Students Knowing, Loving, & Following Jesus

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

June 14, 2024

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ,

I was reading over my newsletter from last month entitled “Is this Place Cursed?” I hope I did not come across too pessimistically because this place is definitely NOT cursed. Yes, I have come to the conclusion that it is a much more dangerous place to live than what I am used to in the United States. There are more natural disasters, the roads are much more dangerous, we face drought and floods, and even the smallest insects seem to be much more deadly. But God loves this place and God loves the people and we want to see them all knowing, loving, and following Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And, praise be to God, many of them ARE knowing, loving, and following Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And, praise be to God, some of them I get to work with and teach on a daily basis and get to see their growth and progress in the Kingdom of Christ.

Case in point: I am currently teaching our first-year students in a class called Basic Theology (Part 2). These are mostly young and inexperienced students desiring to enter the ministry and serve the Lord in the expansion of His kingdom (make sure to read “inexperienced” and not “stupid” because they are all, in fact, very bright and intelligent). We were talking about Salvation (Soteriology), and I wanted them to be aware that historically and also in the modern Christian world there are often vast differences in the way Christians have taught about Salvation – from Calvinism to Arminianism, from God choosing to man choosing, from sovereignty to free will, from determinism to Open Theism. My goal was to make sure they understood some of these differences, to look at the Scriptures to try and determine the answers, and to critically think about what God has revealed to us in His Word. The debates in this arena of theology have been hot for centuries and I wished them to be aware of the concepts, the terminology, and the approaches. It was a difficult conversation for many of them as they were not all aware of the differences or the terminology. Some of them struggled because they had never heard there was “another viewpoint” than the one they had always been taught and they were seeing things in the Scriptures that they were having to wrestle with. I wasn’t purposefully trying to confuse anyone, but it is good for future pastors and church leaders to be familiar with these concepts, and to be able to critically think about the Scripture’s teaching so that they are not swayed by every “wind of doctrine” that comes along. After long discussions I wanted to bring them back around to the Biblical teaching that salvation is by grace alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide), in Christ alone (solus Christus), to the glory of God alone (soli Deo gloria). One of my students, named Reuben, gave an illustration that showed confusion in some areas but great understanding in the important areas. He said: “Mwalimu (teacher), when the thief on the cross next to Jesus died and then appeared before the gates of heaven, they probably asked him, ‘Are you a Calvinist or an Arminian? How did you get here?’ The thief probably looked around and said, ‘I don’t know who Calvin is, and I don’t know anything about Arminianism, but I asked that guy on the middle cross to remember me and he told me that I would be with him in paradise. I’m with that guy on the middle cross.’” OK, there may not be perfect theology in Reuben’s illustration, but I agree with Reuben, I’m with that guy on the middle cross. Lord, bless these beloved students, followers of Jesus, and future church leaders and pastors. Help them above all things to cling to the man on the middle cross and to lead all the Kenyan people to cling to that man on the middle cross.

Another case in point: I also serve as the finance manager of the college. In that role I deal daily with the struggles and challenges of students to find the necessary money to pay their school fees. Paying school fees is probably the biggest challenge my beloved students face. We have policies in place at the school, but I have to be as gracious and merciful as I can be to my financially struggling students. I would rather be gracious and give them extensions than to lose a future church leader because he cannot pay his school fees and complete his Biblical education. I was working with one particular student over the span of a couple of weeks, her name is Faith, that was facing great challenges in paying her fees. In the end, I helped her complete her fees by paying the balance of 4000 shillings. This is only $31, but she was overjoyed. Like as if I was a king of old and in her tears of joy, she prayed that the Lord would bless me with long life, with peace and happiness, and with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Lord, in return, would you bless Faith with the necessary funds for her school fees and may she all of her life direct and bring her Kenyan people to King Jesus.

Blessings to all,
Roger, Julie, & Chloe


Roger & Julie Tate
Moffat Bible College
P.O. Box 70
Kijabe, Kenya 00220

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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