Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [September 2014]

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

September 4, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I was reading my Bible the other day I came across a passage of Scripture in Exodus that struck me because I saw many similarities between what was happening to Moses and the children of Israel and what was happening to me and the people of Kitale, Kenya.  Now, before I continue you need to know that the people of Kitale are no children of Israel and I am certainly no Moses.  I am no deliverer like Moses was to the children of Israel, no great spiritual leader, no worker of miracles and no author of parts of Scripture.  I have never seen God in a burning bush, never heard the audible voice of God, never conversed with God face-to-face and the only lice I’ve ever dealt with was the ones found on my kids heads.  So, I guess the similarities aren’t that many.  But there was one that did strike me.  In the midst of the story where Moses is striving with Pharaoh and Pharaoh refuses to listen to Moses or to God and refuses to let the children of Israel go and worship God, Moses gets frustrated with God because God is not doing what Moses thinks He should be doing.  God had promised Moses that He would rescue His people from the slavery of Egypt.  But in Exodus 5:22 Moses complains to the Lord and says “since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people;  neither have You delivered Your people at all”.  This is where I totally relate to Moses.  I look around at the people of Kitale and the lack of progress we have made in our ministry and I think, “God, you sent me here with the saving message of the good news of Jesus Christ, the dynamite in Your hands that You use to change hardened hearts into followers of Christ and with the promise that Your word does not return to you empty but it accomplishes all that you sent it out to accomplish and with the promise that you will redeem Your people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation.  AND YET, WHEN I LOOK AROUND I SEE THAT YOU HAVE NOT DELIVERED YOUR PEOPLE AT ALL”.  I ask God, why has Your word had such little effect?  Why has Your Spirit changed so few lives?  Like Moses I complain.  Why haven’t You delivered Your people here in Kenya?  Ever ask a question similar to that?

Well, don’t stop reading in Exodus, even though the chapter ends, because in Exodus 6:1 God responds to Moses and says, “NOW you shall see WHAT I WILL DO”.  And what does God do?  He goes on to fulfill his promise to His people and through a series of supernatural events delivers His people from slavery in Egypt.  And I am glad that I didn’t stop reading at the end of chapter 5 because I am encouraged to know that, like God did with His people in Egypt, He will accomplish in Kenya what He wants to accomplish and He WILL redeem His people in His own timing.  And although He doesn’t need me to accomplish His purposes, I pray that He will.  And while we don’t always see the results we want to see, we do see God moving in this place.  I am excited about the new class of church planters that will start at the training center this week.  We are expecting anywhere from three to ten new students who we will begin to train to be church planters in their home villages.  We pray that these men will be faithful, dependable, God-fearing, Christ-following, future church planters in Kitale.

On a more personal note, we are down to one child left at our house for nine months of the year as we delivered Amy to her new home at Rift Valley Academy for the beginning of her eighth grade year.  This is the beginning of her tenure as a boarding school student 300 miles away from home.  I never thought that boarding school would ever be an option for our children but we feel very confident that this is what God wants for Amy, at least for now.  Please be in much prayer, especially for Amy, but also for Julie, Josiah and me as we all make this difficult transition.  Pray that she settles in well and that God would be with her and bless her.

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)

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