Coronavirus Update from Kenya

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 5, 2020

Dear praying friends,

It is hard to believe we are already in the month of August for 2020. Where has the time gone? Normally there would be so many summer activities, yet with coronavirus, so many things have been postponed or cancelled completely. I don’t think any of us have seen such an unstable time in years, if even in our lifetimes. God has been faithful through all the challenges and changes. This update will share current prayer requests as well as an update on the coronavirus in Kenya.

I (Nathan) need to give a little background on the decisions made on the coronavirus in the past few weeks. Last month, after a lockdown period of three months, the President of Kenya made the decision to reopen the country for a three week period, with the idea of assessment at the end of July to see what needed to be done, if anything. This was a welcome change, as we have been on lockdown since the month of March. So many things were different, with everyone wearing masks in town, having to sanitize all the time, getting your temperature taken, having limitations of passengers while traveling, etc. Nairobi, the capital city, was also on lockdown, and flights, both domestic and international, were cancelled. It was quite a challenging time, to say the least.

After the government decided to reopen the country, with fewer restrictions, the cases have increased dramatically. Some days there are nearly 700 cases just in a single day, and the total tally of cases as of the date of this letter is over 23,000 countrywide. Most of the cases are in Nairobi, as there are slum areas where people live so close together and it is difficult to social distance. Kitale has been spared the brunt of the cases, with just a few reported. We are so thankful for this, but we take nothing for granted, and are taking all necessary precautions, with keeping the family out of town as much as possible and away from crowded areas. We know you all are taking the same precautions in America.

The concern is that the cases will overwhelm the healthcare system and there will not be enough beds in the hospital wards to take care of the sick. This is a valid concern, especially in a third-world country with lower healthcare options in the best of times. Please pray for the doctors and the nurses as they are dealing with this new virus, and for the sick that need medical care.

Given all the current circumstances with the virus, we feel led to begin closing down for this term and begin planning for our upcoming furlough. We will have been here three years next month, so we feel our time has come. Please pray for us as we are in the process of closing down, as there is so much to do. Any missionary who is closing down for a term understands how overwhelming it can be and the need to make a large “to do” list to check things off. We are trusting God to keep us safe and in His care as we are in the process of closing down.

I will share more next month about some of the things the Lord taught us this term, and for the ministry progress that was made. I have been pleased and feel God has definitely led us this past three years. In regards to the global pandemic, may we take comfort in some verses from the Scriptures. I think of Psalm 57:1b, which says “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in Thee: yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” Also Psalm 119:114, which says “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in Thy word.” May we trust God always, not just in times of a global pandemic. We will find that He is faithful each step of the way.

We appreciate each of you so much and will keep you updated.

Blessings,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

Contact Info:
Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200
naterad@yahoo.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.


Read more

Wrapping Things Up in Kenya for Furlough

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.

July 1, 2016

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone and there is much to update. As I write this, I (Nathan) am in the process of closing down and coming home for furlough. As I wrote earlier, our furlough has been moved up a few months early given some unrest in Kitale. I will update more about this in the current prayer letter.

Shutting down to come for furlough is a huge process. I did not realize how big of a process until recently. My family returned to America early, as there was unrest on our compound. There was nothing we could do about it, and our mission leaders were all in agreement that they should come early to be out of any potential danger. Closing down has been a big process to go through. It seems like once I get one thing done, ten other things come up. It has taken me over four weeks, and I am still not finished. I have yet to work on government items in Nairobi before I leave. Things such as paying insurances while away, paying food for all the animals, repairs, storing things, and the list goes on and on. I have a newfound appreciation for each missionary who closes down, as it is a huge job.

Thanks to each one who has written to let us know that you are praying for us in regards to our safety. Kitale is usually a very safe, quiet town. What has been going on for the past two to three months is very unusual. Our compound where we stay has been targeted repeatedly. The thugs have not managed to get in, but they have tried several times. They have broken boards on the back fence, cut down part of the hedge in the front, stepped on wire, etc. Our day guard has done a great job of making the compound more secure, by putting several layers of barb wire, extra security lights, mabati (a form of iron sheeting that covers the fence in exposed areas), and so much more.

