Preparing to Return to 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 31, 2017

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone, and we are nearing the end of 2017. This year has passed so quickly, and is a reminder of how short our lives are here on earth compared to eternity. May we serve faithfully while we can, and serve God by serving others. This update will share current happenings in Kenya and our plans.

Thanks so much to each one of you who prayed for us in regards to the election earlier in the month. You never know how an election will go. The one last time passed fairly peacefully, but the one before that was followed by much unrest in the country. We felt the wisest and safest thing to do was to wait until the election was over before considering our return.

All in all, the election passed fairly peacefully, although there were small pockets of unrest in the larger cities. There were thousands of police who were deployed all over the country to help with any unrest our violence, so the country was well prepared. Even as I type this, the election winner has not officially been declared yet. The results are being challenged and an official winner is to be announced this weekend. We don’t think any major unrest will happen at this time, but we still request prayer for peace in the country and that people will accept the results without resorting to any violence. God is in control and we trust in Him. Psalm 56:3 says “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”

We feel it is safe to return at this time and we plan to return to Kenya in mid-September, Lord willing. Please pray for us as there is still a lot to do, with packing for two years, as well as trying to remember everything that needs to get done. It can be a stressful time, but we are thankful for those who help us with all the details as we pack up and return.

Please pray for us and the transitions ahead. It is always emotional to leave our country, and familiar things to us, but we are following where God leads, trusting Him each step of the way. Lord willing, I will give a more detailed update next month. We appreciate each of you, who give sacrificially, pray for us, or assist us in any way. You are a blessing. Please note our field address for correspondence.

Serving Him,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

Nathan and Carrie Radford
Furlough Address:
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya, East Africa

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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Teaching Future Ministers, Caring for Tina

Tate_profile

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

May 23, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

If you read my report from last month (and I certainly hope you did), then you know that I gave you a little teaser at the end about what I wanted to write about in this month’s report. This teaser concerned some of my future plans that I feel God leading me to do. Now, I know it’s not “right” to give a teaser and get your readership all excited and anticipating what you will write about (if indeed you read last month’s newsletter and care about what I teased you about) and then NOT write about it. I know that’s not decent and decorous. However, that’s what I’m going to have to do. The reason for this is because I wanted to use this past month to solidify some of my thoughts and plans and have something more concrete to present to you. However, this month ended up being so busy for me that I had little time left for thinking about future planning. So, instead of laying out future plans, I will have to content myself (and you) with relating my busyness of the past month.

I guess I should have known this month would be busy as most, although not all, of what I did was pre-planned. I had two classes scheduled to teach at the local Bible college I teach at on a fairly regular basis—one in May and one in June. The class in May was Hermeneutics and the class in June is Old Testament Prophetic Literature. The Hermeneutics class I have taught before but having taught it before I recognized that my notes and class material needed to be revamped to better address the level of my students at the college. The OT Prophetic Literature class is a new class for me and has to be prepared from scratch. That being said, I have been working feverishly to prepare for these two classes. Then, last week I taught the Hermeneutics class to a new, fresh group of young, future pastors and ministers. Teaching future ministers proper Bible interpretation methods and principles is a great joy and worth all the time and effort it requires. It is, however, quite exhausting, especially for an introverted person like me who would prefer not to have to talk. Talking is exhausting, especially when you are not used to talking for an extra 40 hours a week. My throat is always raw and sore by the end of the week. But believe me, if these future ministers can learn to properly interpret and teach God’s Word then it is worth any effort and sacrifice. Oh, and before I started the class I took a long trip to Rift Valley Academy to spend the weekend with my kids at school.

On top of all this, Julie and I have another baby in the house again. Tina, whom we have cared for in the past, is back. She was born three months premature, we cared for her for the first two months of her life and she is now six months old. Tina had been in the hospital for a week with pneumonia. When she was discharged from the hospital the director of the children’s home where she lives called to ask us if we could take her in for a while while she recuperated. Julie and I talked about it and came to the conclusion together that we were too busy right now to take her in. We just couldn’t add the full-time care of a sick baby to our plate. I knew immediately in my heart that it was the wrong decision but didn’t admit this to Julie. What?!?  Too busy to help one of God’s precious little ones back to health? Too busy to make some small sacrifices for the life of a child? Bad decision. Anyway, I found out a little later that Julie also thought it was a bad decision. When I returned home one night after teaching she said something like this: “I know I shouldn’t have made this decision unilaterally but I told the director we could take Tina in and care for her until she is well”. I responded with the words “OK, Julie, if that’s what you decided” but what I thought in my heart was Good for you Julie! Way to go! That WAS the right decision. Thanks for having the courage to deny yourself and follow God’s leading in this. So, Tina is back with us until she is well, and although unbroken sleep and less work is good and desirable, caring for and loving God’s children is better.

