Our God — The Great Orchestrator

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

March 30, 2022

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

So much has happened since I wrote to you all last time. When I wrote to you last time absolutely none of what I’m about to tell you about was even a thought in our heads. I guess a lot can happen in just one or two months.

Yes, we are still in Kenya. No, we are not currently in our hometown of Kitale. We are currently living in a town called Kijabe. Let me explain how it happened and why and what has transpired since we arrived here.

As you all know by now, Julie and I have legal guardianship of Chloe and our great desire is for the Kenyan government to allow us to adopt her. Since there is a moratorium on foreign adoption right now, we have to wait for that to happen. As you also know, Chloe has been diagnosed with Autism and there are several severe challenges that come with Chloe’s particular case: Violence, melt-downs, extreme emotional dis-regulation, sensory overload, behavior challenges, learning challenges and even physical challenges. All of this has been taking a toll on Chloe, Julie and me. We were in desperate need of help. Julie had tried and tried to get help from organizations and doctors in Kitale and even in the Eldoret area. No help was forthcoming anywhere near Kitale. Every organization and doctor that we would meet with would say to Julie, “Wow, Julie. You know so much more about this than we do. You could teach us about this”. Hmmm. Not helpful. 

I’m going to try and make a long story short. We believe God heard our cries of desperation. We believe this because we could not have orchestrated ourselves getting into the position we are currently in. Julie awoke from sleep one night remembering that we had friends who had a son who was an Occupational Therapist at a mission hospital in Kijabe. What happened after that were many great turns of events with God orchestrating things very quickly to get us to Kijabe where some help might be available. From the time Julie woke up that night to the time we arrived at this temporary house we are living in was 17 days. That might not sound very quick, but, believe me, that was quick.

Now we are in Kijabe, home of a local mission hospital and about 40 miles from Nairobi, where additional help has been forthcoming. This sounds overwhelming (and it is) but Chloe is now seeing a team of people who are all attempting to help her and us: Occupational therapist, physical therapist, psychologist, developmental pediatrician, gastro doctor, ABA therapist, to name a few. Some of this team is in Kijabe and others in Nairobi and it keeps us hopping and very busy, believe me. But, it is giving us hope that we can find the help for Chloe that she needs. We don’t know exactly how long we will be here but this house we are currently living in is available only until the end of July and housing is very difficult to get here in Kijabe. I also don’t exactly know how to ask you to pray for us except to pray that Chloe and our family can get the help we desperately need.

In addition to all this, God orchestrated one other thing (among many others). While I was here, I went to an ENT doctor at the mission hospital on account of my severe snoring and sleep apnea. He is a world class doctor from the States but was only going to be here for a couple of months. Another long story made short is I ended up having surgery here in Kenya (a scary thought) on my nose and throat. The surgery I had consisted of many procedures in both my nose and throat. I was supposed to spend two nights in the hospital but after the first miserable night I begged the doctor to send me home (it seemed like anything and everything the hospital could have done to make my night more miserable was done).  My first week of recovery was pretty rough. I lost 14 pounds in 10 days as I couldn’t eat anything solid. But now I am pretty much on the mend (4 weeks later) and Julie says it has already helped with both my snoring and my sleep apnea.

Praise God for all he is orchestrating in our lives right now. None of it has been easy, but we praise Him because we truly believe it is coming from Him.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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Waiting…waiting…waiting…

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

January 8, 2022

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Here is a shout out to all of our supporting churches out there. Bless you all for partnering with us in our missionary ministry here in Kenya. May all Kenyans know and follow the Lord Jesus Christ!

To all of our supporting churches out there we apologize that we have not seen you face-to-face in so long. Julie and I have not been able to take a furlough to the United States since 2013. That means it has been over 8 years since you all have seen us. That is too long. Paul left us a good example in the book of Acts when he returned to his sending church and reported on his work. We wish we could do this too but right now we cannot. When God brought Chloe into our lives, we really thought that the adoption process would work out in a couple of years. Now, after 7 years there has been no change or progress in the process because of the restrictions placed upon ex-patriot adoption. With no changes projected in the near future, we have been trying to get a passport for her so that she can at least travel outside the country. The right to a passport has been granted her by the courts. However, we still have not been able to even apply for it. Let me do my best to describe what I’ve gone through to try and APPLY (just apply) for her passport.

