Riots and Risks: Is It Worth It?

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

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

A few events that occurred over the last month have caused me to stop and once again think about my current situation here in the country of Kenya.

First, I was traveling home from a supply trip to Eldoret and I was passing through a town about 15 miles from our house. Up ahead I saw a van stopped in the middle of the road and was annoyed with the driver as I drove in the ditch to get around him. As soon as I got around him and back on the road I noticed why he had stopped. A hundred yards ahead the road was blocked. Old tires had been hauled up onto the road, the smoke of their burning ascending into the sky. Dozens of men were gathered around them, yelling, jumping, and shaking sticks and clubs. It was a riot of some kind and I knew immediately and instinctively that I should not be there (Don’t worry, I live through this ordeal). One of the first things you learn when you come to live in Kenya is to avoid mobs and riots at all costs. They can be very dangerous. So, I immediately got off the road and turned around. I was surrounded by people (friendly people, mind you, but nerve-wracking nonetheless) who told me I could not continue up that road because there was a riot. That seemed obvious. They told me about a side “road” I could take to get around the riot to the other side. I should have just turned around and gone back to Eldoret, even if I had to stay the night there. But I decided to take the side road. All seemed well at first and the side road looked like it was taking me around the riot and would eventually take me back to the main road which, indeed, it was doing. I was following another car ahead of me which seemed to know where it was going, so this gave me some confidence. After about ten minutes I was about 1/2 of a mile from merging back onto the main road when I saw up ahead that this side road was also blocked by men and tires (not burning). They stopped the car ahead of me and I saw there was no place to go. After talking with that driver for a minute they pulled back the tires and made a path for him to pass through. Then they came towards me and I cracked the window open so I could talk with them. As soon as they saw me they began yelling and jumping and screaming to the men on the road up ahead “FUNGA NJIA!  FUNGA NJIA!  FUNGA NJIA!” (Close the path, Close the path, Close the path!). I didn’t wait to find out what they had in store for me once the path was closed. I took off while the men up ahead scrambled to get the tires back across the road. I drove off the road and through a field to get around their roadblock, raced as fast as I could back to the main road, got on the main road, turned toward home and left the mob, yells and smoke behind. Exciting missionary life, right? Right!  

The second thing that occurred happened right here in our own neighborhood where we live, within a half mile of our current house but only two doors down from our previous residence where we lived for 10 years. At only 8:30pm some men broke into a mission compound of some missionary friends of ours. Fortunately, this is only a mission station and no one actually lives there. Anyway, very early in the evening, certainly before everyone on the street was in bed asleep, the men broke into the compound, tied up the night guard and stole some things. Very unfortunately, before they left, they violently murdered the night guard. Dead men don’t talk. Exciting missionary life, right?  Right!

A third incident did occur as well (that I don’t have space to report) that turned out to be completely harmless but made me extremely nervous at the time.

When these things occur I wonder if I’m sitting on a powder keg that could go off at any time. I re-evaluate what I’m doing here and whether I should be putting myself at risk. Then I remember that there are risks and dangers everywhere, both here and the US. That many of you often put yourselves at risk as well. And I remember how much this fallen world needs the gospel and needs the love and saving grace of Jesus. I remember the cross and that Jesus came to redeem us. I remember that I and the Kenyan people need to trust him, love him and serve him. And then I remember that this is where I need to be.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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Introducing Victor

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

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

In my newsletter for this month, I would like to introduce you to Victor. He is the one in the picture that I have sent. It will be difficult for me to describe Victor to you because he is a complicated individual. However, although he is complicated, he is a special man and worthy of us knowing him.

One of the reasons I wanted to introduce you to Victor is because of his faithfulness; faithfulness to God, to me, and to the Upper Room Baptist Chapel. Victor is the only person I know will be at the Chapel’s services each and every week. In fact, there are some weeks that Victor is the only one to show up. I may not know who else will show up, but I know Victor will be there, encouraging me, supporting me, and teaching me things about Jesus.

I have said Victor is complicated. This is true. He is quirky and strange to the point of being annoying, in his own world, oftentimes unintelligible in his conversation, and misunderstood. Victor hasn’t always been like this, however. I have spoken to people that have known Victor for a long time, and apparently he used to be more of what we would consider mentally “normal” – a bright and intelligent young man. After a visit to Mombasa, however, he came back “changed”. The consensus is that Victor probably contracted cerebral malaria while in Mombasa, didn’t receive the proper care for it. The disease left him permanently “brain damaged”, at least to some extent. When Victor returned, he returned as I have described: “quirky and strange to the point of being annoying, in his own world, oftentimes unintelligible in his conversation, and misunderstood”.

