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

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Missionary Update: The Radfords in Kenya [November 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.

November 5, 2014

Dear praying friends,

We hope this update finds each of you doing well. It is hard to believe that the holiday season is already upon us, as I am thinking specifically of Thanksgiving for this month. May we be thankful for all the Lord does for us, provides for us, and how He is with us always as we serve Him. What a mighty God we serve! As someone has said, “Count your blessings, not your problems.”

It is always difficult to be away from those we love during the holidays, so we would greatly appreciate your prayers for us at this time. Missing friends, family, those we love, and our culture is especially hard at this time. Homesickness is something that many missionaries struggle with, not just ourselves, so please remember all who serve overseas. God’s grace and strength are very helpful, and how we need to rely upon Him not just during the holidays, but throughout the year. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Verses such as this are such a help and encouragement.

The Annex prison ministry is continuing along well. There is a group of men who seem to be serious in their study of the Word of God and desire to grow spiritually. This past week, I taught on our enemy, Satan, and how we can rely on the Lord in our spiritual battles. The men seemed to enjoy the teachings and verses such as 1 John 4:4, which states “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” There are many more studies to pass through, so please continue to pray for the men as they learn more from the Word of God.

Church planting is continuing along well, for which I thank the Lord. My friend Roger Tate and I are continuing along with the foundational teachings that those we train should know, understand, and practice. The churches need to be independent, self-supporting, and self-reliant, trusting in the Lord to provide for them. The leaders need to know and practice the teachings of the Word, such as Philippians 4:19, which states “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” God will supply their needs, and they need to look to Him and trust in Him for all things. It has been exciting to train qualified men and watch their growth as they grasp these truths. They are many more teachings to give to the men, so please pray for us as we continue to teach and train.

May each of you have a great Thanksgiving holiday ahead. Enjoy the time with your friends, family, and those you love. One quote I read that really challenged me was “Never take those you love for granted.” May we always make the time for others and enjoy our time together. God bless you and we will keep you updated.

Serving in Kenya,

Nathan and Carrie Radford

P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa, 30200

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Missionary Update: The Radfords in Kenya [October 2013]

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.

October 2, 2013

Dear praying friends,

We are now near the end of our term here in Kitale, and the past two years have passed by so fast. When we come to the mission field after furlough, we think that two years is a long time to be away from friends, culture, family, etc. And, to be honest, it is a long time. But it never ceases to amaze me at the end of a term that I think about how quickly the time passed. I am sure that many of you at home can relate to this as well. Our days on this earth are few and fly by. It reminds me of the verse in Psalm 90:12, which says “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” May we use our time wisely in service to our Lord.

Please pray for us, as there is much to be done. Coming home to America seems like an easy process, but in reality, it is not. We have many things to be done, schedules to be arranged, schooling for children to be arranged, leaving ministries behind, etc. It can be very overwhelming, and we take one thing at a time. Soon I will need to be thinking about scheduling churches for furlough and our furlough schedule. One thing I forgot to ask prayer for is for our girls, McKenna and Camille. In all the rush and busyness that furlough brings, it is easy to overlook them and their needs. This will be a big adjustment for them also, as they are used to life here in Kitale. Please pray for my wife also, as she is now trying to arrange homeschooling around all the traveling and visits. We thank the Lord for the strength He provides each day. I begin to get overwhelmed when I look at it all at once. I am sure this is the same for my wife as well. Like the old saying goes, “His strength is perfect when our strength is gone.” How true this is, and we need to rely on Him.

We are still continuing to pray about our needs for furlough, mainly for housing in WV while we are in America. We would need the housing around mid December 2013. Any assistance in the area of housing would be greatly appreciated, even if you know of people we could talk to. Our contact is naterad[at]yahoo.com. We would appreciate your prayers for us, as we wait on Him. We seek the Lord for these things. 1 Chronicles 16:11 says “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.” What a challenge for all of us, to seek the Lord throughout our lives.

By now, I am sure you have heard of the terrorist attack at Westgate Mall in Nairobi. This has been very hard to watch on the news. We have been to this mall a few times. Apparently the terrorists had been planning the attacks for a year, and possibly had a shop in the mall while they were in the planning stages. Please pray for all the families affected by this, and for those who did these acts to be brought to justice. It truly is sad what is the mind and hearts of people, and even when we do not understand, we need to continue to trust the Lord. I feel so badly for all those affected by this and would ask you to remember those affected in your prayers.

Please keep us in your prayers over the next weeks, and for us later this year, as we make changes and adjustments back to life in America for a few months. God bless each of you and thanks again so much for your interest and sacrifice to missions across the world in Kitale, Kenya.

