Missionary Update: The Tates on Furlough from Kenya [March 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 can hardly believe that this furlough is coming to an end and that this is the month that we return to Kenya (minus Emily).  I can’t believe how quickly it has passed and how much I will miss you all once we return.  But, since we are gearing up to return to Kitale, let me do two things in this newsletter.  First, let me quickly recap this furlough time and, second, I would like to summarize again what we would like to see happen in this upcoming term in Kenya.

So, first, how has this furlough gone?  Well, it certainly has been rough at times but in all I think we have managed it the best we could.  There are two things that make furlough tough.  The first is instability.  When you don’t have a firm, permanent place to stay, life tends to be a bit unhinged.  Jumping from one place to another is volatile and erratic.  Next time we will want to find a “permanent” place to stay as soon as we arrive in the States.  The second problem with furlough is travel.  Every weekend takes us on the road again.  Most of the churches I visit are centrally located in states surrounding Ohio but most still require at least a three hour drive to reach.  If I travel alone it takes me away from my family.  If I travel with the family, that brings its own challenges.  Among many other things, instability and travel especially make furlough tough.  The other difficulty with this particular furlough has been weather.  We have received a considerable amount of snow and ice this winter, as you know.  It hasn’t prevented me from traveling much, but it has prevented me from attending services at our home church.  It seems that every weekend I wasn’t traveling and had an opportunity to be spiritually fed at our home church, the weather would turn sour and all the worship services for the weekend would be cancelled.  This happened often enough that I began predicting weekend weather.  If it was a weekend in which I would be at home I would predict a large amount of snow and ice for Saturday night and, sure enough, the snow would inevitably come Saturday night and Sunday morning and all worship services for the day would be cancelled.  I’m not sure why God wanted this to happen for me but it sure seemed to happen every time.  I enjoyed the snow, I just wish I had been able to spend more time at our home church.  I have, however, been able to enjoy some pizza, big macs, donuts, and the endless cereal aisle at Walmart so now I am trying to take off the weight I have gained this furlough.  I guess I need to get back to the Kenyan beans and rice.

Next, let me briefly summarize what I envision for our ministry in Kenya for our third term.  Once we return to Kenya I will be searching for two important ingredients.  First, I will be searching for a house to rent in order to start training faithful Kenyan men our model of independent, self-reliant, reproducible church planting.  Remember, I want this house to look just like the houses the men who will be trained are living in so that it resembles their own houses.  They need to know they can do in their own home what I have been modeling for them in a house just like their own home.  The second component I will be searching for is, of course, faithful men to teach.  We want to teach them how to reach their own people with the gospel and how to start, organize and maintain New Testament Baptist churches.  Definitely something you all can be praying about with us.

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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