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

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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

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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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Working for and Enlarging the Kingdom 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.

December 24, 2019

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ,
The first thing I need to do this month is to apologize for not writing an update for last month. I would offer you a great excuse but I don’t have one. I simply forgot last month to write an update and by the time I remembered it was too late. It must be because since my last update I celebrated my 50th birthday and my brain cells are diminishing.

Twenty years ago this month I was still working as a software engineer in Ohio and we were frantically preparing for the Y2K bug that was going to shut down the world. Do you all remember that time? All the computers in the world were supposed to shut down and we were about to be catapulted back into the dark ages. Everyone was a bit nervous about what was going to happen and some were even predicting the end of the world or the return of Jesus. Here we are twenty years later. The computers didn’t shut down (in fact, they didn’t have any problems whatsoever). The world didn’t end. And Jesus didn’t return. I am hoping, though, that we haven’t remained static in these last twenty years. Our world is so unpredictable and unstable. Yes, Jesus might return this year (that isn’t a prediction) and we need to be working for and enlarging His Kingdom.

Working for and enlarging the Kingdom of Jesus is exactly what we are trying to do here in our own small way in Kenya. Back in October of this year we celebrated our 1-year anniversary for the starting of Upper Room Baptist Chapel. We were in the midst of a lot of changes at the Chapel at that time because we were being forced out of our gathering place and having to move to a new location. Julie and I and the family were also in a lot of flux because at the same time we were having to move out of the house we had been living in for the past nine years. But things have stabilized since that time and the work is ongoing. We have a good group of people attending the Chapel and I believe their desire is truly to live for Jesus. I enjoy teaching them from the Bible but I also enjoy what they have to teach me about following the Lord and learning to love Him more. I never come away from talking with them but that I am blessed or challenged in multiple ways. Case in point, I was talking with one of our Chapel members over chai (tea) last week and he blessed my heart and challenged me at the same time. He is the most generous (concerning financial giving) person I think I have ever met. He will pick up a street boy who is sick and take him to the hospital and pay for his treatment. He contributes to funerals when he doesn’t have any money. He takes care of his friends and neighbors when they have needs. He gave all his spare money to a widow of a friend of his last week. All of this is a common practice for him. And what makes this all so amazing is that he is dirt poor. He, his wife, his two daughters and all of his possessions live in a 10×10 foot mud house. I try to convince him that he needs to keep some for himself but he refuses to listen to me in this matter. He tells me that those other people need his help and that God will bless him and take care of all his needs. He even insists on paying for the chai and chapati we eat (but this I cannot allow and I get the blessing of paying for chai and chapati). Do you see why I walk away blessed and challenged?

As we enter into the new year of 2020, I want to lead the people of the Chapel to begin thinking more outside our four walls. I want to see them sharing their faith more with other people. I want to see them thinking about how they will live out their faith by ministering to others in the community. I want to see them showing the love of Jesus to the community by ministering to the poor, the sick, the widows and orphans, the outcasts. I pray that in 2020 they will themselves become missionaries to their communities and even to the world.

In closing, the picture I have provided is of an illustration I used in my sermon last week at the Chapel. It was entitled “How to Ensure Your Failure”. It was about trusting in your own righteousness instead of trusting in the work of Jesus. In it are me, Josiah (who I am making sure will fail the race we are about to have) and Victor. Victor is helping me ensure Josiah fails and I win!

An illustration I used in my sermon last week at the Chapel. It was entitled “How to Ensure Your Failure”. It was about trusting in your own righteousness instead of trusting in the work of Jesus. In it are me, Josiah (who I am making sure will fail the race we are about to have) and Victor. Victor is helping me ensure Josiah fails and I win!

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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Malaria, Moving, URBC Attendees Migrate to New Location

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

October 26, 2019

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

I don’t know exactly how long this newsletter will be this month. It may be short because as I write this update, I am sick as a dog with malaria. I felt it coming on this morning after I woke up and within an hour all the symptoms were raging. No fun, this malaria.

So, a few quick updates. First, by the time some of you read this I will turning 50 years old. Half a century may not sound like a lot to some of you, but it sounds like a lot to me. The hair is graying, the beard is graying, and the body is aching (most of that today, however, is from the malaria). I hope I have gained some wisdom and experience in these 50 years, though. Honestly, I think most of any wisdom I may have gained has come in the last 12 years of being on the mission field. Believe me, being in a foreign country and a foreign culture for that long will definitely change a person. Maybe some for better and maybe some for the worse. But either way I am still in the hands of God and covered in the blood of Jesus. Thank you, God, for your sovereignty, wisdom and goodness.