When Victor first started attending the Chapel this was the only thing I saw about him. He would interrupt me while I was preaching and ask a question that was mostly unintelligible and completely unrelated to what I was saying. Or, he would get up in the middle of my lesson and start sweeping and mopping the back of the room. He would do other quirky things that usually annoyed me, and I would find myself trying to “manage” his behavior.

However, in describing Victor in this way (which is true) I am not giving you the full story about him. Here is the other half of Victor. He is one of the kindest, most trusting, gentlest, giving, and self-sacrificing men that I have ever met. And, more than anything, Victor teaches me about Godliness and Christ-likeness. From the beginning of his attendance at the Chapel, Victor would come early or stay late in order to clean the building. He would always try and do nice things for me like packing up my stuff after service while I was talking to other people (even though I didn’t want him to) or refilling my water bottle (even though the water he used wasn’t clean), or stacking chairs and moving them to the side of the room (even though I just had to move them back later). In all of these things Victor was not trying to be annoying (even though he was) but to be helpful, loving, and giving. He did these things from a pure and loving heart.

Victor

Later, as I spent more time with him (mostly because he wouldn’t leave me alone), I saw even more of his self-sacrificing heart. If we were walking through town together I might buy him a banana or a small bag of potato chips. Inevitably, he would stop and share his banana or his chips with a street boy, or a small child sitting with his mother, or a beggar, all the while speaking to them softly, lovingly, humbly and blessing them in Jesus’ name. When we are walking home together after services at the Chapel, everyone we pass on the road gets a wave from Victor, or a greeting, a handshake, or a blessing in Jesus’ name. When I take Victor for a coffee and “cake”, his coffee always gets cold before he drinks it. Why? Because he insists that I drink it and eat his cake (even though I have some of my own). When we moved the Chapel out of town and into its own building, Victor automatically volunteered to be the building and grounds caretaker. After a couple of weeks I noticed that he was tearing up some of the grounds and planting seeds where I didn’t want them. I asked him to stop (even though he didn’t). Now there are plants growing around the Chapel compound. Do you think they are for Victor? Nope. Every week someone who attends the Chapel goes home with some food: A pumpkin, some beans, sukuma (greens), kale.

He oftentimes tries to send me home with a pumpkin, a bunch of bananas, or avocados even though most times I am able to convince him that I don’t need them. Most Sundays Victor will come to the Chapel (he is always early while everyone else is always late) and he reads to me the Bible verses he had been reading that morning. He shows me his Bible which is all marked up with notes that he understands but I don’t. He and God are probably the only ones who understand those notes. But do you know something? I think God DOES understand those notes. And I think Victor understands something about God that most of us, including me, don’t.

Victor has become one of my favorite people in Kenya. God bless Victor.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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Faithful in Little, Faithful in Much

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

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

Not long ago I was challenged by one of the people at the Chapel. If you are reading this and you are a pastor or a church leader you have probably been challenged to think through this too. And even if you are not a pastor or a church leader you have probably thought through this challenge before also. So, the challenge this Chapel lady gave me went something like this: “This Chapel is all about you. You do everything in the service. Nobody else gets a chance to get involved or to participate in the service. This Chapel is all about you”. 

First of all, I was forced to think through her challenge about the Chapel being all about me. Was I hoarding the service and ministry duties because of pride, or because I was the important one, or because nobody could do it better than me? I have had to think about this, not only when she spoke to me but also subsequently to that. And, no, I don’t think that is an issue. One, I am trying to give them an alternative, something different than they would typically receive in a typical Kitale church (that being: 1. Simple, Biblical teaching  2. Reasonable, heart-felt worship  3. A focus on knowing God and following Jesus  4. No health and wealth gospel  5. No “God is my genie” mentality  6. No emotional craziness  7. No…well, you get the point). I am the only one I trust right now to incorporate these elements. Two, there is no one who comes on a regular enough basis to entrust with ministry responsibilities.

