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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Opportunities Arise as You Walk with Jesus

Missionaries John Mark and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

Missionaries John Mark and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

September 3, 2019

Dear Co-Laborers in Christ,

I am sitting in the glider on David and Dulce’s porch listening to the cicadas. God’s wonderful creation even in its suffering state is absolutely amazing. Judy and I had the enjoyment of time with our grandchildren while David and Dulce celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. We were able to come to Chicago to spend time with our children and grandchildren because Peggy, Judy’s sister is doing much better. Thank each of you for your prayers on her behalf.

In Evansville, Indiana, this past month we also spent time with Philip, Amanda and our granddaughters from France. Our oldest grandchild, Abigail, began her first year studying to be a Physical Therapist. We will certainly miss her as a missionary in France, but God continues to guide her as He does each of us giving her the privilege of being His light at the University of Evansville. Philip and the rest of his family are now back in France.

David & Dulce with their family

John & Judy with some of their grandchildren in Chicago

Sometimes an opportunity to share the light of Jesus comes when we least expect it. The following incident that took place this Spring near our home in Tournefeuille is an example. Judy and I were on our daily trek when we came alongside a young lady who was walking her dog of a rare breed. We commented on the beauty of her dog and ask her about its breed. She mentioned that she had seen us out trekking before. This led to a conversation about where we were from and her volunteering that she had been to New York and was impressed by the multi course meal that she ate there. I was impressed, considering the fact that meals in France usually have many more courses than American meals.

Her features led me to ask if she was of Italian descent. You know, New York, big meals… She then said that she was Jewish and was in New York visiting distant relatives at the time of a religious holiday. This led to discussion of Judaism. She told us that her family was non-practicing but that her mother named her Elliana because God answered her prayer to have a child. This led to a brief discussion of the beauty of her name and the God who loves. It also stirred my heart to prayed repeatedly about our next contact with this young lady and that she would come to trust Christ.

While in the US, Judy and I trek in parks. As we cross people or walk along beside them great opportunities arise. We have had the opportunity to witness, to fellowship with believers, hear the testimonies of others. God is always at work.

So, let us all walk with Jesus this month… and the next … and the next.

Your fellows on this journey,
John and Judy

John Mark & Judy Hatcher
JMHatcher[at]aol.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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