Second, we have moved into a new house this past month. In the past 12 years prices in Kenya have gone way, way up and we decided we could no longer afford to live in our previous house and compound. We have moved to a shared compound and a smaller house. In case “shared compound” is an unfamiliar term to you, it means a yard enclosed by hedges with multiple residences on it. We hope the smaller place and the shared expenses will help our finances.

Third, Upper Room Baptist Chapel is doing well since we moved to the new venue. All of the regular attenders for our worship services have migrated to the new location with us and we have lost no one. Our main room where we now worship is considerably smaller than our old location and I’ve mentioned to our group that if we grow much more, we will have to go to two services. They all laugh at me and remind me that this is Kenya. They say we could easily fit two to three times more people in the room. That may be a stretch but I guess this being Kenya we probably could cram a lot more people into the room before it becomes too uncomfortable. One blessing of the new location is that it makes it a lot easier for Julie and Chloe to attend each week. Chloe did not do well in the other venue for various reasons. She does much better in the new location, for which Julie and I are very thankful.

I am currently preaching through the book of Galatians on Sunday mornings at the Chapel. What a wonderful and foundational book for Christianity and Christians today. My works and righteousness cannot add anything to the work of Jesus on my behalf. Faith in our beloved Savior is the only thing that can save me. Our people here in Kenya need to hear this age-old Biblical teaching and to learn to live by faith and in the Spirit.

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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URBC Driven Out of Its Location

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

September 27, 2019

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ,

Upper Room Baptist Chapel has been driven out of its location. We have been meeting in a building in town for the past year. October 21st is our one-year anniversary, but we will not make until then before we will in a different location.

During the month I was in the States taking Amy to college the directors of our building invited another church to move in across the hall from our church (and doesn’t charge them rent either). The door of this other church is literally four feet away from the door to our room. When I returned to Kenya, I promptly experienced the problem firsthand. When we gathered to worship on Sunday the church across the hall was playing music on their speakers and it was so loud, we could not hear each other in our room, even when we were yelling at each other. I knew I would have to try and solve this problem as soon as possible. I met with the caretaker of the building and requested a meeting with the other pastor. The other pastor did not even show up to the meeting even when he promised to attend. When he finally did show up to one of our scheduled meetings the suggested solution from the caretaker and the other pastor was that we, the Chapel, change our meeting time from 10am to 8am. I was not happy with this suggestion. I felt like the other church should alter their times because we had already been meeting in our room for almost a year. The other church has refused to make any changes and the unbearable noise has continued without any change as well. The directors of the building do not seem to care that this conflict is ongoing, and they refuse to take up our cause. It is my opinion that the directors want to drive us out in order that the other church can take over our room (since I spent a lot of money making our room nice). I have taken the matter to the people of the Chapel. We have met together many times to try and find solutions to this problem. We are approaching any solutions to this problem with the following Biblical principles: 1) Do everything out of love, 2) Glorify God in everything you do, 3) Let the world see your good works and glorify the Father through you, 4) Don’t let desires cause wars among you, 5) Allow yourself to be defrauded before “going to court” and 6) Let each of you think of others before yourselves. The bottom line is that I am trying to teach my people that we do not want to let the world see us fighting with another church. We would much rather “be defrauded”, as Paul says it, than to harm the Kingdom of Christ by fighting with other Christians, even if we think those Christians are not acting very Christ-like.

Taking these principles in mind, plus the fact that the directors of the building seem to be against us and we cannot get any change from them, the people of the Chapel have unanimously decided to find another place to worship. And, almost immediately upon making this decision, we were able to locate a place. Starting on the first Sunday in October we will be meeting at the school facilities of Milimani Christian Homeschooling Community, the school which Julie helped get started and now ministers as head-teacher. All of the directors of the school are our good friends and two of them are also weekly attendees at the Chapel. I believe the Lord has already blessed us by providing us with this new venue and I believe he will continue to bless us ongoing because we are trying to glorify Him above everything else. Beloved, the building where we have been driven from is not a big deal. The money invested in the other room is not a big deal. The opposition we are faced with is not a big deal. Meeting to worship under a Mango tree while trying to sort out the conflict is not a big deal. But, glorifying God IS a big deal. And this is what I want my people to do above anything else.

I know that not everybody will agree with our decision. Many might wish us to fight for what we consider our rights. I understand that. I get it. But please consider these things: 1) This is a very delicate situation, 2) The Chapel is a new mission work that we do not want to see Satan destroy, 3) I am a foreigner and alien in this country, 4) God does not want to see his people fighting, 5) God will bless those who follow his ways, and, 6) God is still in control of His Kingdom and this world. We will try and continue to trust in Him. Finally, rest assured in the fact that we have lost no attendees of the Chapel over this matter, nor over the decision we have made. The decisions were unanimous, and all are happy with them and are excited to see what God will do with us in the future.

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