One more thing to add to the list. Tomorrow I am heading to Nairobi for a Bible conference on the local church. I have not been to any kind of Bible conference of any sort since I first left the States to come to Africa nine and a half years ago. I am looking forward to the conference but am already tired just thinking about it.

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 Amy, Josiah & Chloe)

rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

Click here to donate to BFM.


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Safely Back in America on Furlough; More Break-in Attempts at Compound

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 1, 2016

Dear praying friends,

We hope this update finds each of you doing well. Thanks so much to each of you who sacrificially give, pray for us, or encourage us in any way. We truly appreciate each of you and thank you for your kindness.

I (Nathan) am now back in the United States. It was definitely an interesting few weeks at the end of this term. As I have said before, there were repeated break-in attempts at our compound over the past few weeks. This is very unusual for Kitale. After my family left for furlough, I stayed at a safe guest house in Kitale for a few weeks while closing down. I thank all the staff at the guest house where I stayed, as they were wonderful. While I was at the guest house, there were two attempts at our compound. One was during the morning hours at the compound next to us, and another was at night along the front road. We are thankful both attempts were unsuccessful for the thieves but we remain vigilant to keep our family safe. We have worked hard to increase our security on our compound and for the past several weeks it has been quiet. However, a couple days ago, we found out there was yet another attempt at our compound. It occurred during the day, which is unusual and shows the boldness of the thieves. There were at least 2 thieves, possibly more, who cut through the hedge and barbed wire (that we just installed) at the back of our compound.  Our day guard confronted the thieves and had his hand hurt by a machete (panga in Swahili) during the process.  Our day guard was successful, though, in capturing 2 thieves, tied them up and turned them over to the police.  We are hopeful that turning them over to the police, as well as planting new thornbushes all around the compound will deter more thieves from attempting to break in. We have also gotten a third guard dog to help keep the compound safe as Kenyans fear dogs almost more than other security measures.  Please pray for the police and all the security companies, that they would work hard to catch all these thugs. Our trust is in the Lord for all these matters. I love Proverbs 18:10 which says “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” We will keep you updated on these matters.

It was a difficult final few weeks, but I thank the Lord that I am now safely back in America with friends and family. Family is so important, and I am looking forward to spending quality time with them. After being out of the United States for two years, it was both overwhelming and wonderful to step foot on American soil. I am now in a stage known as “reverse culture shock,” where it will take time to adjust back to America. It was neat to fly over the Middle East (Iraq, Iran) on my way home, as this is part of the world I have never been to.

Please pray for all the ministries while we are on furlough, as well as our friends and partners, the Tate family. There is much to do over the next few weeks, such as finalizing the missions presentation, getting a missions DVD done, doing a family prayer card, etc. I will soon be scheduling churches for our furlough, so if you are interested, you can email me at: naterad@yahoo.com. I will also send a DVD to those who are interested in the work that God is doing in Kitale, Kenya. I have learned that God doesn’t need us, but we certainly need Him. We can do nothing without Him. How we need to pray regularly, read the Bible, seek His will, and follow His leading. Weneed Him for everything. Psalm 86:11 says “Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.” May this be the sincere prayer and desire of our hearts.

We will keep you updated.

Blessings.

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.


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Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [May 2015]

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

May 8, 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last month I mentioned a tragic event that occurred in Kenya, namely, the attack by the Muslim terrorist group Al Shabaab (based in Somalia) against an innocent school in the town of Garissa.  Gunmen stole in at night while the students slept and murdered nearly 150 people.  The carnage and the terror it caused was heard in news reports around the world.  In my newsletter I mentioned that this terrorist event didn’t effect us too much because it was in a different part of the country from which we live.  It turns out that I was wrong in that assessment.  That event actually has effected the whole country in ways similar to the ways the whole United States of America was effected by the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centers.  I’m sure it will be easy to think back 14 years and remember the ways that attack impacted our own country.  Then you will be able to understand how the attack in Garissa effected Kenya.