18 months ago to 9 months ago: Drive to Eldoret. Visit Immigration department. Show documents. Told by Immigration that they will review documents. Wait. Call Immigration. No response. Call again. Call many times. Finally reach someone. Told by Immigration to wait. I wait. And wait. And wait. Call Immigration. Call many times. Finally reach someone. Told by Immigration that the documents look OK and to be patient. I wait. And wait. Call Immigration. Call many times. No response. Can’t reach anyone. Drive to Eldoret. Visit Immigration department. No one there. Drive back home. I wait. Drive back to Eldoret. Visit Immigration department. Told by immigration that the person reviewing my documents is on sick leave. I ask Immigration if someone else can work on my case. Told by Immigration that this person is the only one who can work on my case. I ask Immigration what happens if this person dies. Silence. Drive back home. I wait. And wait. Call Immigration. Call many times. Finally reach someone. Told by Immigration that the documents have been reviewed and to come see them. Drive to Eldoret. Visit Immigration department. Told by Immigration that 1 date on 1 of my documents is wrong and that I can’t apply for Chloe’s passport. Told by Immigration that I need the Kitale courts to correct the document and then I can begin the document review process again. I groan.

9 months ago to the present: I go to my lawyer in Kitale and show him the document. Lawyer tells me to give him two weeks to get the document corrected. I wait 2 weeks. I wait another 2 weeks. I call the Lawyer. No response. I call many times. I text the lawyer. I text many times. Finally reach lawyer. Told by lawyer that there is no problem, but I just need to wait. I wait. And wait. I repeat this process MANY times: call-text-call-text-wait-wait-told to wait-call-text and so on and so on. I get frustrated. Visit the lawyer’s office to speak to Bwana Mkubwa (the Big Dog, who happens to be the lawyer’s father). The Big Dog tells me he will take care of it, give him one week. I wait a week. And another week. And another. Call Big Dog. No response. Call many times. Finally reach Big Dog. Told by Big Dog to wait. I wait. Call Big Dog. Told by Big Dog that the courts can’t find my original document. Told by Big Dog to wait. I wait…wait…wait…wait…wait.
(In an attempt at brevity, I have not included everything in my preceding account. I have actually left many things out.)
What is my current status? I have a call in to Big Dog. He hasn’t responded. I’m waiting.

I’ve been waiting a year and a half just to APPLY for Chloe’s passport.

For those of you who have endured to this point in my newsletter, bless you. I went through this exasperating description to try and give you some idea of what we are facing and why you haven’t seen our bright and shining faces for so long. We want to see you. We want to report on our work in person. Until then, enjoy the newsletters!

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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The Season of Hope

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

December 1, 2021

Merry Christmas from the Tates, everyone!

This Christmas of 2021 marks the second Christmas marred by a general feeling of world-wide fear and trepidation. For some people, the words “Corona Virus” bring feelings of imminent threat. For others, it is more a feeling of caution but also uncertainty because of the way world governments are dealing with the situation. For some there is fear; for others there is angst. For some there is fear of disease, suffering, and even death; for others there is fear of corruption, oppression, and tyranny. Either way, there is more shared world-wide distress than I have ever seen in my adult lifetime.

I love how the Psalmist in Chapter 4 of the Book of Psalms says to God, “Hear me when I call…You HAVE relieved me in my distress.” David prayed because he was in need of relief, but he talked as if God had ALREADY given it. David assumed it; it was a foregone conclusion to him. He prayed with an expectation of hope. Not a “hope so,” but a “hope KNOW.”

Sometimes I’m not sure what specifically I need – I just know there is this anxiety, this longing…this emptiness that needs filling. This…dis-satisfaction with this world. It’s a longing for Hope – for the end of futility…the end of sin and its effects both around me and in me…the end to brokenness, disease, and death…the end to evil, poverty, and oppression…the end to division, hate, and violence…the end to suffering of all kinds.