We have recently planted a thornbush that is called “ngoja ngoja.” This is Swahili for “wait, wait.” The thieves detest this thornbush, as when they try to break in, it not only cuts them with the thorns, but also holds/grabs them so they cannot escape. I was told by a wise person to plant this all over the compound, as this would be a huge deterrent to the thieves. We have now planted the seeds all over and some of them have started to come up. Please pray with us that it would rain hard in the next weeks, so they bushes will grow quickly. I understand they will grow over six feet high, covering the whole hedge so no one can be looking in from the road. It is a very thick bush that is very difficult to cut through. My neighbor has planted it, with good results. This is exactly what we want. The police are patrolling at night but have not been successful as of late to catch these groups of thieves. People are coming in early and staying on their compounds until morning. I personally try my best not to be out past 7 pm. God is in control of all these matters and we trust Him to take care of it and to watch over those who serve Him. It has been difficult as of late, but He uses even the trials to our benefit. I like Psalm 27:1, which says “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Please pray for our family and our upcoming needs for furlough. One of our big needs right now is transportation. If anyone has or knows of a minivan for sale at a reasonable price, we would be interested. You can contact me (Nathan) at naterad@yahoo.com. We trust the Lord for all our needs.

Lord willing, next month will be an update from America. I am looking forward to rejoining my family soon. Please pray for me as I seek to finish with all I have to do and get to America for furlough. I am hopeful and confident that these security issues will subside while we are away. A good friend of mine who lives in Kitale called a big security meeting with the leaders of Kitale, informing them of what has been going on, as well as planning how to make Kitale safer in the future. This is much appreciated. Please pray for the Kitale police, the security companies, and all involved in the safety/security in Kitale. We will be keeping all these security issues in prayer while we are away. We are definitely planning to go back to Kenya to serve God next year after our furlough time is over, but looking forward to getting a much needed break, and spending time with family, friends, and supporters.

God bless you all and thanks to each of you for your prayers, sacrificial giving, and interest in what God is doing in Kitale, Kenya. You each are a big blessing and encouragement to us.

Until next month,
Nathan & Carrie Radford

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

Click here to donate to BFM.


Read more

Missionary Update: Jud & Raquel Hatcher in Brazil [July 2015]

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve the Lord in Manaus, Brazil. They are part of the "SeedFactory" church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve the Lord in Manaus, Brazil. They are part of the “SeedFactory” church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

July 9, 2015

Excitement is in the air! Our family is catching a flight to the States tonight. The kids are enthusiastic with the idea of living and studying in America. Personally, with all the packing, ministry responsibilities, farewells, meetings and cleaning (yes, in that random order) I am exhausted. I must admit though, I love every moment. Would not trade it for anything. Being in the center of the Lord’s will is delightful. Pardon my brevity, as I must return to wrapping things up before traveling.

THE CHURCH
The church’s leadership is fully transitioned – pastoral leadership, administrational and legal. The Lord has blessed the church with an incredible group of people. There is solid adult leadership and strategic outreach strategies in place to continue growing among all generations – children, youth, young adults and married couples. Last Sunday, July 5th, was our last worship service as their pastor. Man, did I enjoy preaching. We cried, laughed, sang, prayed, ate, fellowshipped and took “selfies”. It was a love overflow moment.Ativa

PASTORS’ NETWORK
On Tuesday, July 7th, we had our last “Pastor’s Network Gathering” under my leadership. Let me tell you, it was a blast! The network’s leadership was transitioned to a solid local church pastor – a dedicated man and dear friend of mine. Again, I cried, laughed, sang, prayed, ate, fellowshipped and took “selfies” with pastors and their wives. It too, was a love overflow moment. I sure do enjoy preaching. Pastors Network Fellowship

PRAYER REQUESTS
Please, pray for us as we:
1) Travel and settle into our new home for the next year.
2) Purchase a car to use while in the States.
3) Get the kids’ immunizations and school enrollment.
4) Prepare our children to reenter into American culture and social readjustments.
5) Immerse our children into the English language – to acquire good listening, reading & writing skills.

