Seeking a Place to Meet; Update on Josiah

The Tates have served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

July 20, 2020

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ,

As you read through my newsletter for this month you will probably say to yourself “haven’t I heard this before”? Well, even to me some of the things I will write about in this newsletter sound like a broken record – skip, skip, skip. I definitely feel like we have been through this newsletter before.

The reason for the broken record this month is because, once again, we are definitely looking for a new location to worship in for Upper Room Baptist Chapel. We started the Chapel in 2018, meeting in a room on the top floor (the “Upper Room”) of a building in town. In August 2019, while I was in the States taking Amy to college, we encountered problems with another church that had moved in across the hall and greatly disturbed our services with their amplifiers and speakers and loud music and screeching preaching. Not being able to resolve the problems with this other church we decided to move out.  In September of 2019 we moved into a house, sub-renting the place from a school that also met there. It was an excellent venue for the Chapel, and we all enjoyed meeting and worshiping there. The Chapel began to grow numerically and spiritually. Then, in March of 2020 the big boom hit – Covid19. The Kenyan government shut down everything as I mentioned in previous newsletters – schools, churches, government offices, etc. This shutdown ultimately caused the school from whom we were sub-renting to financially implode and subsequently go belly-up and shut its doors for good.The shutting down of the school left URBC in a quandary. Now we again needed a place to worship.  Because we liked the location so much, we considered taking over the entire rent of the premises and just using it entirely for the Chapel. We approached the landlady proposing the idea. It would cost us a lot more money, but it would cause the least disruption to the Chapel and since the Lord’s work is more important than money, we thought it was a deal worth pursuing. It turns out, however, that the owner of the building is a Somali lady. Now, I am not disparaging Somalis or putting them down at all, but the end result was not surprising. Somalia is 99% Muslim and the Somali owner is a Muslim. She was not mean about her decision and she was not discriminating against us because we are Christians but she felt like renting her place to a “Jesus church” was against her Muslim beliefs. She thought that her Somali community here in Kitale would persecute her if they found out she was renting her property to a church and decided not to rent it to us. That is her prerogative. But this did leave us in a familiar position – once again looking for a place to worship.

Since then I have been looking for a new place to worship but the available places are severely limited and expensive. I just looked at a place today that could meet our needs and be an OK place to meet but I feel like the property is overpriced.  I hope to look at another place tomorrow but I’m not sure how that will turn out either. Please be in earnest prayer that God would lead us to the right place, a place that would meet our needs at the right price and that could be used to glorify His Name, spread His kingdom here on earth, and provide spiritual and physical growth for the Chapel.

In other news, we were able to get Josiah on an evacuation flight out of Kenya and to the States. He needed to get back to the States in time to quarantine for 14 days before school starts but there have been no international flights out of Kenya since March, and none scheduled until sometime in August.  This didn’t give Josiah enough time to make it to school. Then on Friday, July 10th, we received an email from the embassy about the evacuation flight leaving on Monday, July 13th. Julie and I thought about it for two minutes and decided to get him on the flight. We booked the flight that day, Friday. Saturday, we spent getting everything ready for him to leave Kenya and get back to the States. Sunday, Josiah and I drove to Nairobi. Monday afternoon I put him on a plane leaving Kenya forever. This all happened very, very quickly, much too quickly for his mama and me. One day he was here at home with no idea of when he would be leaving and the next day, literally, he was gone – Flying from Nairobi to Qatar to the United States, flying for the first time by himself, and heading to America to start his new life without the help of mom or dad. Very hard for Josiah. Very hard for mom and dad. Please pray that God would be with him in a very special way, strengthening him, giving him courage, and filling him with His Holy Spirit.  Pray for mom and dad too.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe

Contact Info:
Roger & Julie Tate
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta@gmail.com

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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H.H. Overbey Scholarship Recipients

Josiah Tate is our latest recipient of the H. H. Overbey Scholarship for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year. Josiah is the son of our missionaries, Roger and Julie Tate. He has served with his family in Kenya since his childhood and will be entering Cedarville University in August … as God makes the way for him to travel from there to here.

Also, we have granted Amy Tate another $1000 toward her upcoming 2020-21 academic year. We are so proud of and thankful for them both – and we urge you to pray for them both and consider contributing to the H. H. Overbey Scholarship Fund.

The H. H. Overbey Scholarship awards each recipient $1000 per academic year to continue their post-secondary education in a field that will further train and develop them for Christian service.

