Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [April 2013]

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,

Life is hard. There are tears. There is pain.

I wasn’t planning on writing like this, this month. It seemed depressing (although I don’t intend it to be depressing). However, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like God was confirming in my mind to write these things this month. Life is hard.

There is pain.

As I write this I am experiencing pain myself. Yesterday a car pulled out in front of me while I was riding home on my motorcycle. I hit the car and ended up rolling on the pavement. Now my neck hurts, my shoulder hurts, my back hurts, my knee hurts and my shin hurts. I have no major damage, just some aches and pains. The Kenyan people live with pain too. Malaria, typhoid, other debilitating diseases. Some even live with the pain of hunger or thirst. Others live with pain because they have no means with which to see a doctor.

There is grief and loss.

Who among us hasn’t lost a dear friend or loved one to our great enemy – Death? How long does that grief last? Often, a long time. Death is so prevalent in Kenya. The infant mortality rate is so much higher here. Young children die because of infectious diseases or lack of medical care. Parents leave children orphans because they both perish from AIDS. This month, a lady that lives next door to us nearly died because her husband wouldn’t spend the 2000 shillings (about $23) to take her to see the doctor. I gave him the money and she still lives today, but I seriously think he would have let her die. Funerals here bring me back to a stark reality too. It’s not sanitized like in the States. While you stand there the coffin is dropped into the ground and men refill the hole with dirt until it is all once again recovered and the mound stomped on to pack the dirt down.

There is betrayal.

I wish it wasn’t the case but there is much betrayal in Kenya. You can work with a person for years and then when he realizes he is not going to get from you what he wants, he turns on you and says all kinds of slander and lies about you. Yes, we are currently experiencing this as well. The closer the betrayer is to you, the more it hurts.

There is famine, drought, substance abuse, homeless children, murderous rioters, political scandals, and much more.

What can we say to all these things? Yes, life is hard everywhere, not just here, but also where you live. Does it not make us long for when Jesus returns? Does it not make us long for his presence? Revelation 21:3-4 says, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Today I am mindful that Jesus is returning and that day may be soon. I am looking forward to the day when “Death is swallowed up in victory.” I will pray for the coming of that day. Until then I will work for the salvation of American and Kenyan people.

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)
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
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