But God teaches me through His Word that He has ALREADY relieved me in my distress. He has ALREADY sent His answer – in the greatest, most complete, and most comprehensive manner possible.

IMMANUEL.
GOD WITH US.
JESUS.

God IS the God of all Hope, and this is the Season of Hope because Jesus is our “Hope Know.”
This season especially (right now in 2021) is given to us as a reminder – a refocus.

“Take heart,” Jesus said, “for I have ALREADY overcome the world.” It’s done. It’s finished. Now we are simply waiting for it to work its way through – but it’s done – it’s a foregone conclusion.

All the suffering, the hate, the disease, the oppression, the death – it has ALREADY been dealt the death blow and lies writhing on the ground fighting for its last gasp of oxygen. The answer has ALREADY been given – the healing medicine ALREADY applied. It’s been done in the birth, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus. We long for peace, and the Prince of Peace has come.

So, God, hear us when we call. Have mercy on us. You HAVE relieved us in our distress. Now, fill us with the Peace You have ALREADY provided so we can love others with the love with which You have loved us. Help us be satisfied in our dis-satisfaction, knowing we hope (KNOW), along with all of creation, for the full coming of Your PERFECTED Kingdom.

The King is Coming!

Love,
Julie

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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Ministering to Children at URBC

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

November 10, 2021

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

I am super excited about what I will report to you this month. That is because it is all about the ministry at the Chapel and because unlike most of my monthly newsletters it will be entirely positive in nature.

Last month I reported that after a hiatus from worshiping at the Upper Room Baptist Chapel because of Covid restrictions, and because of a short visit I made to the US, we would resume our worshiping and serving at the Chapel. Rebooting, or re-kickstarting might be a better word to describe it though, considering the drop-off we had with the hiatus. But, reboot we have. And things are going well. We obviously still have many challenges facing us as I mentioned in last month’s newsletter. Those challenges will probably never go away. For example, I am still throwing around the idea of implementing an “offering” box so that people can make offerings if the Spirit so leads them. These offerings would entirely be used for charity and goodwill for the impoverished and needy in our community. Offerings are something the people at the Chapel have suggested they need to be doing, but offerings in this culture are so fraught with problems and difficulties that I am really, really torn over implementing it at all. But this is not a newsletter about problems. 

One of the things we have implemented with the rebooting of the Chapel is the beginning of a children’s worship / Bible hour. I use the term “we” loosely because although it has been something I have been thinking about and planning for, it has really been started, implemented, and gotten working almost entirely through Julie’s efforts. This was obviously something I could not accomplish on my own as the class meets at the same time as my preaching/teaching time with the adults. So, seeing the great need for a children’s worship hour and seeing the benefits of such a ministry, Julie has made the herculean efforts to get it going. She found a great curriculum that focuses on the truth of the Bible and how that truth points us to God and His Son, to loving God and His Son, and following that truth. After we sing together as a congregation, Julie takes the children to our spare room at the Chapel and teaches them the Bible, teaches them Bible songs, reinforces the lessons with activities, and basically tries to bring these beloved Kenyan children to the feet of our beloved Jesus. And it is working. The children are responding well, and from what I can see love their time in the children’s worship / Bible hour. 

You already know the benefits of this ministry, but I would still like to point out just two:

1. Our beloved Kenyan children need to know Jesus, to love Jesus, and to follow Jesus as their Savior and King. This teaching is hard for them to get during the regular worship time / preaching time.  Their own worship / Bible time is much more suited to helping them know how the Bible points them to Jesus.

2. Having this children’s ministry will tremendously help the overall ministry of the Chapel. It gives the possibility to families with small children to attend and will help everybody to be active listeners and to actively participate in our worship services. I say this because the culture here is such that children can wander freely and unsupervised during the services (I still remember so vividly one of the first church services I ever attended in Kenya when one little guy was wandering around unattended, walked in circles around the pastor while he was preaching and finally ended up in a corner at the front of the church auditorium where he dropped his trousers and relieved himself on the floor. Nobody did a thing or moved a muscle the whole time to stop him or to clean up after him.)