KenyaMapFirst, do you remember the initial fear that the 9/11 attack caused?  I remember watching the TV with shock and fear and thinking “how could this happen”?  At the time I was working at the Wright/Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio and shortly after the attacks I watched out the window of my office and saw the command center plane took off and fly away.  Do you know the command center plane?  It’s the one that can launch all our nuclear weapons and control total annihilation all from the air.  I couldn’t help thinking “we’re all going to die”.  Well, similar reactions occurred here in Kenya after the Garissa attack.  I just talked with a young man this week who told me that his entire school refused to sleep in the dorm after the attack because they were afraid of being sitting ducks in their rooms.  They all slept outside or hid in places where they thought would be safer.  People everywhere were concerned that subsequent attacks would take place and that they were all at risk.

Second, do you remember the anger that followed up the initial fear after 9/11?  There was anger toward Muslims in general.  There was outrage that innocent people were killed and that our way of life was altered.  We went to war, we heightened security at the airports and we spew out vitriol against anyone we thought was an enemy.  The same occurred here in Kenya after the Garissa attack.  The government looked to close the border between Kenya and Somalia.  Then there were loud calls to move the IDP camp (Internationally Displaced People) where thousands of displaced Somalis live.  Kenyans didn’t want that camp to be located in Kenya anymore and demanded that the United Nations move it to another country.  Security was beefed up as well, at schools, shopping centers and government offices.  Most Kenyans were angry that so many students had been killed.  They felt violated.

Third, do you remember the questions that resulted from the 9/11 attacks?  People started asking questions like, “Why did this happen to us?”, “Where is God in all this?”, and “How could people be so evil?”.  For a long time people were more interested in spiritual things.  Churches had more people in them.  More people prayed.  People thought more about their eternal destinations.  The questions that resulted here in Kenya after the Garissa attack were a little different however.  I had people ask me questions like, “What should we do if a terrorist holds a gun to my head”, “Should I lie about being a Christian?” and “Should I pretend to be a Muslim to protect my family?”.  One person in one of our groups asked me if it was OK to memorize a few passages from the Koran so that if he were threatened by a terrorist he could quote them, pretend to be a Muslim and live to see another day.  Because of questions like these I have been addressing these issues in my teaching to the groups.  You can look up what the New Testament says about these things on your own, but, in short what I’ve been trying to teach them is that the cost of following Jesus can be high and that they need to count the cost.  I’ve tried to teach them that if they put their hands to the plow they should not look back.  I’ve shared with them that if they gain the whole world and lose their own souls they have gained nothing and lost everything.   I’ve shown them where Jesus says that if we seek to save our lives we will lose them and if we lose our lives for his sake we gain eternal life.  They’ve seen also that Jesus says if we love father or mother or children or nations more than him then we are not worthy to be his followers.  These are all hard sayings indeed but they apply just as much to Christians in Kenya in the 21st century as they did to the first century followers that Jesus was talking to.

How would you react if you were put in the same situation?  9/11 was worse by far that the attacks in Garissa in Kenya.  But it didn’t take long for those effects to fade away in our country.  I wonder how long it will be before people stop thinking much about it here too.  I pray that we Christians here in Kenya and you brothers and sisters in the States as well would be totally devoted and committed to following our Lord Jesus Christ with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength.  And even with our lives.

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 Radfords in Kenya [May 2015]

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.

May 5, 2015

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone, and there is much to report about. The ministries are continuing along, and I will be sure to give you regular updates through the year, but I thought this month I would focus on things that have been happening in Kenya recently, as well as share family requests.

As many of you know, a few weeks ago, in a town called Garissa, a terrorist attack took place at the university. I am not familiar with this area of the country,
as it is on the other side of Kenya, but it was shocking to watch the events unfold and the news reports. Terrorists stormed into the university in the early hours, executing around 147 people total. The siege lasted for several hours before the attackers were subdued. I read stories of students who hid in closets, or wherever they could, until the attack was over. This attack follows the attack at Westgate Mall in Nairobi a few years ago. Please pray that these terrorists would be caught, brought to justice, and for the peace of Kenya. We know the Lord is in control, sovereign, and we trust Him through all situations. A verse that comes to mind is John 14:1, which says “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” Please pray for all the families affected by this act.

