Missionary Update: The Tates on Furlough from Kenya [February 2014]

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 start this update by extending my thankful gratitude to all of the many churches that I have visited already during this furlough/home assignment time. We have been all around in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and some in Indiana.

We still have a few more churches yet to visit. Every church we have visited so far has been so warm, so welcoming, so loving and for all of this I am extremely grateful. It is good to know that all these great people in all these great churches are praying for us while we are in Kenya. I can’t tell you how many times I have visited a church and someone comes up to me and says “I pray for you every day”. Just today I had a lady come up to me and said, “I pray for you two times every day”. I was so amazed and so appreciative of her prayers that I semi-jokingly said, “Well, then you need to take two of my prayer cards”. She semi-jokingly replied that one card would be enough. But please believe me when I say how much we need and covet these prayers. Another thing that I really appreciate when I have been visiting the churches is the interaction and questions that I get at nearly every church. The intelligent questions and informed interaction tells me that people are interested in what we are doing and involved in fulfilling the commission that Jesus gave to his churches to reach all the nations of the world. Do you know what else the questions and interaction accomplish? They make me have to think through things that I might not have thought through completely already. I’m not saying I haven’t myself thought about these things, but the questions and comments make me have to think harder about certain elements of my ministry and try and figure out how we will need to change and evolve more in the future. God’s people are such a blessing. The hospitality and kindness that I experience at every church lets me know how much you all love your missionaries. And one more point I will mention is all the differences I see in the churches I visit. I love the diversity. I’ve visited large churches and small churches. I’ve visited city churches and country churches. Some churches use more contemporary music and some more traditional. Some church buildings are old and some are new. But all have been friendly and loving. All are interested in missions. And all are occupied with preaching and teaching the gospel. Knowing that you all are diligently praying for us missionaries I also diligently pray that God would bless all of these churches and that they would be beacons of light in their own communities. May God empower each of you to fulfill the great commission here in your own hometowns.

We are now only one and a half months away from returning to Kenya. This brings me mixed emotions. I want to return and commence our third term and get going on our ministry. But I’m not yet ready to leave my beloved United States. I’m not yet ready to leave Emily here behind. I’m not yet ready to leave my home church. And, jokingly, I’m not yet ready to leave the pizza, Big Macs, and donuts. I’m not even ready yet to leave the snow and ice. But Kenya awaits and we begin to set our hearts on returning to the place where God has placed us to minister. Pray that God would prepare our hearts and minds for this return.

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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