Praying in the Wilderness

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

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

What should you do when things are not going right? When you are struggling over a great many things? When you have a ministry in Kenya, but the ministry is not going where you want it to? When you are striving to make the gospel relevant in people’s lives, but no change is taking place? When you don’t know what to do next? Well, I don’t have the answers to these questions. But I do know one thing you can do – head out into the wilderness and pray. So, that’s exactly what a number of my missionary buddies and I did this past month.

Our closest wilderness is Mt. Elgon, so 6 of us piled into a couple of Land Rover’s and headed to the top. We were all needing time to reflect, to get out of civilization, to seek God, to find guidance and direction for our respective ministries, and to contemplate on where God is right now. A number of men in the Bible did this (to a much greater extent than we did), and I found it to be helpful. And so while I can’t speak of all the great things that are happening in Kenya, or the great progress that is being made in the ministry, or the great growth of the Chapel (things I wish I could write about), I can at least write that God is making progress in my own heart.

About a three-hour drive from Kitale, the peak of Mt. Elgon sits at approximately 14,000 feet. To get there you have to drive on roads and paths that don’t look much like roads and paths.  It is adventurous, and I am not the most adventurous person in the world. We had to dig, push, pull, chop through fallen trees, work together, think, strategize, and trust. But in the end, we got there even though we had to drive through the forest at night to get back to our cabin. In the morning, before heading back to civilization, I got up before the sunrise and took my coffee out into a small field near where we had slept. I spent time with God and prayed – mostly by watching the sunrise, listening to the birds sing, and watching the zebras, water bucks, and impalas graze (my life is rarely this adventurous or exciting, really). I returned with renewed strength and determination to seek and serve God, and to love and serve His people.

Things I am learning that God kind of reiterated to me while I was on the mountain and that I can try and help the people that are around me learn too:

  • Let God be God – Roger, don’t place your own expectations of what YOU THINK God should or shouldn’t do upon God. Don’t force God into your own image and get disappointed when He doesn’t do what you thought He should have.
  • Trust God, and when you don’t know how or when you don’t understand God, trust Him anyway – Roger, it is very presumptuous of you to think that you can understand God or to figure out all His ways. And when He doesn’t seem to make sense, trust Him anyway.
  • In quietness and rest shall be your strength (See Isaiah 30:15) – Roger, don’t always question, question, question but instead sometimes just be quiet. Don’t always run, run, run but sometimes just rest. Learn how to trust and rest in God in quietness and peace and joy.
  • When God feels distant in your heart and when the love of God feels cold in your soul, God will oftentimes shower you in His love through the love of other people – Roger, remember those many people in Kenya and in the United States that stand with you, pray for you, challenge you, support you, cry with you, encourage you, lift you up, teach you, and carry you to Jesus when you can’t walk (See Luke 5:17-20). Remember, that this is God loving you.

Is God doing nothing? It sometimes seems like it. But, really, He is just doing HIS thing in HIS own time.  Roger, can you rest in that?

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & Chloe


Roger & Julie Tate
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 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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A Study on Prayer with the Young Man in Rafiki

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 4, 2018

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone, and we are already in the month of August. This year seems to be passing so fast, and what a reminder to use wisely the opportunities that God gives us to serve Him. This update will share current ministry updates, as well as prayer requests.

One prayer request I (Nathan) have is for safety on the roads as I travel out to the village of Rafiki. I have been training a younger Kenyan man in his village area of Rafiki, which is on the outskirts of Kitale. How can you pray for safety while traveling?

The road is not dangerous, not at all. Just challenging to navigate at times. Many times the roads can be in a bad condition, especially after a hard rain. What happens is the road is mud, and when it rains, many different vehicles pass over the road, creating large potholes and ruts all over. The mud then dries, and the potholes and ruts remain. It is a challenge to drive in the early morning, but this is the time I need to leave for the young man I am training in the Word of God. I try to leave earlier in the mornings now, to allow more time to avoid the potholes along the road. Sometimes it rains hard in Rafiki and it has not rained much in Kitale, so there are challenges. I am thankful for the safety I have had so far, as I go very slow and carefully. There is a great view of Mount Elgon along the way to Rafiki. The mountain surrounds Kitale and to see it in the mornings with the clouds surrounding it is truly majestic. The peak stands at over 14,000 feet. God’s creation is amazing.

We have gone through many lessons together, and a recent one was on the subject of prayer. We saw in the lesson on prayer, our need to pray for several reasons: To praise God for Who He is, to pray for others, not just ourselves, and to not give up/faint when we pray. To trust God to give the answer in His timing and plan. Of course, there are many other reasons to pray, but this was a small part of the lesson we studied together. I like 1 Thessalonians 5:17, which says “Pray without ceasing.”

Please pray for us as we continue along. Please pray for him to depend on God and rely on Him.

I will keep you updated on the progress of this ministry, and the training that is continuing from the Word of God. How I need to pray faithfully and rely on God each step of the way. The work is His, and I commit it to Him. Psalm 37:5 says, “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” What a great promise.

We thank each of you for your prayers, interest, and sacrificial giving. Each of you are a blessing to us, and we thank God for you.

Until next month,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

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.

Read more