Also, in Kitale town, as I mentioned recently, it has become much more difficult to drive. The main bus/van stage has moved from another part of town to an area close to downtown, right where all the traffic must pass. Of course, when this happened, there was a lot of frustration, as traffic is much more congested and it is more challenging to drive and pass. At one point, when this first happened, we stayed home for a day as they were sorting out the problems in town. There were trees cut down and laid in the road, some riots broke out and other things were going on. The situation was brought under control the next day or so and things seem to back to normal. My understanding is that the new stage will only be in this location for a year or so until a new stage is built. Please pray for the safety of the missionaries as they have to pass through this area, and also that there would be no more problems among the council people and van drivers. We trust the Lord for all these things.

In closing, it has been quite a last few weeks for our daughter Camille. What a blessing she
is to our family and she has been through it recently. She kept complaining of stomach aches and so we took her to two different medical offices about it here in Kitale. She was given medicine each time and the problem temporarily went away. However, the stomach pains would return after a few days, so it was very puzzling and frustrating as the doctors in Kitale were unable to find the root of the problem. Yesterday we felt it best to go to Mediheal Hospital in Eldoret, about an hour and a half from Kitale. The pediatrician there seemed very qualified and did a thorough examination. He explained that although some of the amoeba was gone from her previous infection, there were still cysts from the host that had not been removed. They had a very good lab and were able to discover this. We have started her on a different medicine and she seems to be improving. Praise the Lord! Medical care here is such a challenge and we would really appreciate your prayers for our health as a family, as it is so easy to get sick, and as in Cami’s case, it takes a while to get solid answers. Health here is a daily battle and we do our best to stay healthy, but sometimes these things happen and when they do, it can be difficult to find the root problem. A comforting verse through times like this is Psalm 46:1, which says
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” What a great God
we serve.

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

Serving in Kitale,
Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa, 30200

Click here to donate to BFM.


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Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [April 2015]

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

April 5, 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I want to write about something you may have heard about in the news and something I’m certain you have not heard about in the news concerning Kenya.

First, you may have heard that once again Kenya was the victim of a horrendous terrorist attack.  Once again, terrorists from the organization called Al Shaabab (affiliated with Al Qaida but based in Somalia) have crossed the Somali/Kenya border and perpetrated unspeakable acts of atrocity against Kenyan citizens.  4-5 masked gunmen entered a university in the town of Garissa in Kenya in the middle of the night and wantonly opened fire on sleeping students.  Their only objective was to kill and cause terror, a goal in which they succeeded.  I have read news reports stating that as many as 147 students were killed in the attack.  I don’t know if this number is accurate but I do know that many young lives were ended that night.  News of this attack quickly went international and is probably why you have heard about it already.  Garissa is not that close to Kitale and thus this horrible attack does not impact us directly nor were we ever at risk of danger or injury during this attack.  But we do grieve for the Kenyan people;  the families of the victims, the town of Garissa which has endured this suffering and the nation as a whole which has to repeatedly face such atrocities. We wonder why people would commit such acts of atrocity against their fellow man. We wonder how long God will suffer these people to kill others who are made in His image before He returns to this earth to set all things right.  While we could never condone such acts, we pray that God would use this time to reach the hearts of many Kenyan people and cause them to reflect on eternity and their relationship with Him.

Second, I’m almost certain you never did hear in the news about an event that hit much closer to home here in Kitale.  Here in Kitale, the city municipal council decided to make some “changes”.  Our lawyer friend who lives next door described it so beautifully that I will quote her description.  She says, “Some clowns decided to resite the bus and mini bus stage ‘temporarily’ while a new one is built on the old site. Might not have been such a bad idea except they gave no proper warning, did absolutely no planning of new traffic systems, built no new infrastructure and the traffic is now chaotic to put it mildly. To compound that, they then decided to resite the fruit and vegetable market from the old, largely covered, old site to the same place…. again, with no proper stalls, roofs or infrastructure or proper notice. And just to inflate already justifiably fraying tempers, part of the area they resited to is owned by the railway company who say they did not give permission to use their land and plan to evict everyone in the next day or so by force if necessary……… all the ingredients for a riot!”  And, since all the ingredients for a riot were in place, can you guess what then resulted?  That’s right, a riot ensued.  The riot started at the governor’s house and then moved to the streets.  The streets were blockaded, fires were started, things were smashed and chaos ensued.  The police arrived, shot their AK-47’s and released tear-gas to attempt to disperse the crowds.  All of this happened within 2 miles of our house and on the main road that we use to enter town.  Once we heard what was going on we quickly closed and locked up the house, warned the security guard of possible danger and decided to stay indoors, at least for the rest of the day and night.  I’ve heard unsubstantiated reports that a couple of municipal buildings were burned down and that a coupe of people were killed in the rioting.  I can’t say if these reports are true or not.  But this event happening so close to home certainly causes us to stop and think how quickly society can devolve into chaos and how people pursuing their own sinful ways can wreak havoc on society as a whole.  Again, we look forward to the perfect reign and kingdom of Christ when our righteous and sovereign King will reign in all of his glory.  We only pray that many Kitale residents will recognize Jesus as King of their lives and that he will become King in their hearts before he returns to reign as King of the earth.