Want to know how you can pray for this new part of our ministry? You can pray for the beloved children who have been attending: Faith, Esther, Isaiah, Chloe, Una and Emma.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, and 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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Opportunity to Reset

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

October 8, 2021

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Cause and effect.

Cause 1:  Over the past year and a half we have had a number of what I’ll call Governmental Covid Restrictions placed on religious institutions, including churches. The way this works is this: The government gets concerned about Covid cases, or the rise of Covid cases and as a result it shuts down cross county travel, institutes a curfew, and places serious restrictions on churches. Sometimes they say churches cannot meet, other times they say children under 12 and people over 59 cannot attend, or they say that less than 50% of a building’s seating capacity can be used.  During these times of restrictions people oftentimes fear going to church.  These restrictions often last a month or two before the government lifts them at which time people start trickling back to church.  Then, after a month or two the government gets concerned again and the cycle repeats all over again.

Cause 2: I visited the States for a month.

Effect 1: Because of the above reasons our attendance at the Chapel has dwindled considerably.  I suppose this is to be expected.  It is difficult for a small church group of people to survive such circumstances.

Effect 2: We have an opportunity to press the RESET button on the ministry, to do some things differently and to implement some changes that need to be made. Of course, I’m not going to change the basic things I started the Chapel for in the first place. I still plan on making the teaching and preaching Biblical and simple, directing the people to love and follow Jesus. I also still plan on keeping the worship simple and heartfelt. These are things seldom found in churches here in Kitale. Thus, the great need for an institution like the Upper Room Baptist Chapel. But, pushing the RESET button means we can implement a children’s ministry to make attending easier for families of children. We can also implement more first-century like fellowship – eating together, sharing together, and helping each other.  Also, we can implement what is oftentimes called “Outreach”.  I don’t want to call it that or even to think of it like that because “Outreach” usually focuses on “bringing people to the church”. I want the people of the Chapel to simply be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community, serving others in our community and showing them the love of Jesus. And, I don’t want them to do it to “bring people to the church” but simply because we love Jesus, love others, and want to show them the love and heart of Jesus.

So, we get to press the RESET button.  Opportunity or challenge?  Probably both.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, and 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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Seeing Stress in the States

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

September 3, 2021

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

My, what turbulent times we all live in these days. 

Most of you probably don’t know this but as I write this I am currently in the United States. I made an unplanned visit here for a month, mostly for personal reasons—to visit family and to attend to some issues I felt could use my assistance. My trip is now winding down and by the time you read this I will probably be back in Kenya with Julie and Chloë.

Being here in the States has shown me something: People all around the world are stressed. I’ve known for some time that the people in Kenya are stressed, after all I live with and around them. Now I know that the people of the United States are also stressed.

I’ve noticed that some are stressed about Covid and the possibilities of contracting the disease.

I’ve noticed that some are stressed about the economy and the downturns it has taken.

I’ve noticed that some are stressed about politics and the political status of the country.

I’ve noticed that you’re kids are stressed about returning to school, and wearing masks, and being sent home for being exposed to Covid, etc.

I’ve noticed that you’re very concerned about events in Afghanistan.

I’ve noticed that many of you are stressed about the constant state of flux and change.

I’ve noticed that a lot less people are attending church services on a weekly basis.

In short, I’ve noticed a lot of little changes from the last short trip I made to the United States 2 years ago. Yes, I’ve noticed. But, no, I am not lecturing you. I love you all and feel much compassion for your stress, your anxiety, and your concerns. And because of this, I plan on doing something when I return to Kenya.