Until Next Month,
Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

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Missionary Update: The Radfords in Kenya [September 2013]

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.

September 4, 2013

Dear praying friends,

Well, it is now near the end of the term here in Kitale, so I thought I would use this prayer letter to give you an idea of how it went this past term, give current ministry progress, and inform you of how to be praying for us in future ministry endeavors. We appreciate each of you so much, and you are such a blessing to us.

One verse that has been a comfort to me this past term concerns seeking the Lord. There are so many things that come in our daily lives for which we need to seek the Lord. One thing I know for sure is that life is challenging, and we need His help and strength for each day. Psalm 105:4 says “Seek the LORD, and His strength: seek His face evermore.” How true this is, and how we need to seek the Lord each day.

The Annex prison ministry is continuing along well. We have been progressing well through the book of Matthew, after learning Inductive Bible study methods. The men seem to be enjoying the studies very much, and there is definite leadership material among these men. Please pray for this ministry as we are away, that it will continue along well.

In regards to church planting, based off of how this past term progressed, I feel I can say definitively that the method we will use in the future is to train nationals to go and start churches. At the beginning of the term, my partner Roger Tate and I said we would try two different ways of church planting here. What were the results?

The church plant in Shangalamwe was very similar to Rafiki last term. The Lord blessed, and there is a church there that we hope and pray will continue along well. However, there were differences between the two methods we tried. When we trained a national to go, things went so much better and progressed much more effectively. So, please pray for us next term, that the Lord would lead us to Godly men who love Him and want to go start churches in their villages. Certainly this method does not mean that there will be no problems, but I believe strongly that training nationals is the way we should proceed in the future here. This could change, but for now, I believe this is the way to proceed based off the results. In all of this, we need to ask the Lord for wisdom. Psalm 111:10a says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” How we need to rely on Him daily for wisdom. We ask for your prayers in regards to what we have shared and the guidance and wisdom of the Lord.

Furlough is quickly approaching, and we are looking forward to seeing many of you who pray for us, have visited us, and give sacrificially to the work here. We thank the Lord for each of you. May God bless you.

Until Next Month,
Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

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Missionary Update: Nathan & Carrie Radford in Kenya [June 2013]

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.

Dear praying friends,

Lord willing, by the time you receive this prayer letter, it will be the middle of the year 2013. Where has the time gone? Our lives are just a breath when compared to eternity. May we be ever committed to making our lives count for the Lord, sharing the Gospel message with the lost, and seeking to please Him in our actions and behavior. God is so faithful, and we thank the Lord for His many blessings.

Concerning ministry, it has been a definite challenge with church planting here. One of the main reasons is the dependency within the culture. Please pray that the Lord would lead us to the right people, and even for wisdom in the different models. My good friend Roger Tate and I have been thinking of and praying over the best way to do church planting in this culture. We have tried it both ways: with us going to the village and starting the church within the culture and village, and also training a national to go and start churches without us ourselves going. Both ways have advantages and disadvantages, and we would appreciate your prayers for wisdom. We praise the Lord for the church that has been planted in the village of Shangalamwe, as well as the churches that have been started through the national we have been training. Even in this endeavor, God will give wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 says “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

The hospital ministry is also continuing along well. My wife has been involved with this ministry for several years now, and God has been faithful to keep the door open there. She enjoys going to meet the mothers and seeing the babies that are in the ward. There are many babies there that need care and attention, and my wife helps as she is able. Please pray for her also, that the Lord would give her wisdom also. God cares for these people, and there are many challenging Scriptures. One is Psalm 72:12-13, which says “For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.” Please keep this ministry in your prayers.

There are many prayer requests. Once is for us personally, as the end of a term is always difficult. The reasons for this are many, including cultural fatigue/burnout, homesickness, and loneliness. There is definitely a spiritual battle going on, and we appreciate your prayers for us as we finish up this term. We know God is able, and will help and assist us in all our needed areas.

Another prayer request is for safety. We have done all we can in regards to security, and first and foremost we trust the Lord to watch over us. Kitale has had some security issues in various areas of the town lately. We do our best to stay aware and be as safe as we can be. We know the Lord protects us as we serve Him here, and would appreciate your prayers not only for us, but others who live and work here. Psalm 121:1-2 says “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” Our help comes from the Lord, and we know He is faithful to protect us as we serve here in East Africa.

Some other major prayer requests are for our upcoming furlough. Just to explain, furlough is very expensive. Why? We have many expenses here in Kenya that we still have to pay, even when we come to America. It actually can be overwhelming, when there is so much to pay during our absence while we are home. A huge help for us would be twofold at this time.

