A Crazy, Busy Life

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

June 28, 2022

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

The first thing I need to do in this newsletter is to apologize to all you partners in our ministry in Kenya. I have failed to write a newsletter update in a couple of months and have been very bad at communicating with you all what is going on in our lives and in our ministry. I offer only a crazy, busy life and a crazy, mixed-up mind as the only excuses for my laxity in reporting. These are not valid excuses and, again, I apologize for not writing. I will have to do better.

A crazy, busy life? For sure!

Last month Julie and I celebrated with our daughter, Amy, as she married her husband, Matthew Earl.  So, Amy is now Amy Earl, and our family continues to grow. This obviously means that Julie and I made a trip to the United States for the ceremony. We made it a quick two-week trip because Chloe could not make the trip with us, and we did not want to leave her in Kenya without us for too long. It took a lot of planning to make this trip happen and for Chloe to be cared for properly. We worried a lot about leaving Chloe in Kenya for two weeks without us because 1) she needs special care and attention and 2) she is very attached to us and experiences attachment issues. But Julie and I have not been to the United States together at the same time in over six years and Amy’s wedding was a crucial event we needed to attend. So, the planning leading up to us leaving was crazy busy, the travel was crazy busy, and our time in the United States was crazy busy. But, at the end of the trip when we were back in Kenya, we could praise God for the two big things we had prayed for: 1) Amy was married and happy and somewhere in Costa Rica with her new husband and 2) Chloe did well in Kenya with her caretakers while we were away. She also did well transitioning back to us being there again. She was definitely a trooper.

So that was last month. Has this month been any different? Not really. If you recall from a previous newsletter, Julie, Chloe and I have been temporarily living in a place called Kijabe so that Chloe could receive some necessary therapy at the Kijabe Mission Hospital, the only place we know of in Kenya where she can receive some of the various therapy she needs. Now that we have been here for a couple of months, we have decided to move our Kenyan ministry from Kitale to Kijabe. This is a major change for us. We have lived in Kitale for fifteen years, the entire length of our ministry work in Kenya. All of our lives and work was poured out in Kitale, on the people there and into the churches we have had a hand in starting. It is hard to leave a place where you have spent so much of your life ministering and used up so much energy in mission work. What is probably harder, though, is to look back and realize you are not leaving behind nearly as much as you wished you were. I couldn’t care less about leaving behind a legacy or a name or anything like that. I do wish I was leaving behind more lives changed in the name of Jesus, more churches started and organized, and more workers trained to carry on the mission. I would have liked to have seen more of the expansion of the Kingdom of Christ, not for the pat on the back or the acknowledgment of men, but for the glory of our Savior. We will leave what we have done in Kitale in the hands of God. And our last work we will also leave in the hands of Elphas Ochila, a Kitale pastor I trust to continue the work of Upper Room Baptist Chapel.

And now, we really have left Kitale, which is why I said this month has been so crazy busy. Julie stayed in Kijabe with Chloe and I spent the last nearly three weeks in Kitale packing things up and shipping them to Kijabe. We moved into our house in Kijabe just four days ago and are trying to get all unpacked, except all three of us (Julie, Chloe and me) are all currently sick from something I picked up and brought back from Kitale. It could be Covid or it could just be the flu, we don’t really know.

Crazy, busy life has led to a bit of a crazy, mixed up mind for me. But now, after we can get over this sickness we all currently have, we can settle into living and ministering for Jesus in Kijabe. I hope to write more about this next month.

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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The Biggest Challenges: Not Baboons in the Kitchen or Flying Termites

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

April 21, 2022

Happy May to you all!

I don’t know about you, but my head is absolutely spinning! It seems as if the whole world is changing, doesn’t it?

