Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [June 2015]


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,

For many months, almost 6 in fact, we had no rain (Don’t worry, this newsletter is NOT a Kenyan weather report). Then the rain came sporadically in short showers. Then it came in downpours.  Back when the rain was scarce the grass turned brown and basically disappeared.  The ground just looked like barren dirt and I wondered if the grass would ever recover and grow back since I could see no trace of it. Once the downpours started I saw that the grass sprouted almost immediately, as if it was lying dormant in the ground just awaiting the life giving water. I was amazed at how quickly the grass grew. In two weeks it grew long and green and covered the ground. I was even more amazed when I saw some of the crops the Kenyan farmers had planted. In just a couple of weeks I saw one of their plants (which is unknown to me) grow from nothing to four or five feet high. The rapid growth shocked, astonished and even amused me.

Now, before you get too bored, let me assure you that this newsletter is neither an agricultural nor a horticulturist report either. I know nothing about such things. It’s just this: When I saw the rapid growth in the grass and the plants after the application of the rain water, I began to think and then I wondered why I don’t see

  • rapid growth in the groups and churches we start
  • dramatic change in the lives of my Kenyan students I teach
  • more Christ-likeness in my own life

I spend much of my time teaching the groups, churches and students from the Word of God. I spend much time myself in God’s Word in personal study and devotion. Like the rain that brings to life a dead plant and causes it to grow overnight and show immediate signs of change and development I expected that the Word of God and the Spirit of God would make immediate and rapid changes in the churches and lives of the Kenyan people.  That may happen with some missionaries or pastors but it doesn’t happen with me. And it frustrates, discourages and upsets me that it doesn’t. I teach Christopher (one of our students) week in and week out but I see little forward spiritual growth. We teach and lead worship every week at Kefa’s but the group doesn’t grow. And it frustrates me that it doesn’t. We pray, we study, we teach, we model, we point people to Jesus all with the hopes of seeing the Kingdom of Christ grow here in Kenya. However, the ground still looks barren instead of lush and green and vibrant. I want to believe that I’m doing things the way God wants me to. I want to believe that God’s Word is like water to the parched ground. I want to believe that the Kenyan people are reachable and redeemable. Are these things true?

Psalm 143 6The answer, of course, is YES. These things ARE true. God’s Word IS like water on a parched ground and a parched people. The Kenyan people ARE reachable and redeemable. OH, GOD!  Reach the Kenyan people! Do it in your way, with your Word and Spirit, in your timing and to your glory. Bring spiritual life and vibrancy to their thirsty souls. May they grow and be more like Jesus. Change them. Change me. Change my readers. In Jesus name, amen.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6)

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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