons will be as short as 10 minutes.  Sometimes our sermons may be as long as 45 minutes.   We try our best to adapt to what best works for your congregation.   Please let us know how we can be most helpful.

  • Do you have some areas of expertise that could help us?
    We concur with the Apostle Paul that what we have to offer is simply treasures in jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7-18.)  What wisdom we do have to offer comes out of our experience.   Many times, it comes out of our suffering and learning from others.   In all of that, we find that despite our human frailty God brings remarkable insight to His body.
    Here are some areas where we find God has given us unique insights:

       1. The global church and how immigration is positively affecting the American experience.

       2. Living with physical pain
       3. Communal grief
       4. Nurturing younger generations as they live in multiple cultures.
       5. The complexities of disabled family members 
       6. Adoption 

  • Can you perform a funeral for our family?
    Certainly.   Just give us a call so we can better understand your family.   We want to well understand your family’s journey and your spiritual practices.   We try our best to be available at times when families can gather from a distance.    We believe that death is not the final matter and endeavor to provide hope and healing for extended families through their grief.      

  • Can you perform a wedding for us?
    Absolutely.   One of our greatest joys is to be with a couple starting a fresh new covenant.   We want to visit at least twice with you before we perform a wedding.  First, we want to get to know you better.   If possible, we would like to offer some counsel that we have learned on our journey.   Second, we would like to make sure the wedding is well planned.  We want to walk you through options and participate in a rehearsal before the wedding.    If you desire, we could meet several times to offer pre-marital pastoral counsel – we would try to listen well to your story and add insight many have gained through years of marriage.   

  • How much do you charge for pulpit supply, funerals, and weddings?
    Please do not ever feel afraid to give us a call to help because you are afraid you cannot afford our services.    We consider ourselves a “faith mission.”  If you are not familiar with the term, it is a historic approach to ministry practiced by overseas missionaries.  Though when we read American history there were circuit preachers on the frontier who lived with similar economics.  We will provide pastoral care free of charge whenever we can fit it into our schedules.
    Some churches and individuals often give honorariums and pay our mileage.  The rule of thumb in North Dakota is around $200 per sermon plus mileage.   (We live 14.5 miles northwest of Killdeer.)  If we do a second stop with a sermon the going rate is an extra $100.   We find the same rates work well for funerals or weddings.
    If you do the math, you realize that we cannot pay all our bills just by providing sermons and pastoral care.  Thus, some friends, family, churches, and other organizations give us free will offerings beyond the standard honorariums.    If you feel led to give more, it is appreciated.  If you cannot give anything we understand as we have lived at the poverty level many times.   

  • Can you help us find employment opportunities?

Yes. However, we can’t promise you a job. We don’t have the authority to make any hiring
decisions. Yet, God is building a network through us. We know several significant employers in
western North Dakota. Besides knowing many local churches, we are part of the Dickinson
Rotary and Chamber of Commerce. If you are looking for an opportunity to move up
economically, please feel free to get in touch with us. We will pray for you. If something comes
to mind where know of an opportunity that you would fit well with, we’ll put you in touch with
the right person.

  •  Can you help us find immigrant employees?

It would be a great pleasure. If you are looking for employees let’s, get coffee and we’d love a
tour of your work place. Then we’ll do what we usually do of pray and start conversations with
those who come to mind. We know many of the leaders of immigrant churches and
organizations in North Dakota. We’ll pass on a good word about your business to them. Dave
used to write popular columns for African newspapers. Jana and Dave also used to host a popular
radio show in Uganda. They are trying to get op-eds published in African media houses to
encourage diversity lottery winners to settle in North Dakota. They also are friends with the
leaders of different diaspora organizations that serve North America and some embassy leaders
of different nations stationed in Washington D.C. They can pass on your job opportunities to
their networks.

  •  What services do you offer to immigrants, their churches, and organizations?

First off, we are the ones who are blessed each time we are with a group of diaspora whether at
churches, organizations, businesses, soccer teams, or just a great party. The hospitality, wisdom,
and celebration you bring lifts our spirits and makes us smarter. Our time with immigrants
reminds us that America is a great nation whose faith and values have been shaped by diverse
immigrants throughout our history.

When we can offer some help, we see that what we learned by raising 5 kids overseas and then
in our return to America is likely our greatest wisdom. We enjoy discussing how our diaspora
youth are Third Culture Kids just like the children of international businesspeople, embassy
personnel, and missionaries. The journeys our youth are on are similar to those we read about
in the Bible such as Moses, Esther, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Paul. Living in several cultures is
complicate. Yet, those who master it become exceptional leaders. We offer a lesson we call Welcome to America that lays out the basics for cultural understanding.
Also, Jana is currently working as a Health Ambassador and can help you better understand the
complications of the American health care system.

  • What services do you offer to employers?

We do notice that at times there are misunderstandings between employers and new immigrants
that are rooted in different cultural expectations. We can visit and help you better understand
and then adapt. Generally, we find that one of the biggest misunderstandings goes back to most
immigrants to America coming from cultures where the basic social building block is community
while in America our most basic social building block is the individual. When one understands
that orientation towards communal responsibility many misunderstandings clear up.
We also can give your employees some outside counsel that you may be hesitant to raise. The
range could be from understanding the need for health insurance, developing a credit score, the
use of debt, and trusting local police.

  • How do we get on your mailing list?

Just drop us a note at or and we’ll add
you to our email and blog mailing list. We hope to get a Substack off the ground in a few months
that will have a place for you to sign up. We currently put out news about once per month. We
hope to eventually put out a weekly newsletter and blog. Our focus will be on prairie devotions,
diaspora events, immigration, and the interactions between faith and culture.

  • How can we contribute to your mission?

You can make a financial contribution by sending a check to Rural Diaspora Community, 11309
Main St., Killdeer, ND 58640 or by contributing online through Venmo (@mzee-Jenkins), PayPal
(, Zelle (, or Cash App ($mzeedave).
Several have noticed that we drive lots of miles and host many visitors. Thus a multiple of people
over the years have helped us out with very practical gifts such as stopping by with a goat, a
chicken, walleye and salmon fillets, beef, portions of hogs, deer, and elk, garden vegetables, a
sack of potatoes, a stalk of plantains, a bag of sugar or flour, tires, a full tank of fuel, a car, a
computer, a printer, office supplies, and coffee and tea from Africa.
If something comes to mind that you think could be helpful, please feel free to give us a call to
ask. A couple of times over the years we have received gifts that later we give at Christmas
parties as a white elephant gift. Our home does not have lots of storage and we try to keep
clutter to a minimum so not all the items that come to mind are useful.

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