The H. H. Overbey Scholarship is named in the memory and honor of H. H. Overbey. Brother Overbey loved the children of our missionaries and contributed personally and generously to many of them for their Christian education and training – as well as others who are still today faithfully serving Jesus Christ. This is just one more way we can carry on his legacy of generosity.

We encourage you to pray for Josiah and also for his parents and family as they are separated from one another.

And, if you wish to contribute to the H. H. Overbey Scholarship Fund to assist Josiah and others of our missionaries’ children in future academic years, designate your contributions for “H. H. Overbey Scholarship Fund.” These funds are supplied only through your designated offerings.

You may read Josiah’s personal salvation and service testimony here:

Career Goals and Professional Aspirations

My name is Josiah Tate, and I’m not quite sure exactly what career I want to go into. I’ve always had carpentry, civil engineering, and youth ministry on the list of ideas. Career choosing has never been set in stone for me, and I’ve never really felt like God has revealed that to me yet. What I do know is that no matter what career I find myself in 10 years from now I have only one main goal: to praise God through it all. No matter what we choose to go into in this life, everything should point to God and His love for us. I don’t just want to be able to succeed in whatever career I end up choosing, but I also want to do it whole heartily. God tells us that whatever we do, we need to do with our whole hearts and with all our effort. It’s not just about excelling at what you do that counts, but about working hard and giving God the glory that really matters. I want to make sure that I am worshiping God through my career, showing His love, grace, and mercy in all that I do. Spreading his good news to workers and others around me should be my main priority, for that is the main goal.

Many feel that the only way to worship God in their jobs is to become a missionary or a pastor, or something to do with the church in some sort of fashion, but that is not what I have found. If I do choose to go into carpentry for example, I could create things that have biblical messages in them; things that tell a story, that can lift others up. I can worship God in engineering as well; it could be as simple as talking to workers around you about your faith and your story. That can have the same effect as being a missionary somewhere far away in a remote place. No matter where I go or what I do, there will always be people around me to talk to and get to know. Many will not be Christian, and that is the perfect opportunity to spread the love of Christ to those around me. Being a Christian leader doesn’t always mean that you are in a leadership position. You can be a good Christian leader by leading by example: living your life in a way that is pleasing to God. If you do this, it cannot go unnoticed. People will start to get curious and ask questions providing the perfect opportunity to share your faith with non-believers around you. You can also help lift up other believers as well. You can become friends with those who are struggling with their faith and together become stronger and closer to God through all the hardships this world likes to throw at us. So, no matter what career you choose to go into, you can find people to share God’s love with, and that is what I want to be known for.

Most people do want to get wealthy through their job/career. I am no different, though my desire of what to do with that money may differ from some. I do know that all the wealth I attain in my lifetime is not mine but God’s who has given it to me to use in His name, and I should treat it as such. I want all that I make to be used for God’s glory ether funding hospitals, children homes, or supporting missionaries. Money and wealth is not to be worshiped, it is just a thing that we use to measure power, and I know that it can be used for bad, but it can also be used for good. God could even call me to sell everything and become a missionary myself; but, whatever money I obtain, I want it to be used in a way that is worthy of God’s love and approval.

Click here to make a donation to the HHO Scholarship Fund now. 


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With Bad News All Around, the Good News Still Stands

The Tates served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

June 19, 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Unfortunately, this month’s newsletter is mostly just bad news. I wish I could say otherwise but the truth is the truth – Corona is wreaking havoc on our ministries here. Churches, schools and government offices are all closed so you can imagine what effects that is having on us.

Bad news #1: Government offices still closed. My work permit officially expired back in March. I had already filed to renew it and it was “accepted”. However, the offices closed before I could receive my paperwork. Where is my paperwork now? I don’t know. What does that mean for my status as a resident in Kenya? I don’t know that either.

Bad news #2: Schools are still closed. If you’ve been following our newsletters on a monthly basis you know that for the last two years Julie has been working diligently and feverishly as the Head Teacher of the newly started Milimani Christian Homeschooling Community (MCHC), a project started by some of our dear Kenyan friends here in Kitale. We didn’t start this school, nor does it belong to us, but Julie especially has been very instrumental in getting it off the ground and keeping it running. It obviously means a great deal to us. When Corona hit Kenya, this school was also shut down. The implications of this are grave. With no school fees coming in the teachers cannot be paid and the rent for the property has not been paid for months. While the directors of the school are trying to get extensions for the lease, the landlady has not been compliant and is demanding all back payments as well. I do not see how the school as a business survives this Corona Virus. There is simply no cash flow and the property almost certainly will be lost unless something miraculous happens. The imminent demise of the school is a source of much pain for Julie especially.

