Doors of Opportunity Unlocked Amidst Lockdown

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

May 20, 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

It’s still all Corona, Corona, Corona around here. And as a result of that not much has been altered since the last time I wrote a report.

Schools are all closed so the kids are all at home. Josiah is at home doing on-line schooling. He is finishing his final term as a senior at Rift Valley Academy. He has missed his interim trip, his senior trip has been canceled and his graduation ceremony is probably canceled as well. It is unlikely he will ever see any of his friends again before they all head off to their home countries and home continents. Chloe is home too. Julie is homeschooling her and I am assisting by teaching math.

Churches are all closed. I haven’t been able to meet with the folks at Upper Room Baptist Church for many weeks now except individually. Everyone I talk to wants to get our worship services started back up again but to do so would be against the lock-down orders. At what point do we say we have to meet anyway?

Nairobi is locked down. Nobody is allowed in or out.

At least we still have access to food, water, and medicines. Our supply lines are operating as normal and all the necessities of life are still readily available.

The one thing we are desperately trying to avoid is Kenyan quarantine. People who test positive for Covid19 AND everyone they come into contact with are quarantined in official Kenyan quarantine centers. We all hear that these places are nightmares – No care, crowded, Corona-contracting centers. Healthy people get quarantined and are not allowed to leave. They end up coming down with the virus. I was in town today and saw a sign at the store: “Help contain Covid19 – Donate here to send street kids to quarantine centers”. I had to shudder. 

But not all is bad news. There are opportunities as well. The other day I was in town picking up some supplies and I was at the store of a Hindu proprietor. He started talking about Corona and I said, “All I can do is pray, and trust God, and leave the rest in His hands”. The Hindu store owner stopped and said, “Yes, thank you. I guess we should be talking more about God than about Corona Virus”. Now I know that the “god” in his mind is different than the God in mine but we have small opportunities to talk to people these days in a way we might not be able to during a normal time.

Another opportunity is to invest in the lives of other people. As a result of the schools closing, we have two Kenyan teenagers studying here at our house and Julie is overseeing their education and I am teaching them Geometry. One is staying with us around the clock, including boarding here and the other comes every day for school purposes and then leaves at the end of the day. Yesterday, during their morning break, the four of us (myself, Josiah and the two Kenyan teenagers) sat on the veranda while they drank their chai and we just talked. And the most amazing questions and discussions came out. We talked about salvation, heaven, missions, f=ma and e=mc2, the movements of planets, English idioms, biological taxonomy, sin, grace verses the law, Jesus’ interpretation of the 10 Commandments in Matthew 5, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and what happens to morally upright Muslims who have never heard about Jesus. It was all done in a casual way and I didn’t lead them to any of these topics. We just talked about whatever came up out of their brains. What an amazing time to try and make sure they heard wisdom from a Biblical perspective on all of these topics. 

Let’s ask God to give us more of these kinds of opportunities during this chaotic and unnerving time of uncertainty. 

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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Where is Light?

Judy Hatcher has been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France with her husband John since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

Hello praying friends,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Light in the dark…

Good morning from the land of lockdown! As the world experiences the uncharted territory (uncharted for us…the world has experienced plagues, etc., throughout history), the question arises, where is light? Can we shine the good news of Jesus while being distanced from others? Can we encourage one another to love and good works while being isolated? I would like to take a few minutes of your time and share with you how God has used what was meant for evil to do good in our corner of the world.

Since John and I are in Evansville caring for my sister, we try to be on the lookout for those God wants us to touch. We walk with trekking sticks in the neighborhood every day. Of course, that makes us an oddity! …but also opens doors to share (from a distance, of course). The COVID-19 has given an awareness to people of the frailty of life…of what is really important…and we have had opportunities to share the reason for the hope we have! Whether it’s on the street, in line to get into the grocery or the checkout lady, there are moments to point people to Christ, the only Hope.

Distance separates from our French friends who don’t know Christ, but we have internet connections and are able to say, “Hey, how are you doing? We are praying for you”. We want those we love to know that even though we are far away, our hearts and prayers are with them.

As a result of the virus, our church in France is not able to meet together as usual. They decided to get together online. They decided to meet in the afternoon for them, so John, Abigail (our granddaughter) and I could attend. Oh, the tears of joy that John and I shed as we sang, prayed and shared with our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world!

Our Christian friends in the Ariège keep connected and we can share with each other our needs and blessings…in short, be an encouragement to one another.

I would like to leave you with a verse God gave me through my reading this week: “Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 27:14 NKJV

As we wait, we can be the light, knowing that the LORD is with us.

Yours together for the sake of Jesus,
Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

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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