I am so thankful for the pastors who have contacted me via email with words of encouragement. I look forward to connecting with you.

Grateful always,
Judson Hatcher

judsonhatcher@hotmail.com
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Click here to give now.


Read more

Missionary Update: Jud & Raquel Hatcher in Brazil [June 2015]

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve the Lord in Manaus, Brazil. They are part of the "SeedFactory" church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve the Lord in Manaus, Brazil. They are part of the “SeedFactory” church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

June 4, 2015

Dear friends,

Thank you for loving and praying for us. We sure are grateful. As you know, we will be in the States as of July 10th for Stateside assignment and are making final transition preparations for our ministry in Manaus.

The Church

The Lord has blessed the church tremendously in every aspect. We continue to hold all our ministry related activities at the private school. The worship services on Sundays continue to grow in attendance. The children’s club and the adolescents club on Saturday’s are always packed and the kids love it. We have gained the parents’ trust and already two couples have requested marriage/family counseling. Last Sunday we had more baptisms. The new pastor is transitioning successfully and the ministry team is following his leadership excitedly.

The Pastor’s Network Gathering

This last month the pastor’s network met twice. It is exciting to see how connectivity ignites new partnerships and ministry ideas. My brother-in-law, Michael Samples, spoke the first event and my Uncle David Hatcher spoke at the last meeting. We are always leave challenged to go out and work harder. There are always people who need Jesus.

Jud HatcherSharing and Training

The Lord has allowed me to speak at several churches this month. I have also preached at a leadership conference held by one of the churches in Manaus. This week I am in São Paulo speaking at a national conference with 800 people enrolled. I speak twice on the subject of church planting and will speak to a local church’s leadership team two days after the conference.

Please, pray for our family as we prepare to be in the US for a year. Specifically, for Sarah, Laura, Benjamin and Melissa as they adapt to studying in and American school. Thankful for all you do. Also, pray for us to sell our car in Brazil before we travel, so we may purchase one in the US.

Grateful,
Jud Hatcher

judsonhatcher@hotmail.com
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Click here to give now.


Read more

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

Click here to donate to BFM.


Read more

Missionary Update: The Tates in Kenya [August 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,

Well, the time is almost upon us. We are just a couple of weeks from departing Kenya and returning to the United States for furlough / home assignment. We are all excited about this but because we are so close to returning we are in almost total and complete shut-down mode here in Kitale. Shutting down operations here in Kenya while we are gone takes a great amount of time and a good amount of money. We have tried from the beginning of our ministries this term to build independency into the people and churches. We have been training them for a long time now and we believe they are ready to begin to stand on their own and lean on the Holy Spirit alone for their strength, wisdom and leadership. Thus, while we are not abandoning these ministries, they will be forging on ahead without us during the time we are in the States. I know it will be hard for them to carry on but it will be hard on me also as I wonder in what way they will proceed in my absence. I wonder if Paul worried much about the churches he started and the men he trained when he left a city and went to another city to continue to preach the gospel. OK, I guess I don’t have to wonder because he said did worry. In 2 Corinthians 11:28 he spoke of his “deep concern for all the churches”. But he also was able to trust in the Holy Spirit to take care of them and knew they were better off in God’s hands then in his own.

We are also in full shut-down mode with all our personal and living arrangements. Making sure everything here will run smoothly for six months is not easy. If there are problems I will certainly not be able to “run back to Africa” to see to things. The logistics of leaving everything for that long can be overwhelming, especially knowing there is little you can do if something goes wrong. Much of it we will have to leave in God’s hands.