First, we are in need of reliable transportation during furlough. A minivan would be very helpful, for the needs of our family and for transporting what is needed. I could go pretty much anywhere to pick it up if anyone would be interested in donating or selling cheaply for our needs. Another need is housing. We would prefer housing to be in the Charleston/Huntington area of West Virginia, if possible. This would also be a huge help to us right now. We plan to be home in America later in the year, but wanted to announce a few months early, so there would be awareness. If anyone is interested in either of these needs, please email us at: naterad@yahoo.com As always, we trust the Lord for all our needs. We know He is faithful and we depend on Him. Thanks for allowing us to share our current needs.

Please keep us in your prayers as we seek to finish this term well and be faithful to the Lord. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 says “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” What tremendous verses, and a challenge to us today as we serve the Lord, wherever He calls us. Thanks to each of you for your interest in missions.

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

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Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [April 2013]

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,

Life is hard. There are tears. There is pain.

I wasn’t planning on writing like this, this month. It seemed depressing (although I don’t intend it to be depressing). However, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like God was confirming in my mind to write these things this month. Life is hard.

There is pain.

As I write this I am experiencing pain myself. Yesterday a car pulled out in front of me while I was riding home on my motorcycle. I hit the car and ended up rolling on the pavement. Now my neck hurts, my shoulder hurts, my back hurts, my knee hurts and my shin hurts. I have no major damage, just some aches and pains. The Kenyan people live with pain too. Malaria, typhoid, other debilitating diseases. Some even live with the pain of hunger or thirst. Others live with pain because they have no means with which to see a doctor.

There is grief and loss.

Who among us hasn’t lost a dear friend or loved one to our great enemy – Death? How long does that grief last? Often, a long time. Death is so prevalent in Kenya. The infant mortality rate is so much higher here. Young children die because of infectious diseases or lack of medical care. Parents leave children orphans because they both perish from AIDS. This month, a lady that lives next door to us nearly died because her husband wouldn’t spend the 2000 shillings (about $23) to take her to see the doctor. I gave him the money and she still lives today, but I seriously think he would have let her die. Funerals here bring me back to a stark reality too. It’s not sanitized like in the States. While you stand there the coffin is dropped into the ground and men refill the hole with dirt until it is all once again recovered and the mound stomped on to pack the dirt down.

There is betrayal.

I wish it wasn’t the case but there is much betrayal in Kenya. You can work with a person for years and then when he realizes he is not going to get from you what he wants, he turns on you and says all kinds of slander and lies about you. Yes, we are currently experiencing this as well. The closer the betrayer is to you, the more it hurts.

There is famine, drought, substance abuse, homeless children, murderous rioters, political scandals, and much more.

What can we say to all these things? Yes, life is hard everywhere, not just here, but also where you live. Does it not make us long for when Jesus returns? Does it not make us long for his presence? Revelation 21:3-4 says, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Today I am mindful that Jesus is returning and that day may be soon. I am looking forward to the day when “Death is swallowed up in victory.” I will pray for the coming of that day. Until then I will work for the salvation of American and Kenyan people.

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)
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta[at]gmail.com
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Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [February 2013]

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,

Hello, Beloved, and greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior. A friend of
mine often ends her Facebook posts with the acronym GIGATT. It means “God is good, all the time.” For years at my home church in Bellbrook, Ohio, my pastor would say from the pulpit, “God is good” and the congregation would spontaneously respond, “All the time.” And one of our beloved deacons would even add “Rain or shine.” You know, this statement is true even though sometimes you and I don’t always realize it or recognize it. God is good to His people in America. And he is good to His missionaries in Kenya. This paragraph is an aside and a freebie. No extra charge.

Now, unfortunately, because of extenuating circumstances, I don’t really have anything very interesting to report this month (Hopefully that last statement didn’t cause you to stop reading this update right here). Why is that, do you ask? Well, it’s because I have spent most of the last month in Nairobi, 350 kilometers away from home and ministry [Editor’s Note: about 218 miles]. In fact, even as I write this I am again at a guest house in Nairobi. The first reason I’ve spent so much time in Nairobi is, strangely enough, because of my dog. Back in December I ran over his leg and broke it clean through up near his hip. Since there were no vets in Kitale or even in Eldoret who could take care of such a major break, I had to take him to Nairobi to be fixed up. Since that initial trip to the vet I think I have come to Nairobi five more times just for the dog. Each trip takes at least 2-3 days.

