Pointing Kenyans to Jesus


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

December 21, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I don’t know when you all will receive this newsletter but as I am writing it we are only four days away from Christmas. This may sound absurd, but I miss the snow like crazy. I love the snow – the beauty of it, the cold of it, the way it changes almost everything about your daily lives when you get a lot of it. I want to put on a heavy coat and gloves, trudge through the snow to my car, feel the bite of the cold on my face, scrape the ice off my window, hope my car starts, drive through the snow to a coffee house, see big flakes of snow falling from the sky, watch people tread carefully over a slippery parking lot and drink a hot cup of coffee while the snow piles up outside. This missionary truly misses the change of seasons. Changes of seasons mark the passage of time. Without them one day seems to run into another for me around here.

As you are, we are awaiting Christmas here in Kitale. It doesn’t look or feel much different than the rest of the year, except in one area – going to town gets crazy. It is chaos. I took Amy to town yesterday to help her buy a 5×7 picture frame. There were cars and people everywhere, glue boys and street people accosted us at every turn, I was grabbed and held by at least two different people who “wanted to greet me”, loud speakers blared music and advertisements from every corner and Amy received one marriage proposal. However, we could not find a single 5×7 frame anywhere in town.

Amy and Josiah are home from school for the holidays. As a result, I haven’t had time to do as much ministry tasks this month. We only have them home a total of three months out of the year. After this Christmas Amy only has one more Christmas in Kenya with us. After that she will be gone to the States and who knows when we will spend Christmas with her again. Josiah only has two Christmases left and then he too will follow Emily and Amy to the States. This is a very difficult aspect of missionary life for Julie and me. We see on Facebook the families gathering together for Christmas. We had to abandon that practice when we moved to Kenya ten years ago, but it becomes even more painful when we think that in just a couple of years none of our older children will be able to join us for Christmas. So, I’ve been trying to spend as much time with them as possible while they are home. I’ve played games with Josiah and drank coffee with Amy. Today we will decorate Christmas cookies and wrap presents. The time is short.

Time is short for the lost of this world too. Jesus came into this world two thousand years ago. We celebrate that birth during this season. He came to redeem. He came to save. He came to reconcile sinners to God. He came to offer Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. That is why we are here in Kenya. Not that we can do any of those things that Jesus came here to do. But we can point people to Jesus. We can say “Look at Him”. And that is what we are trying to do, to point more Kenyans to Jesus. May all of Kenya see the glory of Jesus this Christmas season.

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 Tates on Furlough from Kenya [December 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,

The season in which we celebrate the birth of our Lord is now upon us. Lights are being displayed on houses. Festive music plays on radio stations and in all the stores. Black Friday money has already been spent. Church choirs prepare for cantatas while children are preparing their plays and memorizing their lines, all of which will revolve around the baby Jesus. Holiday food will be consumed in mass amounts: Turkey, ham, cookies, fruitcake, punch, dressing, sweet breads, etc. It is a great time to be in the United States. We always look forward to spending Christmastime in America if possible. I love the joy of the season.

Christmastime in Kenya is much different. Not as much joy. Holiday food consists of everyday fare like ugali (corn meal) and sukumawiki (cooked greens) or for the more fortunate, an anemic chicken. I have yet to see a children’s play. There is no such thing as Black Friday. Lights are non-existent and festive music rare. All of these things are simply not part of the Kenyan culture in Kitale. And yet Christians in Kenya are able to celebrate the exact same thing that Christians in America celebrate, namely, the coming of the Messiah, the coming of the Savior, the coming of the King.

As I progress through this holiday season I want to keep in mind what we share in celebration with the churches in Kenya and the churches where other BFM missionaries are found in Peru, France and Brazil, and the churches all around the world. That common thread through them all is the entrance of our Savior and our King into this world.

In furlough news, our travels have taken us to numerous states. We have reported on our Kenyan work in:

Ohio: Emmanuel Baptist in Bellbrook (Pastor Darrell Messer), Cornerstone Baptist in Cincinnati (Pastor Jonathan Gordon), Covenant Baptist in Dayton (Pastor Kelvin Benton), Union Baptist in Union (Pastor Bruce Winner)

West Virginia: Calvary in Hurricane (Pastor Jeff Hurst), Mt. Calvary in Charleston (Pastor Jesse Waggoner)

Kentucky: Emmanuel Baptist in Salyersville (Pastor Mark Campbell), Emmanuel Baptist in Oldtown (Pastor John Lybrook)

Michigan: Grace Baptist in Holly (Pastor Bob Hopkins), Lake Road Baptist in Clio (Pastor Doug Armstrong), New Hope Baptist in Dearborn (Pastor Terry Atkins)

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for loving us. Thank you for your churches that you have established in America, in Kenya, in Peru, France and Brazil, and all around the world. Thank you that they continue to proclaim your truth and your name on earth. Thank you for empowering them with your Holy Spirit to accomplish your purpose of spreading your kingdom to the ends of the earth. I pray that you would strengthen your churches that are called by your name. I pray that they would be kingdom minded. I pray that they would shine your light and your love to this lost world. I ask that they would stand firm on the truth in your word. I pray that through your churches you would receive honor and glory and praise. Amen.

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)

Visit their blog!

Click here to donate to BFM.

Read more