A Time of Transition


The Tate Family has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

July 27, 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I get the privilege of writing this update in much closer proximity to you than I normally do. As I write this, I am sitting at my daughter Emily’s dining room table in Detroit, Michigan. I am here for a short visit to bring Amy back to the States to commence her university career. Julie has had to stay back in Kenya with Josiah (who will be doing this same thing next year at this time) and Chloe.

So, yes, Amy has graduated from high school at Rift Valley Academy where she has attended and boarded for the last five years. This is a very traumatic time for all of us, especially Amy. It is traumatic for the rest of us because Amy will be leaving us for who knows how long. Her Mama has already hugged her neck and kissed her cheek for the last time in a long time and in a couple of weeks I will do the same before I board a plane to return to Kenya. This is harder than you might think for us. In fact, I think it might be the hardest part of being a missionary—leaving your kids in a place on their own 10,000 miles away. We don’t like it and we mourn and lament having to do it. But it is even more traumatic for Amy. She says goodbye to everything that is now familiar—Goodbye to RVA, goodbye to friends, goodbye to her (almost twin) brother, goodbye to her house, goodbye to Kenya, goodbye to her pets, goodbye to her mama and in a couple of weeks goodbye to her daddy. She returns to a country that is foreign to her. Amy has lived in Kenya since she was 7 years old. She knows Kenya. America, she doesn’t. When she starts school at Cedarville University in Ohio everything will be foreign and unfamiliar. Everything will be strange and uncomfortable. And everything she has left behind will be far, far away. In the last six years Amy has spent less than a month in the States. Please pray for all of us but especially Amy as she makes this transition. We know she is in God’s hands but it hurts us so much that first our precious Emily has left Kenya and now our precious Amy is also leaving. Lord, may you bless my dear children with your presence in their lives. Bless them with your love, your grace, your protection. Draw them close to you and close to your heart. Be the Father to them that I cannot be and may they always know that you are near.

Having left Kenya for a month I have, out of necessity, left the Upper Room Baptist Chapel on its own as well. This brings a bit of anxiety and trepidation into my heart as well. I don’t know what the state of the Chapel will be when I return. I’m sure every minister, pastor and missionary deals with this same anxiety when they are away. Will the ministry survive while I am away? Will there be anybody left at the chapel when I return? Will I be starting all over again? Will the dear people coming to the Chapel stick it out in my absence? Is the ministry there strong enough to endure my absence? These are all questions that obviously concern me.  I have worked hard to start the Chapel and the Chapel people are precious to me. I want to continue to watch them grow in Jesus Christ and I want them around when I return to Kenya. I have to entrust them to the Lord’s care, believing the Lord will care for them. But I also know that they are good and strong Christian people and I DO trust that they will be around when I get back. In my absence they will continue to meet together at the Chapel, to worship the Lord together and to study the Bible together. I trust that when I return, they will be an even stronger knit together group of Christian believers than when I left. Because, after all, it is not my ministry, but it belongs to Jesus. They are not “my people” but they belong to Jesus. It is not my work it is Jesus’. He cares for the work and the people even more than I do. Into his hands I commit them. They are in safe hands.

Until next month, beloved.

May God’s peace and joy be with you.
For the glory of God in Kenya,
Roger & Julie Tate (and Amy, Josiah & Chloe)

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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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News & Reports – May 2019 Issue [Online Edition]

The Online Edition of our May 2019 BFM News & Reports is available at the link below. This special edition features letters from our missionary wives in celebration of Mother’s Day!

Click here to read the BFM News & Reports – May 2019 edition!

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Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [March 2016]


The Tate Family has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is indigenous church planting.

February 27, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Greetings from beautiful Kitale, Kenya (even though the grass has turned brown and dust covers everything). We praise God for the blessings of His mercy, grace, forgiveness and love.

All of our older children are now out of the house for most of the year. Emily is living in Michigan, Amy is in her second year of boarding school at Rift Valley Academy and Josiah has begun his first term there too. He was not able to get in for the first term (which began in September 2015) because there was no space in the dorms and we thought he would not be attending until next year. So we started Josiah on online school and we were all satisfied with that option but when one of the RVA 8th grade boys could not return for the rest of the year, it opened up a spot for Josiah and, well, off he went. If it were not for Chloe then Julie and I would be empty-nesters for nine months out of the year.

This has been a different, yet good, month of ministry for me here in Kitale. I was asked to teach a class in Old Testament History at a local Bible college. I wasn’t too excited about teaching the class at first but became much more excited about it as I prepared to teach it. The format of each class at this college is a week-long, intensive “crash course” on the subject. Instruction goes from 8am-4pm each day.  Whew, I’m just not used to talking that much each day. I had to drink hot tea throughout the day to keep my voice working.

I spent a great deal of time preparing for teaching OT History – From Joshua through Esther. That’s about 1000 years of history and about 450 pages of text in my Bible. It was a challenging task and I finished the course just yesterday. I had 16 bright and exuberant Kenyan students who were all eager to learn about this subject. Some of them are already pastors and some want to be pastors when they graduate from the school. They came from all over Kenya. We had a lot of fun learning about OT history. I find this teaching very satisfying as I get an opportunity to shape and mold some of the leaders of the Kenyan churches. I was pleased to try and show them who God was through these OT history books and to give them a greater appreciation for God’s Word and how it can shape each of us.  And, as some have said many times, there is no better way to learn a subject than to have to teach it. So, I learned a lot through the teaching of this class too.  Bear with me as I share what was reinforced to ME by teaching these books:

  1. God is sovereign over history
  2. God is faithful to his people in spite of their sin and failure
  3. God has an overall plan of redemption that cannot and will not be thwarted
  4. History is moving ever forward to bring us to the coming of the Son of God
  5. God will put His King on the throne and redeem His people
  6. God works in His people’s lives and works through them to bring about His plans
  7. God loves His people and desires their good
  8. God is worthy of worship and adoration

I trust you see and believe all these things as well. God truly is good to His 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 & Chloe)

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Click here to donate to BFM.

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