Bad news #3: Upper Room Baptist Chapel will lose its meeting place. Yes, you may have guessed it – URBC rents the facilities from MCHC and holds its weekly worship services there on that property.  When and if MCHC loses its property then URBC loses its venue for worship and ministry. URBC cannot officially meet right now either (although I am in the process of getting special permission to do so) but when our services do start back up it looks like we will have to also start looking for a new location in which to meet. This is very depressing to me, as you might be able to imagine. I liked our current location very much as it was very conducive to the way we wanted the Chapel to run and operate. Now it looks as if we almost certainly will lose this venue as well.

Bad news #4: It just seems like Satan is against us at every turn. Our ministries are in disarray; Our main grocery store in town closed down; Our landlord will not allow any of our friends to come onto our compound; Josiah cannot get out of the country to get back to the U.S. and start college; I keep getting arrested by corrupt police officers who are not arresting me over legalities or infractions but simply to extort bribes from me because I have a target on my back. Ever feel like nothing is going right? 

Good news: God is still on the throne; God is still in control; God still loves us; Jesus is still King; Jesus’ work on the cross still stands; Our salvation is sure; Jesus will come back and will triumph; God’s work will progress. In this we stand. In this we trust. In this we move forward.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe

Contact Info:
Roger & Julie Tate
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta@gmail.com

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Doors of Opportunity Unlocked Amidst Lockdown

The Tates have served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

May 20, 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

It’s still all Corona, Corona, Corona around here. And as a result of that not much has been altered since the last time I wrote a report.

Schools are all closed so the kids are all at home. Josiah is at home doing on-line schooling. He is finishing his final term as a senior at Rift Valley Academy. He has missed his interim trip, his senior trip has been canceled and his graduation ceremony is probably canceled as well. It is unlikely he will ever see any of his friends again before they all head off to their home countries and home continents. Chloe is home too. Julie is homeschooling her and I am assisting by teaching math.

Churches are all closed. I haven’t been able to meet with the folks at Upper Room Baptist Church for many weeks now except individually. Everyone I talk to wants to get our worship services started back up again but to do so would be against the lock-down orders. At what point do we say we have to meet anyway?

Nairobi is locked down. Nobody is allowed in or out.

At least we still have access to food, water, and medicines. Our supply lines are operating as normal and all the necessities of life are still readily available.

The one thing we are desperately trying to avoid is Kenyan quarantine. People who test positive for Covid19 AND everyone they come into contact with are quarantined in official Kenyan quarantine centers. We all hear that these places are nightmares – No care, crowded, Corona-contracting centers. Healthy people get quarantined and are not allowed to leave. They end up coming down with the virus. I was in town today and saw a sign at the store: “Help contain Covid19 – Donate here to send street kids to quarantine centers”. I had to shudder. 

But not all is bad news. There are opportunities as well. The other day I was in town picking up some supplies and I was at the store of a Hindu proprietor. He started talking about Corona and I said, “All I can do is pray, and trust God, and leave the rest in His hands”. The Hindu store owner stopped and said, “Yes, thank you. I guess we should be talking more about God than about Corona Virus”. Now I know that the “god” in his mind is different than the God in mine but we have small opportunities to talk to people these days in a way we might not be able to during a normal time.

Another opportunity is to invest in the lives of other people. As a result of the schools closing, we have two Kenyan teenagers studying here at our house and Julie is overseeing their education and I am teaching them Geometry. One is staying with us around the clock, including boarding here and the other comes every day for school purposes and then leaves at the end of the day. Yesterday, during their morning break, the four of us (myself, Josiah and the two Kenyan teenagers) sat on the veranda while they drank their chai and we just talked. And the most amazing questions and discussions came out. We talked about salvation, heaven, missions, f=ma and e=mc2, the movements of planets, English idioms, biological taxonomy, sin, grace verses the law, Jesus’ interpretation of the 10 Commandments in Matthew 5, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and what happens to morally upright Muslims who have never heard about Jesus. It was all done in a casual way and I didn’t lead them to any of these topics. We just talked about whatever came up out of their brains. What an amazing time to try and make sure they heard wisdom from a Biblical perspective on all of these topics. 

