COVID-19 in Kenya


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

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