Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
If you read my newsletter from last month, and I hope you did, then you read a little about my discouragement over not seeing as much spiritual growth in the disciples and churches I work with here in Kitale. I tried to end my newsletter on a higher note and show that God’s work will be completed in each of his children, but when I finished my newsletter and hit the send button I was still discouraged. But God has a way of encouraging his children and he did just that for me this month in the form of a message from a pastor back home. Many, many months ago I received in the mail a message on CD. This was a message taught by Tom Teall, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in West Branch, Michigan. The CD sat on my desk for a week or two before I got around to listening to it. I tried playing the disk on various devices but because the disk had gotten scratched somewhere I could never get it to play past the first minute. Because I could not get the message to play, it sat on my desk for the next couple of months…until last week. Last week Julie and I were looking for something to listen to, pulled out this message by Pastor Tom, popped it into her computer, and, amazingly it worked. And now I know why it never worked before – because I needed to listen to it last week and not months ago. His message was from Psalm 1:2 –
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water
That brings forth fruit in its season
Whose leaf also shall not wither
And whatever he does shall prosper.
I won’t repeat the whole message here but I just wanted to point out that Pastor Tom spent a lot of time on that third line in the verse: “That brings forth fruit in its season”. The point of his message was that fruit is seasonal. SEASONAL! In other words, you shouldn’t expect to see all the fruit on all the trees at all times but that when the season is right (the season God has prepared) then the tree will bring forth the right fruit, in the right quantity and in the right quality. Pastor Tom’s message encouraged me at the right time to press on and wait for the fruit that God will bring in his season. Be looking for fruit, beloved. It will come.
On a bit of a lighter note, let me ask you what has ever happened in one of your worship services that has held up or delayed the proceedings? Nathan and I were right in the middle of a worship/Bible study hour at the home where our group meets when a crazy chicken strutted in. This crazy chicken strutted right to my feet where it stopped, cocked its head to one side and stared directly into my eyes. When I didn’t move the way the foolish fowl wanted me to, she jumped up into my lap and lept onto my shoulder. At this point I was just hoping it would not release a bomb onto my shirt. The boneheaded bird then walked across the back of my chair and jumped onto Nathan’s chair. Nathan hastily extricated himself from the chair before the brainless biddy could land on his head or in his lap. With Nathan’s chair now free from its occupant the pesky poultry took up residence there. One of the Kenyan boys quickly removed the half-witted hen from the chair before it could nest down and lay its egg, which is what it wanted to do in the first place. The removal of the chicken allowed our Bible study to recommence and proceed. While being in Kenya I have now had worship services interrupted by a chicken, sheep, cow, dog and a snake. The young boy relieving his bladder in the corner of the church building never fazed anyone, though, and the preacher never missed a beat in delivering his message.
Until next month, beloved.
May God’s peace and joy be with you.
For the glory of God in East Africa,
Roger & Julie Tate (and Emily, Amy, Josiah & Chloe)
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