The other thing that happened was that Julie was ill. We came to Nairobi for a few days so that she could see a good doctor and get some real tests done. We ended up staying for 14 days. While here in Nairobi we went from one doctor to the next, from one hospital to the next and from one test to the next. I think we were about to give up hope of finding the problem until one doctor actually discovered something. Julie was finally able to get some care. She had an outpatient surgical procedure at the Aga Khan hospital here in Nairobi and a few days later we were finally cleared to go back home. She is feeling some better now and hopefully will continue to feel better for a long time.

Now, let me look forward a few weeks. By the time you get my next newsletter update Kenya will have held it’s presidential and local elections. After the last elections Kenya was a blood bath and thousands of people were killed in rioting and tribal conflicts. We pray that the situation will be different this time, however, no one really knows what will happen. To prepare for these elections we have been stocking up on some necessary items: I bought 60 extra liters of diesel for the car, bought two extra bottles of cooking propane for the stove, stocked up on rice, beans, pasta, flour, etc, got some extra malaria medicine and have basically prepared for what the US embassy calls a “zombie apocalypse”. We will stay in Kitale through the elections and try and ride out any storm and violence that may arise. Please be in prayer for God’s protection in our lives, in the lives of other missionaries here in Kenya and for the Kenyan people and their country.

So, if you didn’t stop reading after my earlier statement above, I congratulate you by
saying that I do have some interesting thoughts and perspectives on my current and
future ministry direction here in Kenya that I would like to share. I haven’t formulated
them all or worked them all out in my head yet, however. My aim is to start sharing
them with you next month.

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)
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

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Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [December 2012]

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,

This month I want to do something a little different and instead of talking directly
about the ministry I want to address something that will effect the lives of every Kenyan –The upcoming Kenyan presidential elections (and so, in a very real way, I WILL be addressing ministry because this event will not only effect the lives of every Kenyan, but our lives also and the ministry that we do here). I know that we just finished a presidential election in the States. And whether you like the results or not, I’ll bet none of you reading this worried, even for one moment, about losing your life because of the election process. Well, that isn’t the case here in Kenya. The last presidential election in Kenya in 2007 resulted in mass rioting, ethnic cleansing, tribal warfare, murders, looting, and crop burning. People were targeted, profiled and killed simply for being in the wrong tribe. Others ran to churches for refuge only to lose their lives when those churches were intentionally set on fire and burned to the ground. Thousands of people lost their lives, many of whom lived in Eldoret, a city not 50 miles from where we live in Kitale. This went on for months before things finally got settled down and the rioting and killings stopped.

Why am I mentioning this? Because we have another presidential election coming up
in March, 2013 and there is already tension in the air. Nobody is certain how things will
go and so we are beseeching your prayers.

Most of you probably don’t know this but I am the warden for the United States embassy here in the Kitale region. That means that I work with the embassy to distribute information and help the American expatriates in the Kitale region try and stay safe in Kenya. So, to help me in this position I attended a meeting at the US embassy to hear what they were saying concerning the upcoming elections. They related a number of problematic scenarios that could occur over the next couple of months that I would like to relate to you so you can be praying for us, for our ministry, and for the people of Kenya.

First, a change in the registration process here in Kenya is cause for concern. The new constitution made it available for Kenyans to register and vote within whatever district they wanted. That means that if a presidential candidate thinks he has a certain district locked up, he can send followers from that district to another district that he doesn’t have locked up. The bottom line is that people from other districts, who have no links or connections to Kitale whatsoever, could be bused to Kitale to register and vote. Having people in Kitale with no links or care of this place could bring unwanted abuses.

Second, the high court of Kenya is supposed to vote soon on whether two presidential candidates can even run for president. The problem with these two guys is that they were indicted by the ICC at the Hague for stirring up the people to riot and murder after the last presidential election. These guys are guilty of mass murder and yet are trying to run for president. Depending on the high courts decision, this could cause further rioting and problems.

Last, the elections take place in the first week of March. But since there are many candidates running and since they need 50% of the popular vote to win the election, there is a potential for a run-off or even several run-offs before one candidate gets elected. This means the election process could drag on for months with lots of uncertainty and tension. The embassy’s advice has been “prepare for the worst and hope for the best.” Hopefully the Kenyan people have learned from the last time that they don’t want a repeat performance of the rioting and murders of 2007. But when I ask Kenyans what they think will happen this time around, only about half of them feel comfortable and think things will go smoothly. I tell you all this because, again, I desire your prayers for our family and this country. May God receive glory in Kenya even throughout this entire process.

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)
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta[at]gmail.com
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