Planning for the school began at the 1987 conference of the members of SIL in Yaounde, Cameroon. The mission of SIL in Cameroon requires a long-term commitment, which often keeps expatriate families overseas for many years. SIL members determined to establish an international secondary school by September 1991, to help them balance their God given responsibilities to their children and to their linguistic and Bible translation ministry in Cameroon.
In August 2001 the Evangelical Covenant and Reach Global Missions partnered with SIL in governing and developing the school. In January 2005 World Team, North American Baptists and Converge Worldwide joined in the partnership.
In 2004, a 6.5 hectare piece of land (16 acres) was purchased on the outskirts of Yaounde on which to build a new campus with larger, purpose-built classrooms. The school moved to the new campus in June of 2010, and continues to develop the property. Most recently a covered athletic space has been added to allow court-based athletic activities to continue regardless of weather. The school has continued to play a vital role in the missionary work throughout Central Africa, making it possible for missionaries to commit themselves to long-term projects, confident that their children’s secondary educational needs can be met. Since 1991, Rain Forest International School has grown from less than 20 to over 100 students (some years) in grades seven through twelve (Ages 12-18). It has served individuals from 20+ mission agencies and numerous passport countries. In recent years we have served approximately 50% expatriate missionary children with the others coming from the more general Cameroonian or expatriate population