I have always had the opinion that ministry responsibilities should be given to those who show faithfulness to a church, its services and its ministries. In other words, if you want to teach Sunday School then you should show yourself faithful to the church services and ministries. If you want to lead the worship and singing, then you should show that you are committed and dedicated to the services and ministries of the church. That is my opinion. The Chapel lady had another opinion. She told me that people were not being faithful because I hadn’t given them responsibilities and opportunities. If effect, her opinion was opposite of mine.

My view – Give ministry opportunities to those who show themselves to be faithful, committed and dedicated

Her view – Give ministry opportunities to the unfaithful, the non-committed and the un-dedicated in order to make them faithful, committed and dedicated

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much…” –Luke 16:10

I discussed this with her and gave her my position on the matter, explaining why I approached the matter in the way that I did. She obviously disagreed and told me that I should take a risk. After giving the matter some thought I decided to give the experiment a try after all. 

So, here is what I did. I asked one man if he would be the one to open up our services. I asked him to read a Bible passage, say a few words and pray in order to open up our weekly Sunday services. I asked another young man who knows how to play the guitar if he would learn a couple of songs and lead the Chapel in singing them. I let him choose some songs and I gave him song sheets with chords so that he could practice them and lead the Chapel to sing those songs on the next Sunday.

The results of my experiment? I am hesitant to share them, but, here they are. The man I asked to open our services came the next Sunday and did exactly what I had asked him to do. After that, he didn’t even show up for our services for three out of the next four Sundays, leaving me wondering if I should wait for him or start things myself. The other young man that I asked to lead some songs came the next Sunday but he hadn’t learned the songs. Then he missed two Sundays and when he returned on the third Sunday still hadn’t learned the songs, meaning I had to have songs ready each week to play, not knowing whether he would be ready or not. He still hasn’t learned the songs.

I don’t know if the results of my experiment are typical. I don’t know if I haven’t let it run long enough. I don’t know if it verifies my original opinion. Should I keep trying it? God knows.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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Homeschooling & Raising Chloe

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

April 9, 2021

Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

I can’t believe another year has come and gone…it reminds me of the phrase in the Bible, “…and it came to pass….” Just like many other euphemisms — “what goes up must come down,” and  “what goes around comes around”— it is also true that all things which come will also pass. Sometimes we feel stuck in current circumstances, but that’s only our limited perspective. As the Alpha and Omega, God sees the beginning from the end. Not only do all things have a set time, they have set purposes as well.

Milimani Christian Homeschool Community’s time has passed. This was both a relief and something I grieved deeply. People here in Kenya who know me well know that I poured 150% of myself into MCHC. I loved (and still love) the children and the teachers deeply, and I found great joy in helping all of them academically and spiritually. I loved discipling the teachers, not only in teacher training and opening their hearts and minds to children with learning challenges and differences, but also in their walk with the Lord. I loved talking about and demonstrating the love of Jesus to children from different walks of life – children from Christian homes, nominal Christian homes, and even a Hindu home. I loved watching children who were bitter bullies blossom into caring friends. I loved watching our neuro-diverse children find joy and confidence in a learning environment that treasured them and helped them find their strengths without belittling their challenges. I loved watching children learn to accept one another’s differences while finding their commonalities, even among different ethnic backgrounds. I can’t begin to tell you what a joy it was. I don’t understand why it had to end the way it did; I can only say that it was a good and beautiful thing, and I trust God will continue to use that time in the lives of the people who were touched by it.

Having said that, it seems obvious that in the passing of MCHC, God had another great adventure planned…homeschooling and raising Chloe. Homeschooling and raising children are not new to me. Doing it for Chloe, however, is unlike anything we’ve ever done. Not only are we parenting and working with her academics, I find myself in the position of being her ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapist, her OT (Occupational Therapist), her emotional co-regulator (teaching her to regulate her own emotions by doing it physically with her), her advocate (and our own), and even a researcher to understand her and what she needs. This is more daunting than MCHC ever was, but everything I learned at MCHC, I am now applying at home. In fact, without my experience at MCHC, I would be quite ill-equipped. This is beautiful to me. You see, God is never doing only one thing at a time in any one circumstance. One of the things He was using MCHC for in my own life was training me to teach my own very special needs child. All this has pushed Roger and me beyond the limits of anything we feel capable of doing…or surviving. We’re learning more about ourselves and our own hearts than we want to know, but even that is beautiful to me (usually…).

