Changes with Kenyan Authorities Bringing Challenges


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

August 28, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Over the last couple of months I have noticed some slight, yet disconcerting, changes in the way the Kenyan authorities are viewing and treating the expatriates that live and work in this country.  I have lived in Kenya for ten years but it is only recently that I’ve noted some vexing changes that cause me concern.  (In case you are unfamiliar with the term “expatriate” I am using it to refer to any person who lives outside their native country – missionary, military, immigrant, foreign worker, etc.  I am using it in place of the more disparaging word, “foreigner”).  For example:

  • For most of the years we have lived here we would get pulled over by traffic police just like any other driver. When our documents would be verified we would go on our way. Now it seems that police officers pull us over simply because we are expatriates, harassing us, threatening arrests when there is no fault, and demanding illegal bribes.
  • Soldiers in Nairobi have stopped us and asked why we have Chloe, asking questions about her, doubting that she was abandoned and basically questioning the validity of our guardianship of her
  • Expatriates who have adopted or have legal guardianship of Kenyan children have been disparaged and vilified in the news and media. The news and media have been accusing such people (and their legitimate adoption agencies) of child trafficking and illegally obtaining these children and attempting to whisk them away to foreign countries. They paint these law abiding people in a very bad light and make the general public to think of any non-Kenyan as unfit to care for Kenyan children.
  • All expatriates were recently required to make a personal appearance in Nairobi to have all of their legitimate paperwork and documents re-verified.
  • Expatriates are being rounded up at local malls and detained until their documents are “verified” by authorities. Some are being incarcerated and not being brought before magistrates in a timely manner while local authorities threaten and harass them in order to receive bribes.
  • Work permits are being denied. Also, I just read in the news today that work permit renewals could not be submitted for renewal while the expatriate was actually still residing in the country.  The renewals can only be submitted from the worker from outside the country.

These changes are troubling to me.  A country that doesn’t treat its expatriates well is not heading in the right direction.  I love the country of Kenya and don’t want to see it change for the worse.

As a result of these changes and in order to obtain a more secure standing in the country I will be pursuing what is called a Permanent Residency.  This is not a dual citizenship but is basically what it sounds like.  It will allow me to become a permanent resident of Kenya without having to rely on the unstable and undependable work permit renewal process.  This program is open to expatriates who have lived in Kenya for 7-plus years.  This doesn’t solve every problem but it would give me a more secure position as a resident of Kenya.  It is a costly (upwards of $5,000), lengthy (it has taken others 1-2 years), difficult process to accomplish so I do ask that you all be in prayer for me as I initiate this program.

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 Amy, Josiah & Chloe)

Visit their blog!

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.

Read more

Missionary Update: The Radfords in Kenya [January 2016]

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

January 1, 2016

Dear praying friends,

As I write this, we are right at the beginning of the year 2016. It is hard to believe how quickly the past year went. It seems they go faster year after year. I am sure many of you can identify with that. How quickly time passes reminds me of the verse in James. James 4:14 says “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” May we make not only this upcoming year, but the rest of our days on earth, count in service to God. Each breath we have is a gift from Him.

The past year was quite challenging in several ways. We had two families in Kitale that we have known over the years that moved this past year. Although this was difficult, and change is always happening throughout our lives, God has given us grace and strength for each day. Lord willing, there are two new families from America coming soon to Kitale. One of the families has several little girls, so we are hoping and praying that they will become long term friends for our daughters. The other family will be going to Tanzania to study Swahili, but they are around our age. It is always good to have new friends and develop new relationships.

In the annex prison this past month, I (Nathan) was blessed to be able to do a small Christmas project for the prisoners. I had not done one in several years, and felt led to this year. There are around 200 prisoners in the prison, so I discussed with the chaplain, and provided some basic, needed supplies to them, as well as Gospel tracts. It seemed to be received well and appreciated. Several of the prisoners thanked me and seemed very grateful. Many of them receive no visits from family, and are even abandoned by their families upon their release. They also have difficulty finding work, so this was the least I felt I could do this year. It was also a good time to announce about our classes there and invite the others who have not been coming to study with us. Please pray that more of the men would come to hear the teachings of the Word of God.  I try to be faithful to pray for the men, sow the seed, share the Gospel, then entrust the results to the Lord. Jonah 2:9 states “Salvation is of the LORD.”

We trust the Lord with the upcoming year, with all its blessings and challenges. We know that He is in control, and nothing takes Him by surprise. We know He is sovereign, and we can entrust all to Him. Perhaps there is someone reading this update who is going through a trial or difficulty, or does not understand. We have passed through similar things this past year. I have to remind myself of  Isaiah 55:8-9, which says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God bless you all for the upcoming 2016, as you trust Him daily. Please pray also for us, as we trust Him. We will keep you updated, and each of you are such a blessing. Happy 2016.

Nathan and Carrie Radford

P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa, 30200

Click here to donate to BFM.

Read more