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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Update on Tates’ Car Situation in Kenya

For those of you who haven’t been aware or following the saga of the travails Roger and Julie have been experiencing with their bogus vehicle registration [from way back before they bought it from the previous missionary-owners], here is the latest update. Barring an extraordinary intervention by God, this appears to be the final status.

They have played by the rules and done everything they were required to do with integrity. But, obviously, others before them did not.

“But there is a God in Heaven…” [Daniel 2.28], and He can change all times and seasons. All the inhabitants of the earth and the events they transact are in His control. Please help us pray to Him to intervene on their behalf according to His sovereign will. This same God Who is ruling from Heaven is also the One Who commands us to call Him “Our Father in Heaven…”, and He knows all things, cares about all things, and can do all things. He knows what we [and they] need before we ask Him.

We will be spreading the word to everyone we can to help meet this need.

The situation as reviewed by Julie…

Tuesday, 7 August 2012
Good News, Bad News Concerning the Car
[Read Original Post on Julie’s Blog]

Well, Roger’s been in Eldoret all morning working with the KRA (Kenya Revenue Authority).

Good news first. Roger won’t be arrested. That was our first priority after all.

The rest is looking like bad news. The vehicle is almost definitely illegal. Bummer. That means, that the person who okay’d its import into the country was a crook and probably pocketed the duty money. Bottom line is that the vehicle is supposed to be impounded and actually destroyed, so we’re out a very large sum of money.

It seems a law was passed in 2003 that vehicle older than 8 years old were not allowed to be imported into the country. Ours was imported in 2007 and it is a 1991 vehicle. Roger was told that often times, because Kenya is a coastal country, cars come into the country “in transit” to other countries like Uganda, which have no such laws. Then criminals get them and sell them. The first lady Roger talked to at the KRA took one look at our log book and said, “Yup, that’s a fake.” She knew because they stopped issuing that kind of log book in 2006 and the date on our log book is 2007.

At this point, I would ask you to please start praying for a vehicle for us. And start praying for the money to buy a vehicle. They are very, very expensive here because of import and duty taxes (which are 50 – 60% of the value of the vehicle). And even when you buy a vehicle that has already been imported, that duty is rolled over into the price you pay. Single people can get by without a vehicle here, but once you have a spouse and/or children, it gets a lot more difficult – especially with Emily at boarding school 6 hours away. Public transportation isn’t always a possibility, and there are times we have to be in Nairobi – if we use public transportation while in Nairobi, it costs us a fortune. Also, here, to get a taxi, you often have to wait a very long time because they will tell you they are on their way, when they are 45 minutes away.

In fact, we are supposed to take Emily back to school in just 3 weeks and we are supposed to stay in Nairobi and get some medical things taken care of as well as passport things with the Embassy. I don’t know if that will be able to happen now.

Well, that’s the news for now. I know God is still in control. He has a purpose; I don’t’ know what it is yet, but we have to trust Him. It doesn’t mean the circumstances don’t stink though. I’m reminded of a verse in the Bible, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18 I am also reminded of this one, “…but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

Please pray for our attitudes. Roger is discouraged that we’re out so much money (on top of that, he had to deal with dishonest public transportation people on the way home. If you want that story, see the PS down below). It’s not like we have money lying around to buy another 4-wheel drive vehicle. All the money we put into that vehicle is just…gone. POOF. And I’m a little angry at the moment on a couple of different fronts, one being the corruption that allowed this to happen.

Pray that we continue to entrust ourselves to God, who judges rightly. He knows that we are victims in this whole situation. He sees. He will supply our need – maybe not by our definition of need, but by His, and His is the correct one.

If anything changes, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, thanks for all your prayers!!!!

In Christ – Held by His Grip (so glad its not dependent on my grip!)

P.S. So, Roger just got home and told me a heart-warming story of corruption on a much lower level. Roger used public transportation to get to Eldoret and back today. It costs 200/= (that’s 200 Kenyan shillings). On the way back, he sat down on the shuttle and when the lady came by to give him his riding ticket, it was a fake ticket that said 300/= on it. Roger gave it back to her and told her she was a thief for trying to steal from the white people (that’s what they call us, by the way). He told her that he’d ridden this shuttle 5 times in the last 3 weeks and he knew exactly how much it should cost. She denied trying to steal from him and blamed it on another guy who had written the ticket. She went away and then returned with the proper, official ticket with the correct price on it. She even told him it was an official ticket. So, Roger pointed out to her that she knew the other ticket was fake, and so that made her a thief as well. He asked her if she was a Christian, to which she answered, “yes.” He then asked her if she knew what the Bible says about stealing. At that point she started pretending to not understand his English, and another Kenyan man standing there said, “I don’t think she understands you.” So, Roger said, “Oh, you don’t understand my English, well then, I’ll speak in Kiswahili,” which he proceeded to do much to her surprise. She turned and walked away at that point. So, this is just a taste of what we live with day in and day out, and it is why we really need your prayers – prayers for love and patience in our hearts.

[If the Lord is leading you to give to help this need, you can click here to donate online via check or credit card now.]

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Missionary Update: John & Alta Hatcher in Brazil [July 2012]

Missionaries John and Alta Hatcher have served the Lord in Brazil since 1955, planting over 70 churches that are still in existence.

July 1, 2012

Dear Brethren and Fellow Helpers,

Praise the Lord; He has given us a wonderful month. Proverbs 17:6 speaks of the children’s children being a blessing for the old. This month our twenty-second great grandchild was born in Manaus. His name is Noah. His parents are Leigh Ann and Michael Samples. Leigh Ann is Paul and Wanda Hatcher’s daughter and Michael works with Paul in the School and Seminary. There were some complications in the birth but Mother and Baby are doing well after being born by C-Section.

Another good news is about the two younger daughters of Amanda and Philip Hatcher who live in France. The two older girls were saved and baptized last month. This month the two younger girls told their Mother and Dad they had trusted Jesus as Savior. We are thankful.

DRIVER’S LICENSE—In my last letter I mentioned the difficulty in getting my Brazilian Driver’s License. I received it after almost three months; it is good for two years.

ASSAI—Alta and I still make the trip to Assai every Sunday morning and we rejoice that we are still able to go. Please pray for this city of 20,000 people. Three different families whose children started coming have taken them out to take them to another church; they never attended any place before the children started coming to our Sunday School. Alta plans and has a great lesson for the children each week. Pray that the Lord will change the hearts of those parents.

URAI—The work is going well in Urai and the missions in Sussumo and Rancho Alegre. There are five or six young people who attend the Seminary and they are very active in the Lord’s work.

Great news from Manaus. The work where Paul pastors is going great and the Chapada Baptist Church where David and Pennie work is being greatly blessed. This month there were 360 people who trusted the Lord. All of these are followed up with special classes for new converts. Last Sunday there were over 3,000 in Sunday School. They have two services each Sunday night and they will soon have to go to two Sunday School hours in the morning.

The OLDIES—We praise the Lord we are still able to do and go. For our joy and contentment Alta and I still play for half an hour four or five times a week. She plays the organ and I play my Sax.

We thank you for your prayers and support.

Sincerely, in the Name above every name,

John and Alta Hatcher

Caixa Postal 112
Urai, PR, Brazil 86280-000

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