I think for me, with everything in the world seeming to be upside down, my brain is struggling even more with the fact that everything in my personal life seems upside down right now, too. It’s not the rainy season bringing on millions of flying termites (thousands of which ended up in my house last night including in Chloe’s bed…); it’s not the monkeys and baboons finding their way into my kitchen to steal food; it’s not the electricity going on and off that makes my brain hurt…. No, it’s transition, chaos, colors, sounds, waiting, not being able to talk about things, and sometimes not feeling heard that short-circuits my brain. Bring on the baboons, the monkeys, and the termites…but give me familiar surroundings; colors that don’t hurt my brain; and people who hear me, know me, understand me, and will pray with me. In the midst of total chaos, this is what my soul longs for.

As you probably know, Roger, Chloe, and I are not currently in Kitale. But if you read Roger’s newsletters, you already know that; so, instead of reiterating all of that story, I’ll share with you how Chloe and I are doing in all of this.

Chloe has both really struggled with this transition and greatly benefited from it. She is seeing an American occupational therapist here in Kijabe who is absolutely wonderful with our whole family. The first couple of weeks we were here, Chloe fell down the steps in the house (not all the way) three times, she threw something out of anger and shattered a large, beautiful bathroom mirror (which doesn’t belong to us), she began wetting the bed nightly, and she regressed to a lot of mal-adaptive behaviors because everything was new and scary to her. Three months later though, her core strength has noticeably improved; she’s able to take long walks with us; she’s playing outside more; she’s showing a lot more maturity in her conversations with me, and she is trying her best to regulate her emotions and reactions to things (something Luke – the OT – said would likely happen as she becomes more capable and independent as a result of OT).

But OT takes years of work, and it is only one of many things she needs. We are asking God to provide a support worker (preferably from the US) who can come for a year and work with Chloe on a daily basis – which would also provide Roger and I with a break from being her caregivers 24/7/365. As brilliant, funny, sweet, and compassionate as she is, it’s a well-known fact that of all the special needs which children face, autism is one of the most difficult on the family as a whole. The marriage failure rate of families with autistic children is 80%. That’s scary high. So, it’s really important to be in a location where not only is Roger able to minister and do church planting, but also where our whole family can get the support and care (physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally) we need.

The transition hasn’t been easy on any of us. It’s difficult (though much appreciated) to live in someone else’s home surrounded by unfamiliar things and colors…having to be even MORE hyper-vigilant that things don’t get broken or ruined. It’s difficult learning how to manage a household with the nearest grocery store an hour away…learning new people and new people learning about us and Chloe…figuring out how to fit into a new community. But truly, any difficulty is worth getting the help Chloe and we need, especially since we can’t bring her back to the US.

But there is also amazing beauty and peacefulness here. The view of the Rift Valley and the surrounding mountains (including a beautiful dormant shield volcano called Mt. Longonot) has always been a visual balm to my soul. The streets are quiet without the traffic and the motorcycle taxis of Kitale. I feel safe to walk, am surrounded by the Kijabe forest (I grew up wandering around woods for hours at a time), and love watching the antics of the local Colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys, and even the baboons.

As far as how you can pray for us, you can pray for the following:  1) A support worker; 2) respite for Roger and me; 3) peace in Chloe’s heart and soul and mind; 4) the medical/mental/spiritual/emotional support our family needs; 5) transitions to end sooner rather than later; 6) parental patience; 7) acceptance of Chloe by the community; 8) comfort as our second daughter is getting married in May and, though we will be there for the wedding, we can’t participate in the festivities the way we could if we were there…and we have to leave Chloe behind with hired help. Please pray for them and for her. She struggles mightily with abandonment issues and Mama’s heart hurts deeply for her; 9) Adoption to open up; 10) For me to find a quiet place to work on my art…a past-time I discovered last August that really helps me cope.

Thank you all,
Love,
Julie Tate

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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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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Waiting…waiting…waiting…

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

January 8, 2022

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Here is a shout out to all of our supporting churches out there. Bless you all for partnering with us in our missionary ministry here in Kenya. May all Kenyans know and follow the Lord Jesus Christ!