Normally, I express in my newsletters the way that you can pray for the Kenyan people. If you’ve read any of my newsletters I know that you’ve seen many prayer requests like this. But this time around, when I return to Kenya, I’m going to gather together the believers that attend the Chapel in Kitale and we are going to pray specifically for you, you believers in the United States. Will that be OK with you, to have a few followers of Christ on the other side of the world, in a different culture, using a different language, praying for you? We are going to pray that God be with you, that you feel the presence of God in your lives daily and in a special way during these turbulent times. We are going to pray that God bless you with all spiritual blessings. We are going to pray that the love and grace of God shower down upon you. We are going to pray that you trust God and accept his will in your lives in all things. We are going to pray that when you are stressed and anxious that the peace of God would envelope you. We are going to pray that God would work in your politics to bring about his glory and your good. We are going to pray that your love for others would grow and grow.

This is different, I know, because normally I ask that you pray for us. However, this time we are going to pray for you. I hope you are OK with this.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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Riots and Risks: Is It Worth It?

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,

A few events that occurred over the last month have caused me to stop and once again think about my current situation here in the country of Kenya.

First, I was traveling home from a supply trip to Eldoret and I was passing through a town about 15 miles from our house. Up ahead I saw a van stopped in the middle of the road and was annoyed with the driver as I drove in the ditch to get around him. As soon as I got around him and back on the road I noticed why he had stopped. A hundred yards ahead the road was blocked. Old tires had been hauled up onto the road, the smoke of their burning ascending into the sky. Dozens of men were gathered around them, yelling, jumping, and shaking sticks and clubs. It was a riot of some kind and I knew immediately and instinctively that I should not be there (Don’t worry, I live through this ordeal). One of the first things you learn when you come to live in Kenya is to avoid mobs and riots at all costs. They can be very dangerous. So, I immediately got off the road and turned around. I was surrounded by people (friendly people, mind you, but nerve-wracking nonetheless) who told me I could not continue up that road because there was a riot. That seemed obvious. They told me about a side “road” I could take to get around the riot to the other side. I should have just turned around and gone back to Eldoret, even if I had to stay the night there. But I decided to take the side road. All seemed well at first and the side road looked like it was taking me around the riot and would eventually take me back to the main road which, indeed, it was doing. I was following another car ahead of me which seemed to know where it was going, so this gave me some confidence. After about ten minutes I was about 1/2 of a mile from merging back onto the main road when I saw up ahead that this side road was also blocked by men and tires (not burning). They stopped the car ahead of me and I saw there was no place to go. After talking with that driver for a minute they pulled back the tires and made a path for him to pass through. Then they came towards me and I cracked the window open so I could talk with them. As soon as they saw me they began yelling and jumping and screaming to the men on the road up ahead “FUNGA NJIA!  FUNGA NJIA!  FUNGA NJIA!” (Close the path, Close the path, Close the path!). I didn’t wait to find out what they had in store for me once the path was closed. I took off while the men up ahead scrambled to get the tires back across the road. I drove off the road and through a field to get around their roadblock, raced as fast as I could back to the main road, got on the main road, turned toward home and left the mob, yells and smoke behind. Exciting missionary life, right? Right!  

The second thing that occurred happened right here in our own neighborhood where we live, within a half mile of our current house but only two doors down from our previous residence where we lived for 10 years. At only 8:30pm some men broke into a mission compound of some missionary friends of ours. Fortunately, this is only a mission station and no one actually lives there. Anyway, very early in the evening, certainly before everyone on the street was in bed asleep, the men broke into the compound, tied up the night guard and stole some things. Very unfortunately, before they left, they violently murdered the night guard. Dead men don’t talk. Exciting missionary life, right?  Right!

A third incident did occur as well (that I don’t have space to report) that turned out to be completely harmless but made me extremely nervous at the time.

When these things occur I wonder if I’m sitting on a powder keg that could go off at any time. I re-evaluate what I’m doing here and whether I should be putting myself at risk. Then I remember that there are risks and dangers everywhere, both here and the US. That many of you often put yourselves at risk as well. And I remember how much this fallen world needs the gospel and needs the love and saving grace of Jesus. I remember the cross and that Jesus came to redeem us. I remember that I and the Kenyan people need to trust him, love him and serve him. And then I remember that this is where I need to be.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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Introducing Victor

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,

In my newsletter for this month, I would like to introduce you to Victor. He is the one in the picture that I have sent. It will be difficult for me to describe Victor to you because he is a complicated individual. However, although he is complicated, he is a special man and worthy of us knowing him.