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 [July 2014]

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 wish I were a better missionary. I read about past missionaries and how they triumphed over their adversities and managed to accomplish so much even in the midst of great trials and troubles. I talk to current day missionaries and hear all about their exploits and of all the advances they are making in the Kingdom of Christ. I hear of all the great things God is doing in their ministries and I wish I could be experiencing those advances and great things myself. It is hard not to compare one’s own progress with that of others, and I recognize this is not wise, yet I still do it. More than that, I mostly recognize my own shortcomings and failings as a missionary and it makes me wish I were more usable in the hands of God. I wish it for the advancement of the Kenyan people.

I wish I were a better Christian and follower of Jesus. I wish I loved him more and followed him with greater zeal and passion. I talk with other Christians and, while they struggle the same as me, they seem to grow and progress while my relationship with God seems to flounder. I look into my heart and wonder why it is so dull, passionless and lifeless sometimes. Why do I struggle so much to surrender everything to Christ? Why does my heart want its own thing and its own way? Why can I not progress in my faith like I wish I could?

I wish I were a better humanitarian. Others care so much for the plight of their fellow human beings. They give their lives to care for widows and orphans, to feed the hungry and defend the defenseless. I look at the plight of my fellow man, and, while I care about their well-being, it doesn’t move me to action the way that it should.

I wish I were a better husband and father.

I wish I were a better friend.

Please forgive me, I am NOT whining, grumbling or complaining at all. I just look at my heart and it is not where I want it to be. I want God to do a greater work in my heart. I want to be a wholly surrendered servant under His grace and mercy. I want this so that the Kenyan people can know Christ, so that my family and friends can know Christ, so that the world can know Christ, and so that my own heart can know Christ more. But I am “confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”. I pray it for my own life. And I pray for it in your life too.

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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Missionary Update: The Radfords on Furlough from Kenya [May 2014]

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.

May 5, 2014

Dear praying friends,

As I write this prayer letter, my mind is already thinking to about a month from now, when Lord willing, we will be boarding a plane to head back to Nairobi and our life in Kenya. It is hard to believe that our furlough here in the States is almost over. It seems like just a few weeks ago that we were heading back to America. It is honestly amazing how quickly time passes.

Please pray for us and the upcoming term. There is a lot to pray about. Please pray for our family and the adjustments ahead. Our daughters will now have to be in an adjustment phase of their lives, and we will all need time to adjust back to life in a different country thousands of miles away from our home country. We will probably face some issues of “reverse culture shock,” which basically is adjusting back to a different country and ways of doing things. We go through “culture shock” when coming back to America after living overseas for many months, then go through “reverse culture shock” when returning. So, it is always some form of cultural shock and adjustments.

The Lord will help us through it all, I am confident. We trust in Him, pray to Him, and rely on Him through all these challenges. I like Jeremiah 23:23-24, which states “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” It is wonderful to know that God is near, not afar off, and will help us each step of the way.

Please pray for the country of Kenya, the people there that we desire to serve and reach, and for us through the daily challenges. We thank the Lord so much for each one of you who prays for us, gives sacrificially, and has partnered with us in any way to reach the people of Kenya. You mean more to us than you will ever know and we are so thankful to you.

I will do my best to give you a current update once upon arrival back to Kenya, Lord willing. The main thing to pray for at this time is what I have previously mentioned and our upcoming trip across the world. Traveling with children is a challenge, so we would covet your prayers for that also. We appreciate each of you so much and will keep you updated. Take care and God bless you.

Serving in Kenya,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

315 College Street
Youngsville, PA 16371

Click here to donate to BFM.


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