Missionary Update: The Tates on Furlough from Kenya [October 2013]

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

October 4, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Kenya made major international news this month but not for any reasons that are good. You probably saw or read in the news that a group of heavily armed terrorists from the group Al-Shabab entered into a heavily populated upscale mall in Nairobi and held it hostage for five agonizing days. They threw hand grenades, shot their AK-47s and killed people indiscriminately. Then they holed up in the mall with their hostages for five days while Kenya police and military tried to root them out. The terror, chaos and pain they caused is simply indescribable. In the end at least 69 people were killed with hundreds injured and many still missing. The mall was burned and partially collapsed. It was indeed a great and terrible tragedy. This terrorist activity touches our family personally. This is a mall and a place that we frequently visit whenever we are in Nairobi. Throughout the ordeal I kept thinking, “This could have been us. We could have been there”. This mall is very familiar to us and so all the pictures shown on the news were also very familiar except that these familiar places in the pictures now included smoke, bullet holes and corpses. But I wasn’t only thinking, “This could have been us”. I was also thinking, “Who is in that mall right now that I might know”? As it turns out, we did have personal connections there that weekend. A friend of ours was killed by the terrorists in the mall that weekend. She and her family are Muslims but on occasion she attended get-togethers at our house. One of her daughters is friends with Emily. We feared that her children were with her at the mall but fortunately they were not there. Please pray for the family of Shirose and pray that the Lord would use this terrible event to bring them to faith in Christ. We weep for our Kenyan brothers and sisters over this tragic and senseless incident and pray that God would bring healing to our beloved host country.

In other news, we have arrived in Dayton and are finally spending some time with our church family at Emmanuel Baptist in Bellbrook, Ohio. What a blessing to hear the Word of God preached and to worship with our church family. Each time we return, though, the dynamics are slightly different. We see less of the familiar faces at church and more faces that are not familiar. If we spend another thirty years on the field in Kenya there may be very few people left at our own home church that we actually know. I suppose that is the plight of a missionary. But our dear pastor of 30 plus years is still there and we still have many dear and wonderful friends there and maybe we will be able to make new friends as well before we head back to Kenya.

Much of my time has been spent in preparing for traveling to our various supporting churches. I’m running through my checklist of all I need to do in order to begin our traveling: Design and create the DVD – CHECK; Develop and print the prayer cards – CHECK; Update pictures and information for the display board – CHECK; Call pastors and schedule traveling dates – IN PROCESS; Appropriate all equipment for showing the DVD – IN PROCESS; Prepare messages – IN PROCESS. Throw into this mix a seemingly endless running of errands, appointments and phone calls and I am easily finding enough tasks to keep me busy until we begin traveling to the various churches. I also have other speaking engagements that I am preparing for and for which I need the Lord’s help and guidance.

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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