We can often feel stuck in our challenges, but from time-to-time God reminds me to step back and see all the struggles that have come…and have now passed. There is so much hope and growth. Chloe’s academics have really taken-off in her homeschooling environment. A friend of mine from the US with a Master’s degree in Special Education is here and has done some evaluations with Chloe. She’s told me that Chloe is actually quite intellectually gifted. She loves to read, her math facts are like muscle memory (when she’s relaxed and can access them), she has an amazing memory both verbally and visually, and she loves music and cooking. In fact, she just loves learning and has a super cute sense of fun and humor to boot. I am so thankful to have her in an environment that won’t squash that.

She does have challenges though, and I would ask you to pray for us as we research and find help for her in these areas. Autism often comes with other issues…a lack of ability to regulate her emotions (thus the scars up and down my arms), difficulty with social communication despite an extensive vocabulary, and severe anxiety due to sensory processing disorder and nervous system overload creating flight or fight reactions (usually fight…). In Chloe’s case, her neuro-developmental psychologist has told us she also has attachment insecurities and food insecurities (from babyhood before she came to us), as well as dysgraphia, mild dyslexia, and dyspraxia. This a condition in which the communication between Chloe’s brain and her muscles gets mixed up causing fine and gross motor skill difficulties. Basically, her muscles don’t know how to do what her brain tells them to do. This also affects her speech.

I really appreciate your love and prayers for our family. Please continue to pray for our kids in the US as well:  Emily and Igor, Amy, and Josiah. It’s hard to be “stuck” in Kenya with no hope of being able to see them anytime in the near future. We miss them terribly, and though we love the gift of being able to have video calls with them once a week, it’s just not the same as a hug.

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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Specific Ways to Pray for the Tates



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

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Thank you to all who spend time praying for us, for our family, for our ministry here in Kenya and for our spiritual well-being. Needless to say, we need this support from you all. Life and ministry are hard, as you know. And as I know, life and ministry are hard for you back in the United States as well. We all must press-on. And for those of you who are praying for us, on occasion I like to offer some prayer suggestions for you.

First, please thank God that things are going well at Upper Room Baptist Chapel. This past month we again had some new visitors to add to our new visitors from the previous month. Our attendance is still low but it is encouraging to have some new folks who show an interest in our simple, Biblical teaching and in our approach to loving and following Jesus with all of our hearts. They seem to appreciate what we are doing and we pray that some of them will continue to come and to grow with us as we follow the teaching of the Lord.

Second, speaking of the teaching of the Lord, I have started teaching our folks at the Chapel a new series from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This is the longest and most concentrated of Jesus’ teaching found anywhere in the New Testament and we at the Chapel need to know the things that Jesus taught. My focus in this series is to show that Jesus’ teaching is counter-intuitive to the thinking of the world and that in this sermon Jesus wants to completely change the way that we think, act and approach everything we do in this world. I want our people to know that Jesus gives his followers principles for Kingdom living and that, as he says at the beginning of the sermon, his followers will be happy, fortunate and blessed if they believe and follow them. Please pray that we would truly grasp Jesus’ counter-intuitive teaching, that we would believe him even though what he says is contrary to what our flesh naturally thinks and believes, and that in believing what he teaches we would have the courage to follow him every day and hour of our lives. We have already seen in the short time we have been in this series that these things will not be easy.

Third, please pray for the Kenyan people. Times are still very hard for most people here. The economy is still sluggish, Covid is still effecting people, businesses are suffering, crime seems to be up (we even had a break-in and theft off our own compound last week), street children roam Kitale, and there seems to be just a general tension in the air. The people of Kenya and Kitale need God now more than ever.

Last, please pray for me, Julie, and Chloe. We face so many physical, spiritual, and emotional challenges every day that seem overwhelming and crushing. This seems to be an especially challenging time that even the other missionaries in Kitale are feeling acutely. Here on the mission field our faith is challenged in ways that I never did, but probably should have, anticipated. Please pray that God would give us strength, that his Spirit would draw near to us, that we would trust him completely and that he would be glorified in our lives. Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. He that has begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. To God be the glory.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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Encouraging Opportunities as Addictive Activities are on the Rise in Kenya



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

February 11, 2021

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

I get to report some small encouragements from the last month.

