Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [May 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 look around at the Kenyan culture and I notice all of the unbiblical aspects that need changing.  I see corrupt government officials who only want to fill their own pockets and not work for the people.  I see corrupt police officers who terrorize the people and work only for bribes.  Dependency and paternalism are rampant.  Lies and deception are an every day part of society.  Street boys who sniff glue run the streets.  Thousands of babies are abandoned every year leading to millions of orphans.  HIV and AIDS a regular part of society.

Now, to prevent you from thinking I am blind to my own culture, I also see the sinful behaviors of our own culture in the United States.  Homosexuality accepted.  Millions of babies aborted.  Materialism.  Unwed mothers.  Drunkenness.  Pornography.  Traditional family degraded.  Apathy in the churches.

Do you see any common threads between the problems in the two cultures?  I do.  In fact, I’m sure I would see it in whatever culture I looked at.  The problem is the absence of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The world sees different solutions to the problems.  They throw more money at the problem.  More education.  More training.  More government.  More whatever.  And yet, the only thing that will really help either culture is more Jesus and more people following the Savior.  I could try different approaches here in Kenya.  I could rally the people to hold their government officials more accountable and write articles for the newspaper condemning the taking of bribes.  I could teach people to work and live honest, decent lives instead of looking to the West for aid.  I could run a street boy ministry or an orphanage.  There would be lasting value in that for sure.  I could educate people about HIV and AIDS, even sharing with them the only sure-fire way of avoiding these diseases (which is total abstinence of sexual relationships outside of the bonds of marriage).  Yes, I could do all of those things but they make no lasting impact or change without people learning about and following the Savior.  This is why we are here in Kenya.  Not to make social change.  Not to end poverty.  Not just to show people a better way of living.  I don’t mind doing all of this.  However, we are really here to teach people how to love and follow Jesus.  He is the only one that can make lasting change into the hearts and lives of people.  No social program or action plan will amount to anything without the hearts of sinners being captured by the love of Jesus Christ.  Our program?  Share the gospel.  Teach the Word of God.  Point people to Jesus.  Organize churches.  Pray that the Holy Spirit would make changes to hearts and lives.  This is where real change will take place.  I hope this is what you’re doing back in the States as well.

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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