To all of our supporting churches out there we apologize that we have not seen you face-to-face in so long. Julie and I have not been able to take a furlough to the United States since 2013. That means it has been over 8 years since you all have seen us. That is too long. Paul left us a good example in the book of Acts when he returned to his sending church and reported on his work. We wish we could do this too but right now we cannot. When God brought Chloe into our lives, we really thought that the adoption process would work out in a couple of years. Now, after 7 years there has been no change or progress in the process because of the restrictions placed upon ex-patriot adoption. With no changes projected in the near future, we have been trying to get a passport for her so that she can at least travel outside the country. The right to a passport has been granted her by the courts. However, we still have not been able to even apply for it. Let me do my best to describe what I’ve gone through to try and APPLY (just apply) for her passport.

18 months ago to 9 months ago: Drive to Eldoret. Visit Immigration department. Show documents. Told by Immigration that they will review documents. Wait. Call Immigration. No response. Call again. Call many times. Finally reach someone. Told by Immigration to wait. I wait. And wait. And wait. Call Immigration. Call many times. Finally reach someone. Told by Immigration that the documents look OK and to be patient. I wait. And wait. Call Immigration. Call many times. No response. Can’t reach anyone. Drive to Eldoret. Visit Immigration department. No one there. Drive back home. I wait. Drive back to Eldoret. Visit Immigration department. Told by immigration that the person reviewing my documents is on sick leave. I ask Immigration if someone else can work on my case. Told by Immigration that this person is the only one who can work on my case. I ask Immigration what happens if this person dies. Silence. Drive back home. I wait. And wait. Call Immigration. Call many times. Finally reach someone. Told by Immigration that the documents have been reviewed and to come see them. Drive to Eldoret. Visit Immigration department. Told by Immigration that 1 date on 1 of my documents is wrong and that I can’t apply for Chloe’s passport. Told by Immigration that I need the Kitale courts to correct the document and then I can begin the document review process again. I groan.

9 months ago to the present: I go to my lawyer in Kitale and show him the document. Lawyer tells me to give him two weeks to get the document corrected. I wait 2 weeks. I wait another 2 weeks. I call the Lawyer. No response. I call many times. I text the lawyer. I text many times. Finally reach lawyer. Told by lawyer that there is no problem, but I just need to wait. I wait. And wait. I repeat this process MANY times: call-text-call-text-wait-wait-told to wait-call-text and so on and so on. I get frustrated. Visit the lawyer’s office to speak to Bwana Mkubwa (the Big Dog, who happens to be the lawyer’s father). The Big Dog tells me he will take care of it, give him one week. I wait a week. And another week. And another. Call Big Dog. No response. Call many times. Finally reach Big Dog. Told by Big Dog to wait. I wait. Call Big Dog. Told by Big Dog that the courts can’t find my original document. Told by Big Dog to wait. I wait…wait…wait…wait…wait.
(In an attempt at brevity, I have not included everything in my preceding account. I have actually left many things out.)
What is my current status? I have a call in to Big Dog. He hasn’t responded. I’m waiting.

I’ve been waiting a year and a half just to APPLY for Chloe’s passport.

For those of you who have endured to this point in my newsletter, bless you. I went through this exasperating description to try and give you some idea of what we are facing and why you haven’t seen our bright and shining faces for so long. We want to see you. We want to report on our work in person. Until then, enjoy the newsletters!

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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Homeschooling & Raising Chloe

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

April 9, 2021

Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

I can’t believe another year has come and gone…it reminds me of the phrase in the Bible, “…and it came to pass….” Just like many other euphemisms — “what goes up must come down,” and  “what goes around comes around”— it is also true that all things which come will also pass. Sometimes we feel stuck in current circumstances, but that’s only our limited perspective. As the Alpha and Omega, God sees the beginning from the end. Not only do all things have a set time, they have set purposes as well.