Let’s ask God to give us more of these kinds of opportunities during this chaotic and unnerving time of uncertainty. 

Blessings to you all, Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe

Contact Info:
Roger & Julie Tate
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta@gmail.com

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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God at Work During COVID-19

Julie Tate has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya, alongside her husband Roger and family since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

I write this letter sitting in my living room – where I have been doing a LOT of sitting (not unlike many of you!). It’s been many weeks now since the whole world basically shut down because of COVID-19, and while I can say I think we’ve settled in a little bit, nothing quite feels normal. I feel a bit like Inigo Montoya in the Princess Bride when he says to the Man in Black, “Let me esplain. No, there is too much…let me sum up.”

Like most people, I’ve struggled with fear and uncertainty. There are so many unknowns. Just like in the US, schools are shut down here as well as all social/religious gatherings. It’s been bad timing in some ways (though I have to remind myself often that God’s timing is never bad). Milimani Christian Homeschool Community was – truthfully – a struggle, but we had a young lady who is a special education teacher from the US who was getting a work permit to come take over that aspect of our school (a huge load off my shoulders).  We were starting to get the hang of the high school, our dyslexic girl was reading and spelling, and our autistic boy was finding his stride and showing mathematical gifting. It’s very possible that COVID-19 is going to totally wipe out MCHC because of financial constraints. This in turn affects the chapel because we rent the MCHC building on Sundays. No MCHC, no building.

There have been a lot of changes at home as well. In all honesty, you all in the US have a lot more change to adjust to than we do here. There is never much to do around here anyway, and we often suffer from boredom. April is a month off of school in Kenya anyway; but there are many unanswered questions. Will MCHC survive? Will Chloe’s school survive? Will school even open back up in May? Likely not. Josiah’s school, Rift Valley Academy, is NOT opening up at all for the remainder of the school year (which ends in July). Instead, they will have an on-line platform. We didn’t know this, however, when Josiah and the other students were released from school two weeks early. He may never see his friends again; he may never see the campus again (which he loved). He doesn’t get to say good-bye.

Chloe, as usual, has had a difficult time adjusting to the change. Her behavior became aggressive enough that we had to consult her doctor. Being all “trapped” at home together without any reprieve has been a challenge to put it mildly.

Doing COVID-19 in Kenya has some additional psychological challenges, however. Currently, we have more deaths from police violence than we do from the corona virus. Forced isolation into some of the isolation facilities has been a nightmare. People are crowded together sharing the same facilities and even going hungry in some cases. Those who get a positive result have not always been removed from the group as a whole in a timely manner, and those who test negative after 2 weeks have not always been allowed to leave without paying a bribe. Who wants to get tested under those circumstances? Travel in and out of Nairobi is prohibited, so even if we wanted to fly out, we would not be able to (also because Chloe wouldn’t be allowed to leave, and we won’t leave without her).

HOWEVER…God is the Master at taking difficult things and working them together for the good of His people. Here are just a few ways I see God working.
1.  We were growing increasingly unhappy with the culture at RVA. I am really excited to have this time with Josiah – time we weren’t expecting and that we are very thankful for.
2. I know of two precious local families right now who have been struggling with family issues. This has forced them to spend time together at home because they don’t have the escapes they usually have in town or at work. It’s been good for them (not always easy, but good).
3. I’ve been able to work on some of the academic things Chloe was struggling with at school.  I’ve been able to help her with letter reversals, and she’s even starting to do some very preliminary reading and spelling.
4. Not being at work all day has helped me get back into a daily morning time of Bible reading and prayer – something I had been deeply missing.
5. Not knowing what is going to happen with MCHC has helped me see where some boundaries need to be set and where some of my priorities need to shift if MCHC does survive.

So, that’s where we are currently at. Here are some specific things you can pray for on our behalf. These are not in order of importance. First for the health of my family. I suspect we may have already had the virus, but there is no way of knowing for sure. Anyone with flu-like symptoms has the potential of being removed from their home and put in an isolation center. Second, that our financial situation stays somewhat stable so we can pay our rent. We have a good landlord, but there are no protections here like there are in some places in the US. Third, that our faith in our Good, Good Father would grow, that our love for Jesus would build up and effervesce onto others around us, and that we would draw nigh to Him in new and fresh ways. Fourth, that we – as a family – would find new and creative ways to invest in each other during this time of increased “forced togetherness.” 