Obviously, since we will returning home soon for furlough, we will also begin traveling to our various supporting churches in order to see you all and to give updates and reports of our work here in Kenya. After we have returned and spent some time with family and our home church, Emmanuel Baptist in Bellbrook, Ohio, I will begin contacting you pastors and churches to set up times for us to visit. So, I hope you will be expecting to hear from me. I can also be contacted via email at rojuta[at]gmail.com. We do not currently have a US phone so that is not currently an option. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

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!

Click here to donate to BFM.


Read more

Missionary Update: The Radfords in Kenya [July 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,

Another month has come and passed, and we are now over halfway through the year of 2013. We thank the Lord that He has given us another month to serve Him, follow Him, and also for health and strength to do His work here in Kenya. The Lord gives us so many blessings, and many times I forget to thank Him and praise Him for His faithfulness. Even though there are many trials throughout life, may we take the time to thank the Lord for all He does for us. As the old saying goes, “Don’t get so busy adding up your troubles, that you forget to count your blessings.” This prayer letter will give a current update, as well as prayer requests.

We thank the Lord for the progress that we have been seeing here in Kitale in church planting. It has been exciting to hear the reports that are coming from the national that my good friend Roger Tate and I have been training. God has really blessed his efforts, and several churches have been started in differing areas of Kitale. With the help of the Lord, not only has he begun a church, but he has been training other faithful men to go and do the same in their respective villages. I feel that this is a fulfillment of 2 Timothy 2:2, which states “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” We praise the Lord for this, and this can only be done with the Lord’s help. How we need to rely on Him each day, for strength, guidance, and wisdom as we do His work here. We are also continuing with the church in Shangalamwe, and giving the church elder more and more responsibility to lead as we gradually pull away. Please keep all of these ministries in your prayers.

Since I have not reported on the hospital in a while, I thought I would write some about it also. We thank each of you for your sacrificial giving and prayers with this ministry. You are such a blessing. Recently, my wife went to the Kitale district hospital and there were three abandoned babies. This of course, is difficult to see these babies in this condition, so she does her best to get them placed in good children’s homes in the Kitale area. The Lord has blessed with this, and she has been able to assist many of them with getting placed after their stay at the hospital. The needs here are so great, and we ask you to please keep praying for this ministry and also for my wife, as she is faithful to go and assist as she can and the Lord provides. Isaiah 1:17 states “Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” We will keep you updated of this ministry.

Our children are continuing to progress well. McKenna is now five years old and will be starting kindergarten soon. That is so hard to believe. I can remember like it was just yesterday that she was crawling, learning to talk, etc. Life passes by so fast. She is developing into a wonderful daughter. Camille is now two years old. She is walking well now, slurring words that she tries to put together, and also is doing well. How we thank the Lord for the two daughters that He has blessed us with. Please continue to pray for them, and as before, we ask you to pray that the Lord would provide other children their age here in Kitale to play with. We trust the Lord with this.

In closing, we would like to briefly share our current needs. We are planning to return to the States in just a few months, and our current needs now are for housing and for a good, reliable vehicle to use while on furlough. We would prefer housing in the Charleston/Huntington WV area, if possible. Also, we really need a minivan to be able to have the room for our family and travels. We would be interested if anyone is interested in donating the minivan or selling it so us at a reasonable price. Furlough is very expensive, as we have to pay not only our expenses here in Kenya while away, but also expenses while we are in America.

If anyone would like to assist, we would be very grateful. We are just praying and waiting on the Lord for these needs. Psalm 33:20 says “Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.” You can email me at: naterad[at]yahoo.com if you are interested in assisting. Thank you for allowing us to share.

May God bless each of you for your prayers, interest in missions, and sacrificial giving. I wish each of you a wonderful celebration tomorrow for the fourth of July. We will keep you updated.

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

Click here to donate to BFM.


Read more

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

Click here to donate to BFM.


Read more
^