Our God — The Great Orchestrator

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The Tates have served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

March 30, 2022

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

So much has happened since I wrote to you all last time. When I wrote to you last time absolutely none of what I’m about to tell you about was even a thought in our heads. I guess a lot can happen in just one or two months.

Yes, we are still in Kenya. No, we are not currently in our hometown of Kitale. We are currently living in a town called Kijabe. Let me explain how it happened and why and what has transpired since we arrived here.

As you all know by now, Julie and I have legal guardianship of Chloe and our great desire is for the Kenyan government to allow us to adopt her. Since there is a moratorium on foreign adoption right now, we have to wait for that to happen. As you also know, Chloe has been diagnosed with Autism and there are several severe challenges that come with Chloe’s particular case: Violence, melt-downs, extreme emotional dis-regulation, sensory overload, behavior challenges, learning challenges and even physical challenges. All of this has been taking a toll on Chloe, Julie and me. We were in desperate need of help. Julie had tried and tried to get help from organizations and doctors in Kitale and even in the Eldoret area. No help was forthcoming anywhere near Kitale. Every organization and doctor that we would meet with would say to Julie, “Wow, Julie. You know so much more about this than we do. You could teach us about this”. Hmmm. Not helpful. 

I’m going to try and make a long story short. We believe God heard our cries of desperation. We believe this because we could not have orchestrated ourselves getting into the position we are currently in. Julie awoke from sleep one night remembering that we had friends who had a son who was an Occupational Therapist at a mission hospital in Kijabe. What happened after that were many great turns of events with God orchestrating things very quickly to get us to Kijabe where some help might be available. From the time Julie woke up that night to the time we arrived at this temporary house we are living in was 17 days. That might not sound very quick, but, believe me, that was quick.

Now we are in Kijabe, home of a local mission hospital and about 40 miles from Nairobi, where additional help has been forthcoming. This sounds overwhelming (and it is) but Chloe is now seeing a team of people who are all attempting to help her and us: Occupational therapist, physical therapist, psychologist, developmental pediatrician, gastro doctor, ABA therapist, to name a few. Some of this team is in Kijabe and others in Nairobi and it keeps us hopping and very busy, believe me. But, it is giving us hope that we can find the help for Chloe that she needs. We don’t know exactly how long we will be here but this house we are currently living in is available only until the end of July and housing is very difficult to get here in Kijabe. I also don’t exactly know how to ask you to pray for us except to pray that Chloe and our family can get the help we desperately need.

In addition to all this, God orchestrated one other thing (among many others). While I was here, I went to an ENT doctor at the mission hospital on account of my severe snoring and sleep apnea. He is a world class doctor from the States but was only going to be here for a couple of months. Another long story made short is I ended up having surgery here in Kenya (a scary thought) on my nose and throat. The surgery I had consisted of many procedures in both my nose and throat. I was supposed to spend two nights in the hospital but after the first miserable night I begged the doctor to send me home (it seemed like anything and everything the hospital could have done to make my night more miserable was done).  My first week of recovery was pretty rough. I lost 14 pounds in 10 days as I couldn’t eat anything solid. But now I am pretty much on the mend (4 weeks later) and Julie says it has already helped with both my snoring and my sleep apnea.

Praise God for all he is orchestrating in our lives right now. None of it has been easy, but we praise Him because we truly believe it is coming from Him.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & Chloe

CONTACT INFO

Roger & Julie Tate
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta@gmail.com

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.


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Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [March 2015]

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 want to send a special thank you to all those who have helped with the adoption process for Chloe.  Julie and I appreciate so much that so many would want to assist us in bringing Chloe into our family.  We are currently grieved at the moratorium the Kenyan government has placed on foreign adoptions.  This decision by the current cabinet is NOT taking into consideration the needs and welfare of the Kenyan children.  We are praying the Kenyan government will quickly lift this moratorium and allow us to continue on with the adoption process.  Please also be in much prayer for this as we truly believe God has led us to this decision in our lives and in our family.  Chloe is thriving and doing so well physically and mentally.  Her rapid physical development has amazed me and we thank God for taking such good care of her.