In Christ,
Julie Tate

Contact Info:
Roger & Julie Tate
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta@gmail.com

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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COVID-19 in Kenya

Tate_profile

The Tate Family has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

March 21, 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,
I can be sure of one thing – You really don’t want me to talk about the Corona Virus in this report. Isn’t it the only thing you ever hear about these days? It’s all people talk about, it’s on every post, it consumes the news, and it has drastically altered every person’s way of life. But yes, Corona Virus has also reached Kenya and if it is the only thing happening then it probably is about the only thing I can talk about.

So, things are not as bad yet in Kenya as they are in the United States, but they will be soon. I know you never heard of a thing called Social Distancing before two weeks ago, but it is truly a totally foreign concept to the Kenyan people. Do you realize that 90% of Kenyans use public transportation to maneuver around? That includes vans, buses, taxis, motorcycles and bicycles (yes, a bicycle can be a form of public transportation). Vans, or shuttles, are the most popular form. Eleven to fifteen people in a small van is an incubation pit for viruses. Have you ever considered what it’s like going into a Kenyan pharmacy to obtain medicine? here could be twenty to thirty people all pushing towards the counter trying to be the next in the queue. I’m giving these examples to say that when it starts to spread here it is going to spread quickly. Also, the hospitals in Kenya are not ideal. Lots and lots of people, shared rooms and shared beds, and healthcare that is not the best. Please keep Kenya in your prayers as you pray for America.

At the Chapel, I have had to do much the same as probably most of the pastors in the United States have had to do, that is, speak about the Corona Virus. I have wanted to give my people a Biblical perspective on the virus and how we should respond to the situation in a Biblical way. I told them that I have noticed two different ways of responding to the chaotic situation. First way – with panic, stress, anxiety, fear, hoarding goods, suspicion, and looking out for number one. Second way – by thinking you’re immune, carelessness, ignoring the dangers, or thinking that all Christians or God-fearing people will be protected from any harm. I don’t believe either of these ways offers a completely Biblical perspective. I told them there is a third way – wisdom, discretion, caution, peace, calm, assurance, and complete trust in God for everything, no matter what. This third way leads us and God’s churches to loving and helping one another, to looking towards the good of other people and for the glory of God. My people at the Chapel have concerns and fears just like anyone else. We need to know that God is in control and will work all things out for our good and His glory.

Just like in the States, all the schools in Kenya have been closed indefinitely. This occurred after just the third confirmed case of the virus in Kenya. This has impacted all of us. Josiah is home from RVA, his term cut short and the rest of his Senior year in jeopardy. Chloe is home and currently being homeschooled by Julie. The math classes I teach at the school where Julie is the head teacher are now all being conducted remotely and on-line. But the school closures impact Julie the most. She and the rest of the staff are working hard to provide continuing education to the students even though the school is closed.
Beloved, I do not believe the infrastructure of Kenya is prepared for what may come. I pray that God’s people come together here in Kitale in a God-honoring way. I pray that the strong in this society don’t end up taking advantage of the weak. While I was in town today, I saw the headline on the front page of the news. The whole page had just three words: “Prepare for Worse”. For the sake of the Kenyan people I pray it doesn’t get too bad.

I write this report on my Anniversary. Julie and I were wed 28 years ago today. Happy Anniversary, Julie. I love you and you’re the best.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe

rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Celebrating a Dozen Years in Kenya

Tate_profile

The Tate Family has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

February 13, 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

I want to thank you all for your prayers and support over the years. We just celebrated our twelfth year in Kenya—we left the United States to commence our ministry in Kenya on January 31st, 2008. It hardly seems possible that another year has come and gone again. We’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs in the past twelve years. There have been so many times I was certain we would never make it another year, another month, or even another day. Those times of doubt and frustration, periods of being overwhelmed and wanting to quit still come, and I’m sure we will again face them in the future. But by the grace of God we are still here. We definitely attribute our still being here to God alone and not to our own strength. If still being in Kenya was dependent upon our own strength, we would have left long ago. But God is good and He has strengthened us for this ministry. All the praise and all the glory go to Him. And if you are reading this report then that means you are interested in our ministry and support and pray for our ministry. We need partners like you to continue this work here. Thank you again for your prayers and support. We couldn’t even think about doing this without you.