Milimani Christian Homeschool Community’s time has passed. This was both a relief and something I grieved deeply. People here in Kenya who know me well know that I poured 150% of myself into MCHC. I loved (and still love) the children and the teachers deeply, and I found great joy in helping all of them academically and spiritually. I loved discipling the teachers, not only in teacher training and opening their hearts and minds to children with learning challenges and differences, but also in their walk with the Lord. I loved talking about and demonstrating the love of Jesus to children from different walks of life – children from Christian homes, nominal Christian homes, and even a Hindu home. I loved watching children who were bitter bullies blossom into caring friends. I loved watching our neuro-diverse children find joy and confidence in a learning environment that treasured them and helped them find their strengths without belittling their challenges. I loved watching children learn to accept one another’s differences while finding their commonalities, even among different ethnic backgrounds. I can’t begin to tell you what a joy it was. I don’t understand why it had to end the way it did; I can only say that it was a good and beautiful thing, and I trust God will continue to use that time in the lives of the people who were touched by it.

Having said that, it seems obvious that in the passing of MCHC, God had another great adventure planned…homeschooling and raising Chloe. Homeschooling and raising children are not new to me. Doing it for Chloe, however, is unlike anything we’ve ever done. Not only are we parenting and working with her academics, I find myself in the position of being her ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapist, her OT (Occupational Therapist), her emotional co-regulator (teaching her to regulate her own emotions by doing it physically with her), her advocate (and our own), and even a researcher to understand her and what she needs. This is more daunting than MCHC ever was, but everything I learned at MCHC, I am now applying at home. In fact, without my experience at MCHC, I would be quite ill-equipped. This is beautiful to me. You see, God is never doing only one thing at a time in any one circumstance. One of the things He was using MCHC for in my own life was training me to teach my own very special needs child. All this has pushed Roger and me beyond the limits of anything we feel capable of doing…or surviving. We’re learning more about ourselves and our own hearts than we want to know, but even that is beautiful to me (usually…).

We can often feel stuck in our challenges, but from time-to-time God reminds me to step back and see all the struggles that have come…and have now passed. There is so much hope and growth. Chloe’s academics have really taken-off in her homeschooling environment. A friend of mine from the US with a Master’s degree in Special Education is here and has done some evaluations with Chloe. She’s told me that Chloe is actually quite intellectually gifted. She loves to read, her math facts are like muscle memory (when she’s relaxed and can access them), she has an amazing memory both verbally and visually, and she loves music and cooking. In fact, she just loves learning and has a super cute sense of fun and humor to boot. I am so thankful to have her in an environment that won’t squash that.

She does have challenges though, and I would ask you to pray for us as we research and find help for her in these areas. Autism often comes with other issues…a lack of ability to regulate her emotions (thus the scars up and down my arms), difficulty with social communication despite an extensive vocabulary, and severe anxiety due to sensory processing disorder and nervous system overload creating flight or fight reactions (usually fight…). In Chloe’s case, her neuro-developmental psychologist has told us she also has attachment insecurities and food insecurities (from babyhood before she came to us), as well as dysgraphia, mild dyslexia, and dyspraxia. This a condition in which the communication between Chloe’s brain and her muscles gets mixed up causing fine and gross motor skill difficulties. Basically, her muscles don’t know how to do what her brain tells them to do. This also affects her speech.

I really appreciate your love and prayers for our family. Please continue to pray for our kids in the US as well:  Emily and Igor, Amy, and Josiah. It’s hard to be “stuck” in Kenya with no hope of being able to see them anytime in the near future. We miss them terribly, and though we love the gift of being able to have video calls with them once a week, it’s just not the same as a hug.

In Christ,
Julie Tate

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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Specific Ways to Pray for the Tates



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

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Thank you to all who spend time praying for us, for our family, for our ministry here in Kenya and for our spiritual well-being. Needless to say, we need this support from you all. Life and ministry are hard, as you know. And as I know, life and ministry are hard for you back in the United States as well. We all must press-on. And for those of you who are praying for us, on occasion I like to offer some prayer suggestions for you.

First, please thank God that things are going well at Upper Room Baptist Chapel. This past month we again had some new visitors to add to our new visitors from the previous month. Our attendance is still low but it is encouraging to have some new folks who show an interest in our simple, Biblical teaching and in our approach to loving and following Jesus with all of our hearts. They seem to appreciate what we are doing and we pray that some of them will continue to come and to grow with us as we follow the teaching of the Lord.

