Life Can Be Strange

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

March 10, 2024

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Life can be strange, can’t it? How often do you stop and think to yourself, “how in the world did I end up here, doing this, at this point in my life?” If you’re anything like me, then you do this often. When I was eighteen and going to college for the first time, I never would have thought that at fifty-four I would be in Africa, teaching at a Bible college, and pouring my life into Bible students and future Kenyan ministers. Maybe you are where I was thirty-six years ago – not thinking about ministry work, not thinking about missions, not thinking about Africa – only thinking about finishing school, making money, and girls. Maybe the Lord will lead you in strange ways too. Maybe He will lead you to the mission field where you will be doing strange things as well.

I really do get to pour my life into future pastors and ministers. Lots of teaching, lots of mentoring and modeling, lots of counseling and guiding. But pouring into future ministers isn’t all study, teaching, and heavy theology. It also means some fun too. Last week I invited my mentoring-group of students to my house for the evening (see the picture I provided). This is a small group of students that I get together with a couple times every week to talk about their lives, their spiritual walk, practical ministry, and stuff. But the evening at my house was just for fun. You know – eat, play games, be goofy, relax, and get to know each other better on a personal level. Yes, missionaries and pastors can be goofy too. We ate a lot, laughed a lot, and played some games. We played a game called Snorta – a rowdy, raucous game involving quickly remembering another player’s animal and making their animal sound before they can make your animal sound. Sounds dumb, and it is, but it’s fun. I thought it would be easy, however, there was something about Kenyan guys that I didn’t know – they don’t have cutesy animal noises for animals. In America, we all know the cute animal sounds for various animals. Pigs say, “oink, oink.” Dogs say, “bow wow.” Ducks say, “quack, quack.” Frogs say, “ribbit, ribbit.” Mice say, “squeak, squeak.” You recognize all those, right? Well, in Kenya, as I found out, animals don’t say those cutesy sounds. So, my Kenyan men could only try and make the sounds that they actually hear the animal say. And, as I found out, they all sound the same. Kenya pigs say, “hurrrumph.” Kenyan dogs say, “harrumph.” Kenyan ducks say, “karrrumph.” Kenyan frogs say, “gggurrrumph.” And Kenyan mice say, “hurrrumph”…only at a little higher pitch. OK, it was crazy, it was fun, and we laughed at each other a lot. In the end I think God was pleased with our little get-together as He was probably laughing at us too. These are good men that I have the honor to spend time with and help shape them for their future ministry of spreading the gospel and expanding the kingdom of Jesus. Life is strange. Who knew part of my ministry in this world would involve sitting around a table with eight Kenyan guys making strange and funny animals sounds.

Not so strange is the activity I will be involved in tomorrow (Sunday). I will be taking another group of students (different from my mentoring-group) to a town about an hour from here, called Kinoo. We will be preaching and ministering there in Kinoo for the day. I will be preaching and one of my students who will be graduating in July will also be preaching. He has the great, Biblical name of Abednego. He is the only “Abednego” I have ever met in my life. You can’t pray for us for tomorrow as you will not get this newsletter until much later, but you can pray that the results of the gospel message and the proclaiming of the Word of God would be far-reaching and enduring for all those who hear it.

Blessings to all,
Roger, Julie & Chloe

A time of fellowship at the Tates’ home


Roger & Julie Tate
Moffat Bible College
P.O. Box 70
Kijabe, Kenya 00220

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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