I thank God for my other children as well.  They are all such a blessing to me.  Emily is currently in Michigan where she would like to gain residency and continue her education.  The state of Michigan is being somewhat difficult and this has caused her some delay.  Amy is continuing at Rift Valley Academy where she is taking her eighth grade year.  It is difficult having to hear of her drama that she deals with on a day by day basis.  It seems all eighth grade girls have a lot of drama in their lives.  Josiah is our only other child at home besides Chloe.  He is still home schooled and will continue to be home schooled until September when he will also attend Rift Valley Academy as a boarding student.  He is growing fast (he is second tallest in the family now, behind only me) and his voice is growing deeper.  We don’t have a little boy in the family any more.

We pray that God will continue to bless the ministries in Kitale.  We have started a new home group that is progressing well.  Each week we have a good number of people who gather for worship, prayer and Bible study.  The host family is so faithful and generous in opening their home and in showing us love, kindness and hospitality.  We are trying to share the love of Christ with all who come.  You all can pray that we would have people who faithfully come each week to worship God and hear the teaching from His Word.  We do have some that come every week but many of the others are very sporadic.  We would like to see God capture the hearts of these people that they might know Him, love Him and serve Him with all their hearts.  What a blessing it is for us to be able to minister to these beloved Kenyan people and to teach them how to know Him and serve Him.  Thank you, Lord, for these new people to minister to and, Lord, we pray that many more would come to know you as their Savior and Lord and that your kingdom would spread in this world and especially in Kitale, Kenya.

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 & Chloe)

rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

Click here to donate to BFM.


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Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [December 2014]

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

December 5, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This month’s update will be difficult to write, not because the subject matter is difficult to write about, but because I have so much to say in only a little bit of space. So, here it all comes, whether you’re ready for it or not. I will be as brief as possible.

Something extraordinary has happened in our family and in my heart, something I could never have anticipated nor previously wanted. The story probably goes back a few years. For five or six years now, Julie and Emily (especially Emily) have tried to get me to think about adopting a Kenyan child. There are 2.6 million orphans in Kenya, so the need for adopting families is very great. However, my response has always been, “NO! Absolutely not”. Emily would say, “I think you should think about it”. I would say “No!” Emily would say, “I think you should pray about it”. I would say, “I don’t need to”. Emily would say, “I think you should consider it”. I would say, “The conversation is over”. Ahem…have you ever noticed that God has a mysteriously, wonderful way of changing your heart?

Now, back up about 3 months ago. I was walking into a little dive of a restaurant in town where I go regularly to eat beans and rice for lunch. As I entered the opening into the “restaurant” where streamers hanged down from the lintel acting as a door, I looked down on the ground and saw a kitten that couldn’t have been a week old. It lay there in the dirt squirming and meowing, eyes shut tight, crying for its mother; I stood there looking at it. My heart went out to it because it was so weak and pathetic; I wondered how he got there, where his mother was, and why this innocent creature had to suffer so much. It was too little to take home as it would certainly have died in my care, thus, I left it there. I thought about it all day, continuing to wonder where his mother could have been. I returned for my beans and rice the next day and the kitten was gone. For the next three days the kitten kept coming into my mind. I wondered what happened to him, if he had lived or died, if his mother had returned or abandoned him. After the fourth day, a thought struck me so suddenly and severely that it set me back. I believed, even then, that the thought was from Almighty God. The thought from God went almost exactly like this: “Roger, for four days now you have been ultra-concerned about the kitten you saw suffering in the dirt. How could you be so concerned about this kitten when there are millions of people all around you that are made in my own image who are innocent and suffering and need help”? Can you see why this thought threw me for a loop? This thought, unspoken by me to anyone else refused to leave my mind, and I continued to ask God what it meant to me and what he wanted me to do.