Second, speaking of the teaching of the Lord, I have started teaching our folks at the Chapel a new series from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This is the longest and most concentrated of Jesus’ teaching found anywhere in the New Testament and we at the Chapel need to know the things that Jesus taught. My focus in this series is to show that Jesus’ teaching is counter-intuitive to the thinking of the world and that in this sermon Jesus wants to completely change the way that we think, act and approach everything we do in this world. I want our people to know that Jesus gives his followers principles for Kingdom living and that, as he says at the beginning of the sermon, his followers will be happy, fortunate and blessed if they believe and follow them. Please pray that we would truly grasp Jesus’ counter-intuitive teaching, that we would believe him even though what he says is contrary to what our flesh naturally thinks and believes, and that in believing what he teaches we would have the courage to follow him every day and hour of our lives. We have already seen in the short time we have been in this series that these things will not be easy.

Third, please pray for the Kenyan people. Times are still very hard for most people here. The economy is still sluggish, Covid is still effecting people, businesses are suffering, crime seems to be up (we even had a break-in and theft off our own compound last week), street children roam Kitale, and there seems to be just a general tension in the air. The people of Kenya and Kitale need God now more than ever.

Last, please pray for me, Julie, and Chloe. We face so many physical, spiritual, and emotional challenges every day that seem overwhelming and crushing. This seems to be an especially challenging time that even the other missionaries in Kitale are feeling acutely. Here on the mission field our faith is challenged in ways that I never did, but probably should have, anticipated. Please pray that God would give us strength, that his Spirit would draw near to us, that we would trust him completely and that he would be glorified in our lives. Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. He that has begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. To God be the glory.

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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Chapel Resuming Services; Celebrating Chloe’s Birthday

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

September 17, 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

It has been an interesting month to say the least. For the last few weeks Julie has been in the United States on a much-needed trip to visit family. Since we haven’t had a furlough since 2013, we do not get back home very often to visit parents and children. So, it is good that Julie be there for a little while to see our very missed family members. So that means that I have been here in Kenya alone with Chloe.  That, I guess, is what is making this month so interesting. But Chloe and I have been surviving and getting along OK. I have learned to pick my battles with her. The day I am writing this update is actually Chloe’s birthday. She turned six years old today. That is hard to believe! She didn’t come home to live with us for another month after her birthday but I was contemplating this today: Six years ago today an unknown Kenyan girl, from an unknown Kenyan village gave birth to a 2 pound baby and this event would change my life forever. I didn’t know it yet, but God knew it and His plan was to bring her to our home. Chloe would change our lives, we would change hers, and we would be linked together forever.  All according to God’s plan (which he would unfold for us in the weeks following her birth).

Ministry at the Chapel has started up very slowly. Our first week after restarting from the Covid shutdown we had 5 in attendance. The second week we had 6. The third week 7. The fourth week 8. Seeing a trend here? Well, we were going in the right direction as far as attendance is concerned but then we hit the fifth week. On the fifth week we had 2 – myself and Victor. So, I thanked God for Victor.  Victor faces some mental challenges but he loves Jesus, is a humble and loving man and he rarely misses a service at the Chapel. In fact, he usually shows up an hour early to clean and help me get everything set up. As far as I know, Victor has no job and no income but I have on multiple occasions seen Victor take a loaf of bread or a bag of chips that I have bought for him and immediately open it and give half of it to people on the streets. He has a big heart. So, on week 5 I thanked God that Victor was at the Chapel, even though there was no one else there. Victor and I sang a few songs together, talked about God and some things in the Bible, prayed for a while, and finished our service. Week 6 we then had ten in attendance. We will see where the trend goes from there. My goal is to get back to where we were before Covid hit. I am not referring to numbers in attendance but to closeness, to relationships, to spiritual growth, to glorifying God together, to the Kingdom of Jesus, and to the overall desire to see the ministry develop and progress.

Please keep our Chapel in prayer and pray that my wife gets back here soon.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe

CONTACT INFO

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

Click here to give online.




