We were deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and co-worker in ministry, Jade Kenyamanyara, who passed away in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 30, 2020.
Our thoughts, support, and prayers continue to be with Julius and their three boys, Ezra, Gabriel and Josiah, and with their team of workers at Village of Hope (VOH) Mwanza.
In times like this, we are reminded by the Scriptures:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Jade was deeply loved by all of us at VOH Africa. It is our desire to honour Jade with the following tributes, written with love, by some of her co-workers in ministry.
Jade Kenyamanyara was much loved by the VOH Africa family. She served as the administrator at VOH Mwanza in Tanzania alongside her husband, Julius, who is the director. Jade did everything with excellence, and we knew we could always depend on her. Jade’s love for the children was so evident and guided all that she did and every decision she made. Although her work was very demanding, Jade always had time for others, asking how they were doing or sending words of encouragement. Jade had a great sense of humour, which made the difficult aspects of ministry easier to manage. It was evident that the children and staff all loved Jade. On many occasions Jade opened up her home and always made everyone feel welcome. Despite the demands of the ministry, she juggled family, friends and ministry well. Jade modelled unconditional love with excellence as a godly mother, wife and friend, a quality essential to her ministry role with Village of Hope. The tributes that Jade’s VOH family shared together upon hearing about her passing were a testimony to her character, kindness, compassion, and commitment to the ministry. Jade was an inspiration to those she worked with daily at VOH Mwanza, and she will be greatly missed by us all. We know that her spirit will live on in the lives of every child she ministered to and in the lives of her VOH Africa ministry family.
Sergio & Nancy Bersaglio
Directors, VOH Africa
For all the times you used to help me improve my working skills (computer, bookkeeping, operations) and so many more, I thank you. You have been a blessing and always will be. Rest in eternal peace, Jade.
Aloyce Lugaila, Assistant Administrator, VOH Mwanza
Jade was a very loving and caring person. She was sensitive to the feelings of others and always wanted to ensure that the feelings of others were not hurt. She was a very organized and smart person. Her smile was bright and lovely; everyone at VOH Mwanza loved her so much.
Boniface Mrosso, Finance Manager, VOH Mwanza
Thank you for teaching me to be kind and calm even when things don’t go as I wish. Thank you for being so supportive, even at times when I couldn’t figure my way out. You will always be an inspiration and a loving memory that I cherish.
Mary Vincent, Head of Shelter and Reintegration, VOH Mwanza
Jade had a big heart for all who crossed her path and was always very hospitable to anyone who visited VOH Mwanza. I remember the time that we as leaders were all in Mwanza for leadership meetings and she invited us all to join her family for a meal when her parents and family members were also present. The invitation touched me and made me really appreciate her for who she was in life. I saw that she cared for people. From now onwards, I will be conscious of the fact that we are writers of epistles that others read. What will others say when I am gone?
Everlyn Chitente, Director, VOH Kitwe and VOH Luongo
As one of the newest members of the VOH Africa family, Jade welcomed me with open arms. She was one of my first points of contact, working tirelessly to get me a Tanzania visa so I could join them in Mwanza. I’m forever grateful. Truly Jade is one of the kindest, most selfless, grateful people I have ever met. In the short time I knew her, she made a lasting impression on my life ... Christlikeness personified, with the fruit of the Spirit overflowing! We will miss her beyond words.
Jeanette Shaheen, Administrator, VOH Africa
In the few interactions I’ve had with Jade, it was so clear that she had such a love for God and an overflowing love for His children. She had a peaceful presence about her that radiated God’s love. It is heartbreaking to say goodbye to such a hero in the faith, but we know that the life she lived has opened the door of hope and opportunity to thousands of children in Tanzania.
Matt Mackie, Director, VOH Mongu
Jade was a special person in so many ways. The one time I visited Mwanza, I had no doubt in my mind that she loved the people. I particularly enjoyed Jade’s hospitable and open spirit. Spending time with her and Julius in their home was special. I remember playing a few games of Scrabble with Jade. She had a great mind.
Jovial all the time
Articulate and attentive
Dedicated to serving others
Encouraging to be around.
Munetsi Zowa, Director, VOH Zimbabwe
Jade had a very friendly and golden heart. She came to Burundi for a visit with Julius and the boys, and they called me so I could come and say hello in person. This touched my heart so much as I was not familiar with her, but she made me feel so close. Her heart was priceless, and we will never forget about her.
Odette Niyibigira, Administrator, VOH Bwiza
Jade has been a good friend for a number of years. She was always warm and understanding. She was a listening ear for laments, trials, and joys. During this COVID season, we became much closer and chatted on a regular basis. We supported each other in our shared role, and I will miss her deeply.
Renatta Walton, Administrator, VOH Malawi
Jade has left a big gap in the VOH family. She was a friend to all of us. The first time I met her, she welcomed me and made me feel like I had met her before. I will always remember her smiling face and her love for the children in Tanzania.
Shaline Mwenya, Director, VOH Chongwe
Words on a page written line upon line
Penned with precision and love intertwined
Standing like mourners to pay last respects
Remaining like sentinels that none may forget
Word after word each one slowly approaches
They carry their meaning and lay them like roses
Each word its own colour together convey
The life we now honour—a breathtaking bouquet
Jade, you are gone, and it’s hard to let go
Jade, you are gone, and we cherished you so
The bouquet of your life shall not wilt or wither
It grew in the soil nigh the everlasting river
And though we’re without you, your time here is done
We will join you in glory in the life yet to come
So lay we our words at the place where you rest
We mourn and we grieve because we were so blessed
To share the same time, to share the same era
As our beloved sister, Jade Kenyamanyara
Jef Walton, Director, VOH Malawi
It can truly be said of Jade ….
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
—2 Timothy 4:7
This article appeared in the April/May/June 2021 issue of testimony/Enrich, a quarterly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. © 2021 The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Photos © International Missions.
Group photo: Julius Kenyamanyara, left, and Jade Kenyamanyara, with youth in transitional training at Village of Hope Mwanza in Tanzania. Jade Kenyamanyara with several house mothers on the Mwanza compound near the kitchen.