The Love of a Father

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

February 8, 2024

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ,

Kijabe is currently covered in thousands of little, white butterflies. I look out and in every direction I see little, white butterflies. They are all flying in the same direction, so they can’t just be the same butterflies flitting about. This has been going on for two weeks. I cannot even begin to imagine the number of butterflies that have flown by. At times it almost looks like it is snowing.

I am currently in the midst of this new term, and I am very much enjoying the classes and I think the students are as well. In Basic Theology class we have some awesome discussions on our various theological topics. These are my first-year students, but they are already good, deep thinkers. I know I have asked them a tough question, though, when the only response I get is silence. My other class is Biblical Financial Management with my last-year students who will graduate in July. We are having a good time and having deep discussions in this class as well, even though you might think it hard to have deep discussions over financial management. But my goal in the class, as I keep reminding my students over and over, is not to help them become rich (I could care less whether ever are or not) but that they might honor and glorify God with their money and in the way they manage the finances of their churches. The financial principles I focus on more are about integrity, stewardship, and honoring God rather than just budgeting, planning, reporting, and other financial stuff (although I do teach them budgeting, planning, reporting, and other financial stuff). These are critical issues for my Kenyan students. Pastoral and church ministry can actually be a trapping for unsuspecting ministers. It is so acceptable among many pastors to mismanage and even steal funds from the church that this generation of future pastors and church leaders need to learn these lessons before heading into the ministry of the kingdom of Christ.

It is not all just classes, classes, classes for me though. Some of my best moments for discipleship come in the everyday times of spending time with my students. I was sitting at lunch with some students, both male and female, and the discussion we had really hit me hard and made me realize just how much love and discipleship my beloved students need. Having finished our food, one of the female students said, “Mwalimu (teacher), I want to marry your son” (don’t worry, Josiah, I haven’t committed you to anyone). I have actually been told this from Kenyan women many times before and the reason has ALWAYS been the same. So, when I asked her why she wanted to marry my son I expected the usual answer – Because he is a rich American and I want to marry a rich American and not be poor. So, I was quite surprised when the dialogue went like the following. Student: You love your wife, right? Roger: Yes. Student: You show her that and tell her that right? Roger: Yes. Student: You love your daughters, right? Roger: Yes. Student: You show them that and tell them that right? Roger: Yes, all the time. Student: My father has never told me he loves me. He never calls me or talks with me. The only time I talk to him is when I call him to ask him for school fees. I want to marry your son because he will love me and love my daughters and they will know that they are loved. Roger: I’m sorry that your father doesn’t know how to communicate his love to you but I’m sure that he really does love you. Student: Mwalimu, I really don’t know that is true. I really don’t know that my father loves me. He has never said it or shown it to me.

At this point in the conversation the other female student spoke up and confirmed that this was the exact same relationship she had with her own father. Then all the male students that were sitting around the table piped up and said all of their relationships with their fathers were also the same. I felt very sad for my students and tried very hard to convince them that their fathers truly did love them but none of them were convinced. I am not a perfect man, husband, father, son, brother, teacher, missionary, or Christian by any means. At least I can try and model, as best I can, Christian love to these beloved students. I told them all, “I can’t promise you that your father loves you, but your Heavenly Father loves you, Jesus loves you, and I love you too.” It may have been the first time they had ever heard a father figure say that to them.

Blessings to all,

Roger, Julie & Chloe


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.

Leave a Reply