Chloe Baby PictureNow, back up to seven weeks ago. I was sitting in my office doing some work and minding my own business when Julie called me. There was a baby, she said, that had been committed to a nearby children’s home. The baby was premature and needed care the children’s home was not able to provide her at that particular time. Julie asked me if we could take her in and care for her until she was a little stronger and the children’s home was in a better position to take her full time. I told Julie I would need to think about it. Within the hour I called her back and told her we could temporarily take the child if it would be beneficial to the child and the children’s home. The children’s home assured us it would be an answer to their prayer if we were able to take the child for a few weeks. The baby, Chloe, came to our house the next day.

The shock of her arrival overwhelmed me. She was definitely the most pathetic and weak thing I had ever seen, and my thoughts immediately went to the message of the kitten. She was already one month old, but she still weighed less than three pounds. She had been abandoned by her mother at the hospital and had been fed by a feeding tube at the hospital for a month. I don’t know if she had been held at all during that time period. I looked at her and wondered how she had even lived so long. She was gaunt, she had no meat or substance to her at all, her skin hung off of her. He arms and legs were skin and bones only, her fingers as thin as toothpicks. Later that night when I changed her diaper for the first time I wondered as I looked at her, “where is the rest of her”? She did not know how to suck from a bottle and we initially had to feed her from a syringe. Julie and I have raised three babies of our own but this one scared me to death. I wondered if she would live through the night or if she would die in our care. This was a very serious and legitimate thought. Well, she lived, and not only did she live but she very quickly began to respond to the love and care we gave her. She learned to suck, started to put on weight and would even occasionally open her eyes and look at us. She wasn’t exactly what you would call “cute” (Amy even said so verbally),but we thought this little girl made in God’s image was beautiful.

After we’d had Chloe for about two weeks I knew exactly what God wanted us to do. He clearly revealed to us that, just as he took us when we were weak, pathetic and helpless and loved us and decided to adopt us into his family, we should do the same with Chloe. However, I was resistant. I had plenty of excuses why I should not adopt her. I was too old. I didn’t have enough money. The Kenyan government won’t let us keep her. I should think about saving for my retirement someday. I was happy with my current family situation. I was glad to not have to change diapers and get up in the middle of the night, and so on. But God showed me that all the reasons to go ahead and adopt Chloe were good while all the reasons to not adopt Chloe were selfish. One by one he stripped away the excuses, and what was left was the realization that I loved her and I wanted to keep her. The last step was to verbalize this to Julie which I did the night of my 45th birthday. This was the decision she had already made in her heart and was just waiting for me to make as well. We wept tears of joy together and thanked God for this little blessing he had brought into our family.

Chloe RecentYes, we have made the decision to adopt Chloe! But there are many obstacles yet to hurdle before it will be legally finalized. One of the biggest hurdles is financial. Our research has found that it will cost about $5,000 to do a local, Kenya adoption (as opposed to a $25,000 international adoption). Right now we are about $5,000 short. If you feel led to help us financially in our adoption process we would greatly appreciate your assistance. You can send any financial assistance to the BFM treasurer and label it “Chloe adoption” (or click here to make a one-time donation securely online and put “Chloe adoption” in the Memo field). The biggest obstacle, however, will be the Kenyan government. I could write a couple of pages more just on this subject alone. Let it suffice to say that legally adopting Chloe is not a sure thing based on the current and past governments. But we know God wants us to pursue this and we are trusting God with the final results. Please pray with us, beloved. Pray that God would open all the doors for us to adopt Chloe into our family. Pray that God would bless our little girl and that someday her name would officially be Chloe Thamani Nasimiyu Tate (Chloe is the name given her by the children’s home staff, Thamani is the Swahili word for “precious”, Nasimiyu is the last name her mother gave for herself at the hospital).

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)

rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

Click here to donate to BFM.


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