Is this Place Cursed?

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

May 10, 2024

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Is this place cursed?

Yes, I have actually been asking myself that question this month. You may recall that just last year around this time I was asking for prayers because the area was plagued by drought, we had no water, and all the crops were drying and dying. We even had forest fires that I saw from my kitchen window and wondered how long before I would have to evacuate. We prayed to God for months for rain and it finally came, but not in time to save all the crops. Once the rain started last year, it hasn’t really stopped raining. And now? Well, now we have so much everyday, heavy rain that the country is flooding. And I don’t mean just a little flooding here and there. I mean so much flooding that it has reached international news (you may have seen it). If you have watched any international news in the last few weeks, you may have heard of a place called Mai Mahiu. Mai Mahiu is a town down in the Rift Valley. I see this town down in the valley every time I look out my back porch. Early last week, in the middle of the night, a temporary dam caused by downed trees and debris broke and the backed-up water rushed like a torrent down the escarpment. This dam was only about one mile north of our house and a few hundred meters up the escarpment. I say this because it did not miss us by very much. It was very close. Anyway, the escaped water tore down the escarpment, wiping out everything in its path. It hit the valley floor, almost like a bomb, and the water continued to pour into the valley floor all night long. It destroyed everything – EVERYTHING – in its path and wiped out an entire square kilometer of land on the valley floor before it ran across the valley and disappeared somewhere on the other side. All the trees were uprooted, all the houses it hit were destroyed, and hundreds of sleeping people were buried in mud before they even knew what hit them. Over a hundred people were killed and many more were and are still missing. Now, when I look out over the valley from my back porch, I am no longer seeing forest fires, but I see the wiped-out area where the flood hit and the ugly brown path of mud the water traversed after it hit the valley floor. I can look through binoculars and see destroyed houses, half-buried and overturned cars and buses, and rescue workers looking for survivors. It is a terrible tragedy and most everybody from up here in Kijabe knows somebody who was affected, including Julie and me. And, the rain still didn’t stop. Water is running down all the streets, the ground is saturated to the point where crops cannot be planted, and the water in our tank is muddy-brown and not drinkable. Now we are pleading with God that the rain would stop before more devastation occurs. The following scenario is very strange it is difficult to accept: Pray to God for rain; pray for rain; pray for rain; pray for rain; pray for rain; finally get some rain; thank God for the rain; get more rain; get more rain; get more rain; flooding; flooding; flooding; pray to God to stop giving us rain. Are you getting the idea of why I’m asking myself if this place is cursed?

So, this place is NOT cursed. However, the people of Kenya DO live lives that are much more difficult than I can imagine. If it is frustrating for me to see and experience, I cannot begin to imagine how frustrating it must be for them. Despite tragedy, the faith of the believers here remains strong, though, and I am encouraged that the Christians here are leading the way by sharing and showing the love of Jesus. On the morning of the flood and mudslide in the valley, I was in a prayer meeting with some of my students at the college. We were praying for the victims of the mudslide in the valley when one of my students was overcome with grief and said: “I’ve prayed enough. I need to go down there and help those people. Why am I still up here when I can look down there and see that area covered in mud?” His comment left us all speechless. In a couple of days, these beloved students, these pastors and church leaders in training DID mobilize themselves into action. They got up early on their weekend day off, prepared food and clothing for flood victims, and hiked down into the valley to pray and help. I have provided a picture of a group of my students. They are gathered in a circle praying, kneeling in the mud, with downed trees and devastation all around them. Thank you, God, for this great group of people who love Jesus, love their fellow humans and neighbors, and want to show the love of Jesus to them. May they be an inspiration to all of us to do the same: love and trust You, love our neighbor, and share the love of Jesus with them in word and action.

Blessings to all,
Roger, Julie & Chloe

Roger Tate’s beloved students praying as they ministered to those affected by the mudslide in the valley.


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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