Missionary Update: Roger & Julie Tate in Kenya [February 2012]

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I want to sum up the last month with the following two words:  Exciting challenges.  That might seem like an oxy-moron to some.  This is true even for me as I have to remind myself repeatedly that the challenges we face truly should be exciting because God is working and doing things and He can overcome all challenges.  Obviously, I would like everything we do to succeed and go smoothly.  That’s my nature.  I really don’t like challenges and difficulties.  But I guess if everything went exactly how I wanted and all things went smoothly then I would be less dependent on God and more confident in my own abilities (which I am learning are quite limited).  Anyway, that’s my pep-talk to you and to me.  So, what are some of the exciting challenges?  They center around the groups that we have started and hope to groom and mature into churches.

In the first group we have difficulty starting on time and having people show up at all.  Last week we waited and waited to start the meeting and by the time we realized only the host couple was going to show up, it was too late to actually conduct the meeting.  But, the exciting thing is what the host couple has been doing.  They have been putting into practice the things we have been teaching them.  The wife has been sharing her faith to multiple people every week and so far has led three people to Christ.  She has exciting stories to relate to us of people trusting in Christ each week.  Now the challenge is getting these people to come to the group meetings so they can start to learn how to follow and love the Lord Jesus.  The husband wants to take the lessons and the model we are teaching him and start another group with some people he witnessed to a couple of miles from his house.  This would be a major goal coming to fruition, to see a group or church reaching out to start another group or church all on its own and without the direct intervention of the missionary.  This would bring on a whole new set of challenges.  We will see how it goes.

In the second group we saw the members who were coming dwindle down to just two.  This was discouraging but the exciting part was that one of the members who was coming faithfully wanted to move the group to his own village (he was coming from about five miles away) so that some of his family could come.  We decided to move the group out to his village and start the lessons from the beginning for the benefit of his family.  I was expecting about four or five people at the most.  There was already that many people there when we arrived and over the next fifteen minutes the crowd grew to sixteen people, not including me and Nathan.  We were crammed into the little house very tightly and I was beginning to get very nervous about my Swahili abilities but God gave us a good meeting and I think many of these people will return again next week.

As of this week we will also start our third group.  This group will meet for the first time this Sunday and I don’t know how many people to expect.  A friend of ours got us into contact with the elderly man in whose house we will meet.  He is a believer but the only church in his village is a church that he says looks a lot like a Catholic church and he doesn’t want to go there.  This is a village of people who are from the Bakusu tribe and I am hoping that they all at least speak Swahili (this is not a given).  The greatest challenge for this week might be in finding his house again.  He lives about 20-25 minutes from my house in a remote village.  It will be difficult to find again and the only way I can see to get there is on the motorcycle as I don’t think the car will make it to his house.  We pray that God will use this man and his household to start another church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Until next month, beloved.
May God’s peace and joy be with you.

For the glory of God in East Africa,
Roger & Julie Tate (and Emily, Amy, & Josiah)
P.O. Box 761
Kitale, Kenya 30200

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