Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [April 2015]

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

April 5, 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I want to write about something you may have heard about in the news and something I’m certain you have not heard about in the news concerning Kenya.

First, you may have heard that once again Kenya was the victim of a horrendous terrorist attack.  Once again, terrorists from the organization called Al Shaabab (affiliated with Al Qaida but based in Somalia) have crossed the Somali/Kenya border and perpetrated unspeakable acts of atrocity against Kenyan citizens.  4-5 masked gunmen entered a university in the town of Garissa in Kenya in the middle of the night and wantonly opened fire on sleeping students.  Their only objective was to kill and cause terror, a goal in which they succeeded.  I have read news reports stating that as many as 147 students were killed in the attack.  I don’t know if this number is accurate but I do know that many young lives were ended that night.  News of this attack quickly went international and is probably why you have heard about it already.  Garissa is not that close to Kitale and thus this horrible attack does not impact us directly nor were we ever at risk of danger or injury during this attack.  But we do grieve for the Kenyan people;  the families of the victims, the town of Garissa which has endured this suffering and the nation as a whole which has to repeatedly face such atrocities. We wonder why people would commit such acts of atrocity against their fellow man. We wonder how long God will suffer these people to kill others who are made in His image before He returns to this earth to set all things right.  While we could never condone such acts, we pray that God would use this time to reach the hearts of many Kenyan people and cause them to reflect on eternity and their relationship with Him.

Second, I’m almost certain you never did hear in the news about an event that hit much closer to home here in Kitale.  Here in Kitale, the city municipal council decided to make some “changes”.  Our lawyer friend who lives next door described it so beautifully that I will quote her description.  She says, “Some clowns decided to resite the bus and mini bus stage ‘temporarily’ while a new one is built on the old site. Might not have been such a bad idea except they gave no proper warning, did absolutely no planning of new traffic systems, built no new infrastructure and the traffic is now chaotic to put it mildly. To compound that, they then decided to resite the fruit and vegetable market from the old, largely covered, old site to the same place…. again, with no proper stalls, roofs or infrastructure or proper notice. And just to inflate already justifiably fraying tempers, part of the area they resited to is owned by the railway company who say they did not give permission to use their land and plan to evict everyone in the next day or so by force if necessary……… all the ingredients for a riot!”  And, since all the ingredients for a riot were in place, can you guess what then resulted?  That’s right, a riot ensued.  The riot started at the governor’s house and then moved to the streets.  The streets were blockaded, fires were started, things were smashed and chaos ensued.  The police arrived, shot their AK-47’s and released tear-gas to attempt to disperse the crowds.  All of this happened within 2 miles of our house and on the main road that we use to enter town.  Once we heard what was going on we quickly closed and locked up the house, warned the security guard of possible danger and decided to stay indoors, at least for the rest of the day and night.  I’ve heard unsubstantiated reports that a couple of municipal buildings were burned down and that a coupe of people were killed in the rioting.  I can’t say if these reports are true or not.  But this event happening so close to home certainly causes us to stop and think how quickly society can devolve into chaos and how people pursuing their own sinful ways can wreak havoc on society as a whole.  Again, we look forward to the perfect reign and kingdom of Christ when our righteous and sovereign King will reign in all of his glory.  We only pray that many Kitale residents will recognize Jesus as King of their lives and that he will become King in their hearts before he returns to reign as King of the earth.

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 & Chloe)

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