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God at Work During COVID-19

Julie Tate has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya, alongside her husband Roger and family since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

I write this letter sitting in my living room – where I have been doing a LOT of sitting (not unlike many of you!). It’s been many weeks now since the whole world basically shut down because of COVID-19, and while I can say I think we’ve settled in a little bit, nothing quite feels normal. I feel a bit like Inigo Montoya in the Princess Bride when he says to the Man in Black, “Let me esplain. No, there is too much…let me sum up.”

Like most people, I’ve struggled with fear and uncertainty. There are so many unknowns. Just like in the US, schools are shut down here as well as all social/religious gatherings. It’s been bad timing in some ways (though I have to remind myself often that God’s timing is never bad). Milimani Christian Homeschool Community was – truthfully – a struggle, but we had a young lady who is a special education teacher from the US who was getting a work permit to come take over that aspect of our school (a huge load off my shoulders).  We were starting to get the hang of the high school, our dyslexic girl was reading and spelling, and our autistic boy was finding his stride and showing mathematical gifting. It’s very possible that COVID-19 is going to totally wipe out MCHC because of financial constraints. This in turn affects the chapel because we rent the MCHC building on Sundays. No MCHC, no building.

There have been a lot of changes at home as well. In all honesty, you all in the US have a lot more change to adjust to than we do here. There is never much to do around here anyway, and we often suffer from boredom. April is a month off of school in Kenya anyway; but there are many unanswered questions. Will MCHC survive? Will Chloe’s school survive? Will school even open back up in May? Likely not. Josiah’s school, Rift Valley Academy, is NOT opening up at all for the remainder of the school year (which ends in July). Instead, they will have an on-line platform. We didn’t know this, however, when Josiah and the other students were released from school two weeks early. He may never see his friends again; he may never see the campus again (which he loved). He doesn’t get to say good-bye.

Chloe, as usual, has had a difficult time adjusting to the change. Her behavior became aggressive enough that we had to consult her doctor. Being all “trapped” at home together without any reprieve has been a challenge to put it mildly.

Doing COVID-19 in Kenya has some additional psychological challenges, however. Currently, we have more deaths from police violence than we do from the corona virus. Forced isolation into some of the isolation facilities has been a nightmare. People are crowded together sharing the same facilities and even going hungry in some cases. Those who get a positive result have not always been removed from the group as a whole in a timely manner, and those who test negative after 2 weeks have not always been allowed to leave without paying a bribe. Who wants to get tested under those circumstances? Travel in and out of Nairobi is prohibited, so even if we wanted to fly out, we would not be able to (also because Chloe wouldn’t be allowed to leave, and we won’t leave without her).

HOWEVER…God is the Master at taking difficult things and working them together for the good of His people. Here are just a few ways I see God working.
1.  We were growing increasingly unhappy with the culture at RVA. I am really excited to have this time with Josiah – time we weren’t expecting and that we are very thankful for.
2. I know of two precious local families right now who have been struggling with family issues. This has forced them to spend time together at home because they don’t have the escapes they usually have in town or at work. It’s been good for them (not always easy, but good).
3. I’ve been able to work on some of the academic things Chloe was struggling with at school.  I’ve been able to help her with letter reversals, and she’s even starting to do some very preliminary reading and spelling.
4. Not being at work all day has helped me get back into a daily morning time of Bible reading and prayer – something I had been deeply missing.
5. Not knowing what is going to happen with MCHC has helped me see where some boundaries need to be set and where some of my priorities need to shift if MCHC does survive.

So, that’s where we are currently at. Here are some specific things you can pray for on our behalf. These are not in order of importance. First for the health of my family. I suspect we may have already had the virus, but there is no way of knowing for sure. Anyone with flu-like symptoms has the potential of being removed from their home and put in an isolation center. Second, that our financial situation stays somewhat stable so we can pay our rent. We have a good landlord, but there are no protections here like there are in some places in the US. Third, that our faith in our Good, Good Father would grow, that our love for Jesus would build up and effervesce onto others around us, and that we would draw nigh to Him in new and fresh ways. Fourth, that we – as a family – would find new and creative ways to invest in each other during this time of increased “forced togetherness.” 

In Christ,
Julie Tate

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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