First, we have had a couple of new visitors to the Chapel this past month. It has been a while since I could say that. One of the new visitors is a lady that lives in the area and was invited to come from one of my “regular” attendees (the “regular” here is in quotes because she does come regularly – misses three weeks – attends – misses three weeks – attends – misses three weeks – attends). I don’t know a lot about this new visitor, but she seemed to enjoy our worship service and I hope she continues to attend so that we can get to know her better. The other new visitor is a young man that I have known for quite some time. I didn’t expect him to visit the Chapel and, in fact, didn’t think he would come to our services. I had started to counsel him on a weekly basis because of some major issues in his life. One of the issues that has been causing him problems recently is gambling. Oh, folks, this problem is growing in Kenya and I grieve over this for Kenyans, especially younger Kenyans. With the increase of technology, specifically smart phones, comes a wave of addictive activities, especially pornography and gambling.  Everyone in Kenya has a smart phone now and with these devices always in their pockets or their hands these mentioned vices are also readily available, with little cultural safeguards against them. More and more people are into gambling, convinced they will win. And I am convinced the gambling organizations do let them win at first, knowing they will eventually get all the gambler’s money. With a few clicks on my phone screen I can load my entire paycheck onto it electronically. Then, with a few more easy clicks, I can quickly and easily load a gambling app, pick my sports team that I’m sure will win, and away we go.  And from what I’ve heard, most people win pretty big at first, convincing them that winning is easy and consistent, and also tempting them into betting bigger and more. However, the winning doesn’t last while the addiction does. Then they got you. And this is what happened to my young friend. His gambling then led to lying, stealing, and manipulating. So, we are meeting to try and help him with his unwise decisions and to deal with his heart. And when I invited him to our services at the Chapel I didn’t think he would come. But he HAS been coming, every week for the past month. I pray he continues to come, that his heart and life may be transformed, and that his heart’s desire is to glorify Jesus Christ, our Lord and King.

Second, I am encouraged that we finally have power and water restored to the Chapel. We had been without power for about three months and without water for about two. Now we have both again. I don’t know how long these blessings will last but we will be thankful for them while we have them.

Did you know that there are things I never really thought about before I left the United States? Well, obviously there are. But one of those things hit me earlier this month. Did you know there are not a lot of non-white pictures of Jesus out there? That’s right, they are hard to find. You and I both know that Jesus came from an ancient Jewish heritage making him, I’m sure, darker skinned than me. This past month I wanted to hang some prints at the Chapel with some Bible verses on them. My Kenyan printer did a really good job designing some prints with some of Jesus’ “I am” sayings with pictures in the background. Some of his designs had pictures of Jesus on them – Jesus as a shepherd with a flock of sheep, Jesus praying, etc. I don’t really have a big problem with pictures of Jesus but I noticed all the pictures on the prints had a white Jesus on them. I already have a big enough problem being a white, westerner trying to minister in an African nation. I don’t want anybody here thinking I’m pushing a white, western Jesus on them. I DO want them to know the real, Biblical Jesus – Our Savior, Redeemer, Messiah and King of Jewish descent. I had to tell my printer to redesign the prints without any pictures of Jesus. Funny the things you get to think about when you minister in a different culture.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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Times of Unrest and Trials in America & Kenya

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

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

In times of unrest and trials in America and in Kenya, what do we do? The best that I can offer is to trust God and pray, knowing that God sees all and that he knows our plight and that he is for us.

While you all in America are going through turmoil, we in Kenya (myself and the Kenyan people) are learning to trust and pray too. For a long time, Kenyans have lived with political unrest, government and police oppression and mistrust, and economic disaster. They also need to be directed to trust God and pray.

I have had one lady and her daughter that has recently started attending our worship services at the Chapel.  She has had no work lately because of the changes that have occurred as a result of Covid. Her daughter was supposed to go back to school this month because the government has reopened schools after a 10 month Covid hiatus (that’s right, the schools have been completely closed for 10 months). Unfortunately, her daughter did not have everything she needed in order for her to return to school.  After our services at the Chapel the lady would approach me and begin this rehearsed speech: “I am sorry we were late this morning. My daughter delayed me because she was crying. She doesn’t have everything she needs to return to school. I don’t have a job and I don’t have any money. How can she return to school without the things she needs? Covid has really been hard on us. I don’t know what to do. What am I going to do? Do you have any suggestions?” This is the cultural way of asking for a handout without explicitly asking for a handout.  I told her I was sorry, that times really were hard, that Covid has effected many people but that God is still in control and that we should pray that God help her with the things she needed. This only caused her to repeat her speech again, which she repeated many times during this conversation.  Each time I told her I would pray for her (I can’t actually give her the money she is asking for because of the many, many problems it would cause not only with her but also with the rest of the Chapel members and with the overall health of the Chapel). When she returned to worship this week (which I didn’t think she would) she was rejoicing in the fact that she not only was able to purchase her daughter’s necessities, but she also landed a job that would bring her some steady income. She told me it was all because I prayed for her and blessed her and that God must really listen to me and how thankful she was that I had blessed her. Of course, at this point I had more lessons for her that she needed to learn in order to dispel the myth of my magical praying powers.

