Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [July 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,

If you read my newsletter from last month, and I hope you did, then you read a little about my discouragement over not seeing as much spiritual growth in the disciples and churches I work with here in Kitale.  I tried to end my newsletter on a higher note and show that God’s work will be completed in each of his children, but when I finished my newsletter and hit the send button I was still discouraged.  But God has a way of encouraging his children and he did just that for me this month in the form of a message from a pastor back home.  Many, many months ago I received in the mail a message on CD.  This was a message taught by Tom Teall, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in West Branch, Michigan.  The CD sat on my desk for a week or two before I got around to listening to it.  I tried playing the disk on various devices but because the disk had gotten scratched somewhere I could never get it to play past the first minute.  Because I could not get the message to play, it sat on my desk for the next couple of months…until last week.  Last week Julie and I were looking for something to listen to, pulled out this message by Pastor Tom, popped it into her computer, and, amazingly it worked.  And now I know why it never worked before – because I needed to listen to it last week and not months ago.  His message was from Psalm 1:2 –

            He shall be like a tree

            Planted by the rivers of water

            That brings forth fruit in its season

            Whose leaf also shall not wither

            And whatever he does shall prosper.

I won’t repeat the whole message here but I just wanted to point out that Pastor Tom spent a lot of time on that third line in the verse:  “That brings forth fruit in its season”.  The point of his message was that fruit is seasonal.  SEASONAL!  In other words, you shouldn’t expect to see all the fruit on all the trees at all times but that when the season is right (the season God has prepared) then the tree will bring forth the right fruit, in the right quantity and in the right quality.  Pastor Tom’s message encouraged me at the right time to press on and wait for the fruit that God will bring in his season. Be looking for fruit, beloved.  It will come.

On a bit of a lighter note, let me ask you what has ever happened in one of your worship services that has held up or delayed the proceedings?  Nathan and I were right in the middle of a worship/Bible study hour at the home where our group meets when a crazy chicken strutted in.  This crazy chicken strutted right to my feet where it stopped, cocked its head to one side and stared directly into my eyes. When I didn’t move the way the foolish fowl wanted me to, she jumped up into my lap and lept onto my shoulder.  At this point I was just hoping it would not release a bomb onto my shirt.  The boneheaded bird then walked across the back of my chair and jumped onto Nathan’s chair.  Nathan hastily extricated himself from the chair before the brainless biddy could land on his head or in his lap.  With Nathan’s chair now free from its occupant the pesky poultry took up residence there.  One of the Kenyan boys quickly removed the half-witted hen from the chair before it could nest down and lay its egg, which is what it wanted to do in the first place.  The removal of the chicken allowed our Bible study to recommence and proceed.  While being in Kenya I have now had worship services interrupted by a chicken, sheep, cow, dog and a snake.  The young boy relieving his bladder in the corner of the church building never fazed anyone, though, and the preacher never missed a beat in delivering his message.

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)

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Missionary Update: The Creiglows in Brazil [December 2014]

Mike and Beverly Creiglow have served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil together since 1971. In addition to pastoring First Baptist of Cruzeiro do Sul, Mike builds his own boats and frequently travels up and down rivers to share the Gospel with those who have never heard.

December 9, 2014

Dear Brethren,

Although I have been to several places over the past few weeks, I think I will concentrate on my last trip up the Juruá River. Let’s start out with some background.

In January 1966 the Lord called me to be a missionary. It was and has always been clear that I was to work right here in western Brazil. At the time I was only 17. On a Sunday night I made the call known to the church. On Tuesday night I preached my first sermon. Just after I turned 18 I went off to seminary in Manaus. Twice a year I would come back to Cruzeiro do Sul during school breaks. The first break I built a little wooden boat and Dad loaned me one of his motors. My first river trip was that same year and was to places beyond where Dad had been working in those first years of his ministry here.

At the time, there was a little church at a place called Campo de Santana. Dad visited them regularly. The next major village up stream is Vitória. This was my first stop on that first trip.

The full moon coming up over the Juruá river just before time for services to start

The full moon coming up over the Juruá river just before time for services to start.

The house that I stayed at belonged to Henrique Linhares. He was a first generation descendent of the northeasterners who came here for the rubber boom in the early 20th century. He was born at Vitória and at age 57 had never been to Cruzeiro do Sul. His wife, Dona Bastinha, (Little Sebastiana) was the local midwife. They lived in a big house made of bark floors and walls with a thatched roof.

There were no Christians (saved folks) on the entire Juruá River from that village upstream. I preached in Seu Henrique’s home twice a year from 1966 until 1978, the year I became pastor at First Baptist Church. I started preaching there 48 years ago. I played the accordion, sang hymns, prayed and preached the gospel to them for years sitting on a crude stool. The services were lit by little open flame kerosene lights. The whole village would come. Not a soul was ever saved.

In the mid 90’s we sent our first missionary to Porto Walter, which is about a hour downstream from Vitória in my fastest boat. We encouraged Mário to keep up preaching points at Campo de Santana and Vitória. A few people were saved. Then 6 years ago we sent Alexandre to Porto Walter, as Mário had moved to Cruzeiro do Sul. He sped up the pace of work at both villages. This year he led the little congregation to saw lumber and build their first building.

The new building at Vitória from the outside.

The new building at Vitória from the outside.

Last weekend I was there to dedicate the new building. What a difference from way back when. All the houses in the village, which has grown a lot, are made with nice sawed lumber and covered with aluminum roofing. The government put in a dirt road from Porto Walter and strung up electric through the jungle. As I stood in front of the building waiting for them to open up and turn on the lights I had a strange experience. Looking up stream and downstream there were strings of lights from LED flashlights and cell phones as people coming to church lit the paths along banks of the river. How different and strange from years ago. There were over 200 present for services on Saturday and Sunday. I preached about the timing of salvation, for obvious reasons. There were 2 people saved! What a thrill.

The new building at Vitória packed on the inside. Notice the kids sitting on the floor...they were very well behaved!

The new building at Vitória packed on the inside. Notice the kids sitting on the floor…they were very well behaved!

Some of the young Christians there are Sr. Henrique’s grandchildren. Some of them remember the services I held there. One of them came to me Sunday night and said. “I understand you clearly now, but back then I didn’t.” His thought was that my Portuguese has improved, but it hasn’t really. I explained to him that back then he understood the words, but not the message. Today he understands because of the Holy Spirit who opens eyes and hearts. What a comfort. What a victory at Vitória after all these years.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.

In Christ,

Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com

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