One of the reasons I wanted to introduce you to Victor is because of his faithfulness; faithfulness to God, to me, and to the Upper Room Baptist Chapel. Victor is the only person I know will be at the Chapel’s services each and every week. In fact, there are some weeks that Victor is the only one to show up. I may not know who else will show up, but I know Victor will be there, encouraging me, supporting me, and teaching me things about Jesus.

I have said Victor is complicated. This is true. He is quirky and strange to the point of being annoying, in his own world, oftentimes unintelligible in his conversation, and misunderstood. Victor hasn’t always been like this, however. I have spoken to people that have known Victor for a long time, and apparently he used to be more of what we would consider mentally “normal” – a bright and intelligent young man. After a visit to Mombasa, however, he came back “changed”. The consensus is that Victor probably contracted cerebral malaria while in Mombasa, didn’t receive the proper care for it. The disease left him permanently “brain damaged”, at least to some extent. When Victor returned, he returned as I have described: “quirky and strange to the point of being annoying, in his own world, oftentimes unintelligible in his conversation, and misunderstood”.

When Victor first started attending the Chapel this was the only thing I saw about him. He would interrupt me while I was preaching and ask a question that was mostly unintelligible and completely unrelated to what I was saying. Or, he would get up in the middle of my lesson and start sweeping and mopping the back of the room. He would do other quirky things that usually annoyed me, and I would find myself trying to “manage” his behavior.

However, in describing Victor in this way (which is true) I am not giving you the full story about him. Here is the other half of Victor. He is one of the kindest, most trusting, gentlest, giving, and self-sacrificing men that I have ever met. And, more than anything, Victor teaches me about Godliness and Christ-likeness. From the beginning of his attendance at the Chapel, Victor would come early or stay late in order to clean the building. He would always try and do nice things for me like packing up my stuff after service while I was talking to other people (even though I didn’t want him to) or refilling my water bottle (even though the water he used wasn’t clean), or stacking chairs and moving them to the side of the room (even though I just had to move them back later). In all of these things Victor was not trying to be annoying (even though he was) but to be helpful, loving, and giving. He did these things from a pure and loving heart.

Victor

Later, as I spent more time with him (mostly because he wouldn’t leave me alone), I saw even more of his self-sacrificing heart. If we were walking through town together I might buy him a banana or a small bag of potato chips. Inevitably, he would stop and share his banana or his chips with a street boy, or a small child sitting with his mother, or a beggar, all the while speaking to them softly, lovingly, humbly and blessing them in Jesus’ name. When we are walking home together after services at the Chapel, everyone we pass on the road gets a wave from Victor, or a greeting, a handshake, or a blessing in Jesus’ name. When I take Victor for a coffee and “cake”, his coffee always gets cold before he drinks it. Why? Because he insists that I drink it and eat his cake (even though I have some of my own). When we moved the Chapel out of town and into its own building, Victor automatically volunteered to be the building and grounds caretaker. After a couple of weeks I noticed that he was tearing up some of the grounds and planting seeds where I didn’t want them. I asked him to stop (even though he didn’t). Now there are plants growing around the Chapel compound. Do you think they are for Victor? Nope. Every week someone who attends the Chapel goes home with some food: A pumpkin, some beans, sukuma (greens), kale.

He oftentimes tries to send me home with a pumpkin, a bunch of bananas, or avocados even though most times I am able to convince him that I don’t need them. Most Sundays Victor will come to the Chapel (he is always early while everyone else is always late) and he reads to me the Bible verses he had been reading that morning. He shows me his Bible which is all marked up with notes that he understands but I don’t. He and God are probably the only ones who understand those notes. But do you know something? I think God DOES understand those notes. And I think Victor understands something about God that most of us, including me, don’t.

Victor has become one of my favorite people in Kenya. God bless Victor.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & 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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