Moving in a more positive direction, I have another regular attender at the Chapel who also regularly has no money and is also always in need of school fees, rent and clothes for his children. And yet he is always helping out others who are in need. I tell him all the time that I know times are hard and that I will pray that he gets everything he needs. He always tells me, “Roger, God always takes care of me. He always provides everything I need and that’s all I need”. I tell him that I agree but that maybe he should not give so much away to other people and then he will have more to take care of his own needs and necessities.  He always tells me: “Roger, if I give all my money away and then I need something, then God will take care of me and provide what I need”. 
 
So, you see, sometimes I have something I can help others learn and sometimes they have something to teach me that I need to learn.

May God bless my Kenyan people and my American people with his presence, his Spirit, his love, his grace, and his mercy. 

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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Praying in the Wilderness

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

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

What should you do when things are not going right? When you are struggling over a great many things? When you have a ministry in Kenya, but the ministry is not going where you want it to? When you are striving to make the gospel relevant in people’s lives, but no change is taking place? When you don’t know what to do next? Well, I don’t have the answers to these questions. But I do know one thing you can do – head out into the wilderness and pray. So, that’s exactly what a number of my missionary buddies and I did this past month.

Our closest wilderness is Mt. Elgon, so 6 of us piled into a couple of Land Rover’s and headed to the top. We were all needing time to reflect, to get out of civilization, to seek God, to find guidance and direction for our respective ministries, and to contemplate on where God is right now. A number of men in the Bible did this (to a much greater extent than we did), and I found it to be helpful. And so while I can’t speak of all the great things that are happening in Kenya, or the great progress that is being made in the ministry, or the great growth of the Chapel (things I wish I could write about), I can at least write that God is making progress in my own heart.

About a three-hour drive from Kitale, the peak of Mt. Elgon sits at approximately 14,000 feet. To get there you have to drive on roads and paths that don’t look much like roads and paths.  It is adventurous, and I am not the most adventurous person in the world. We had to dig, push, pull, chop through fallen trees, work together, think, strategize, and trust. But in the end, we got there even though we had to drive through the forest at night to get back to our cabin. In the morning, before heading back to civilization, I got up before the sunrise and took my coffee out into a small field near where we had slept. I spent time with God and prayed – mostly by watching the sunrise, listening to the birds sing, and watching the zebras, water bucks, and impalas graze (my life is rarely this adventurous or exciting, really). I returned with renewed strength and determination to seek and serve God, and to love and serve His people.

Things I am learning that God kind of reiterated to me while I was on the mountain and that I can try and help the people that are around me learn too:

  • Let God be God – Roger, don’t place your own expectations of what YOU THINK God should or shouldn’t do upon God. Don’t force God into your own image and get disappointed when He doesn’t do what you thought He should have.
  • Trust God, and when you don’t know how or when you don’t understand God, trust Him anyway – Roger, it is very presumptuous of you to think that you can understand God or to figure out all His ways. And when He doesn’t seem to make sense, trust Him anyway.
  • In quietness and rest shall be your strength (See Isaiah 30:15) – Roger, don’t always question, question, question but instead sometimes just be quiet. Don’t always run, run, run but sometimes just rest. Learn how to trust and rest in God in quietness and peace and joy.
  • When God feels distant in your heart and when the love of God feels cold in your soul, God will oftentimes shower you in His love through the love of other people – Roger, remember those many people in Kenya and in the United States that stand with you, pray for you, challenge you, support you, cry with you, encourage you, lift you up, teach you, and carry you to Jesus when you can’t walk (See Luke 5:17-20). Remember, that this is God loving you.

Is God doing nothing? It sometimes seems like it. But, really, He is just doing HIS thing in HIS own time.  Roger, can you rest in that?

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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