At the Chapel we just completed an 18-week expository study of the book of Galatians. I thought it was crucial for the Chapel folks to know and understand that we are justified and sanctified by faith and not by the works of the Law. I think church goers in every culture (Kenyan and American) struggle with this Biblical teaching, trying to be acceptable to God by being “good enough”, by “human righteousness”, by not doing certain things, by keeping certain rules and regulations. I taught my people, as Paul taught his, that we are justified and sanctified by faith in Christ Jesus. We ended our study by investigating “walking in the Spirit” and how the Spirit’s fruit is produced in our lives. (By the way, my people are very gracious and loving towards me. Last week I preached for an hour and fifteen minutes before I even realized what time it was. Everybody listened attentively and nobody complained about the length of the message. I think I would burn too many roasts if I tried that in the States.)

Let me here give some kudos out to my wife (without her knowing that I’m doing it). Julie works so hard as the Head Teacher and main administrator of the Milimani Christian Homeschooling Community where she volunteers at that position. She does such an amazing job and cares for the kids of the school so much. She so very much desires that these kids get a good, Christian education so that they can thrive as adults and go change their world for Jesus. Many of these kids also have various learning disabilities which have prevented them from thriving at other schools and which has landed them at MCHC. Julie is helping come up with unique and outstanding ways of helping these kids learn. One of the MCHC directors told her this week, “Julie, you can teach anybody”. Another visiting missionary referred to her as a “rockstar”. Also, a mother of one of high school students recently posted this on Facebook:  “Last year I had a seriously depressed teen hating school and threatening to just leave and drop out, not caring about university, unhappy, ill etc etc. Removed from school system into a home based system and he is happy, striving, talking about getting A’s and interest in university fully awakened”.  Julie is definitely using this opportunity to make a big impact in the lives of these children and for the Kingdom of Jesus.  Glory to our Lord and Savior!

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe
rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Growing & Being United in the Love of Jesus

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The Tate Family has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

January 20, 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Pastoring a church in any situation is not easy. I think it is especially not easy pastoring a church in a cross-cultural setting. There are so many things that I do wrong and because it is being done in a cross-cultural setting. Most of the time I don’t even know the things I’m doing wrong. Some things I have learned a little, like, not using American illustrations in my sermons that don’t make any sense to my Kenyan listeners. Also, talking slower and enunciating my words clearly for those who are not used to my American accent. Other things I have gotten used to—like children walking around during my message, even up to the lectern where I am standing, and talking to me while I am preaching (Chloe did this the other day too. She came right up to me while I was preaching, tugged on my pant leg, and asked me if she could preach.). I try and keep things informal and people will comment or ask questions in the middle of my sermon. I actually like that. What haven’t I learned? Well, again, that’s hard to say. I haven’t learned all the cultural norms. I haven’t learned to speak Swahili well enough. I haven’t learned how to play the guitar well. I haven’t learned yet when I have done something to offend someone. Pastoring a church as an American in Kenya is not easy. But it IS rewarding.

The last couple of weeks we have had a new family attending the Chapel. It is always nice to have visitors that come more than once. One-and-done’s are discouraging. It makes one think he is doing something wrong. But we are doing exactly what I think God wants us to be doing: simple Bible teaching, sensible and heartfelt worship, focus on Jesus. So, even if the one-and-done’s don’t like what we are doing, we will continue to follow God’s leading anyway. The new family, however, has returned. The mother came first, along with her three children. The father works in Nairobi, an eight-hour drive from his family. But he also was in Kitale this past weekend and attended the Chapel with his family. He told me that he also enjoyed our Chapel service very much. We are praying that this family continues to attend.

I am encouraged to see the Chapel folks entering a new phase together. Being in our new location is much more conducive to “fellowship”. The people are beginning to linger a lot longer after the services, talking and getting to know each other better. I see them starting to become friends instead of just “people who attend the same Chapel service”. I enjoy watching them mingle and listening to their conversations. We are all definitely growing and being united in the love of Jesus. It has also been suggested to me by some of the people that we should have more times of fellowship outside of our normal Sunday services. First, this shows me that they truly are growing and being bonded in the love of Christ. Second, it shows that they are taking initiative and interest in the growth of the Chapel instead of just allowing me to take all the initiative. Others have seen needs in the Chapel (like childcare) and are taking the initiative to find solutions to those needs. These developments are encouraging to me and I praise God for what he is doing in our ministry.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe
rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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