Coronavirus Update from Kenya

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.

August 5, 2020

Dear praying friends,

It is hard to believe we are already in the month of August for 2020. Where has the time gone? Normally there would be so many summer activities, yet with coronavirus, so many things have been postponed or cancelled completely. I don’t think any of us have seen such an unstable time in years, if even in our lifetimes. God has been faithful through all the challenges and changes. This update will share current prayer requests as well as an update on the coronavirus in Kenya.

I (Nathan) need to give a little background on the decisions made on the coronavirus in the past few weeks. Last month, after a lockdown period of three months, the President of Kenya made the decision to reopen the country for a three week period, with the idea of assessment at the end of July to see what needed to be done, if anything. This was a welcome change, as we have been on lockdown since the month of March. So many things were different, with everyone wearing masks in town, having to sanitize all the time, getting your temperature taken, having limitations of passengers while traveling, etc. Nairobi, the capital city, was also on lockdown, and flights, both domestic and international, were cancelled. It was quite a challenging time, to say the least.

After the government decided to reopen the country, with fewer restrictions, the cases have increased dramatically. Some days there are nearly 700 cases just in a single day, and the total tally of cases as of the date of this letter is over 23,000 countrywide. Most of the cases are in Nairobi, as there are slum areas where people live so close together and it is difficult to social distance. Kitale has been spared the brunt of the cases, with just a few reported. We are so thankful for this, but we take nothing for granted, and are taking all necessary precautions, with keeping the family out of town as much as possible and away from crowded areas. We know you all are taking the same precautions in America.

The concern is that the cases will overwhelm the healthcare system and there will not be enough beds in the hospital wards to take care of the sick. This is a valid concern, especially in a third-world country with lower healthcare options in the best of times. Please pray for the doctors and the nurses as they are dealing with this new virus, and for the sick that need medical care.

Given all the current circumstances with the virus, we feel led to begin closing down for this term and begin planning for our upcoming furlough. We will have been here three years next month, so we feel our time has come. Please pray for us as we are in the process of closing down, as there is so much to do. Any missionary who is closing down for a term understands how overwhelming it can be and the need to make a large “to do” list to check things off. We are trusting God to keep us safe and in His care as we are in the process of closing down.

I will share more next month about some of the things the Lord taught us this term, and for the ministry progress that was made. I have been pleased and feel God has definitely led us this past three years. In regards to the global pandemic, may we take comfort in some verses from the Scriptures. I think of Psalm 57:1b, which says “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in Thee: yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” Also Psalm 119:114, which says “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in Thy word.” May we trust God always, not just in times of a global pandemic. We will find that He is faithful each step of the way.

We appreciate each of you so much and will keep you updated.

Blessings,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

Contact Info:
Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200
naterad@yahoo.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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With Bad News All Around, the Good News Still Stands

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

June 19, 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Unfortunately, this month’s newsletter is mostly just bad news. I wish I could say otherwise but the truth is the truth – Corona is wreaking havoc on our ministries here. Churches, schools and government offices are all closed so you can imagine what effects that is having on us.

Bad news #1: Government offices still closed. My work permit officially expired back in March. I had already filed to renew it and it was “accepted”. However, the offices closed before I could receive my paperwork. Where is my paperwork now? I don’t know. What does that mean for my status as a resident in Kenya? I don’t know that either.

Bad news #2: Schools are still closed. If you’ve been following our newsletters on a monthly basis you know that for the last two years Julie has been working diligently and feverishly as the Head Teacher of the newly started Milimani Christian Homeschooling Community (MCHC), a project started by some of our dear Kenyan friends here in Kitale. We didn’t start this school, nor does it belong to us, but Julie especially has been very instrumental in getting it off the ground and keeping it running. It obviously means a great deal to us. When Corona hit Kenya, this school was also shut down. The implications of this are grave. With no school fees coming in the teachers cannot be paid and the rent for the property has not been paid for months. While the directors of the school are trying to get extensions for the lease, the landlady has not been compliant and is demanding all back payments as well. I do not see how the school as a business survives this Corona Virus. There is simply no cash flow and the property almost certainly will be lost unless something miraculous happens. The imminent demise of the school is a source of much pain for Julie especially.

Bad news #3: Upper Room Baptist Chapel will lose its meeting place. Yes, you may have guessed it – URBC rents the facilities from MCHC and holds its weekly worship services there on that property.  When and if MCHC loses its property then URBC loses its venue for worship and ministry. URBC cannot officially meet right now either (although I am in the process of getting special permission to do so) but when our services do start back up it looks like we will have to also start looking for a new location in which to meet. This is very depressing to me, as you might be able to imagine. I liked our current location very much as it was very conducive to the way we wanted the Chapel to run and operate. Now it looks as if we almost certainly will lose this venue as well.

Bad news #4: It just seems like Satan is against us at every turn. Our ministries are in disarray; Our main grocery store in town closed down; Our landlord will not allow any of our friends to come onto our compound; Josiah cannot get out of the country to get back to the U.S. and start college; I keep getting arrested by corrupt police officers who are not arresting me over legalities or infractions but simply to extort bribes from me because I have a target on my back. Ever feel like nothing is going right? 

Good news: God is still on the throne; God is still in control; God still loves us; Jesus is still King; Jesus’ work on the cross still stands; Our salvation is sure; Jesus will come back and will triumph; God’s work will progress. In this we stand. In this we trust. In this we move forward.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & 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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Challenging Times in Kenya

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.

June 5, 2020

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone, and we are nearly halfway into 2020. Hard to believe.

What a year this has been, especially with the coronavirus. It has been challenging here the past few weeks, which I will explain shortly. May God bless each of you for your prayers, sacrificial giving, and interest in work here. We know it is truly sacrificially giving at this time and we appreciate it so much.

To say that things have been abnormal the last few weeks would be an understatement. There are many police at the entrance to town, and there is a 7 pm curfew. Also, Nairobi, the capital city, is locked down and has been for the past several weeks. It is difficult to get entry, and from my understanding, you have to have special permission. International flights have also been restricted and are much more expensive to purchase than previously. Schools, churches, and other public gatherings have also been locked down the past few weeks.

From what we hear on the news, the virus is spreading rapidly in the slum areas, mainly Kibera in Nairobi. Of course, this makes sense as the people there live so closely together, making it difficult to restrict the spread of the virus there. Kibera is one of the largest slums in Africa and has had many visitors over the years. I (Nathan) visited it years ago and found it really interesting to see the culture and lifestyle there. Kawangware is another big slum area in Nairobi.  As I said, the numbers of those infected with the virus are rising rapidly. The President will be making an announcement in the next few days about whether things may begin to reopen or not. Please be praying for us and all the other missionaries here at this time, as it stretching our faith, teaching us patience, and relying upon God. Nahum 1:7 says “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in him.” Also, Psalm 27:1, which says “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” These are comforting verses at this challenging time. 
 
I (Nathan) have tried evangelize and pass out Swahili tracts as I go out, and spread the Gospel message. Most normalcy is gone at the moment but that does not mean the Gospel cannot still go forth. Praise the Lord for the opportunities He gives us to serve. 

My wife continues to homeschool our daughters. She is enjoying it and the girls are doing well in their studies. This has been a challenging and anxious time for them, as we simply don’t have the answers at present and have to trust the Lord.

We are thinking of and praying for you all in America as well at this challenging time. 

May we trust God each step of the way, as He is in control. We will keep you updated and appreciate each of you so much.

In Kenya,
Nathan and Carrie Radford
 

Contact Info:
Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

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
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