Feeling Like a True Missionary

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The Tate Family has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is indigenous church planting.

June 29, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Some days I feel like a true missionary. I felt that way a few days ago when Julie and I went to visit Amy and Josiah at RVA, their boarding school located in the Great Rift Valley. To get to the school we need to go down a steep, winding road to half-way down the escarpment where the school is located. Usually we are able to take this “main” road down the escarpment. But the government is currently paving parts of the road and with the recent rains in that area the road had been closed. So, the only way Julie and I could get down the escarpment to see our kids was to take the alternative route. This alternative route was a narrow, mud-filled path that led down the escarpment. It is primitive enough that nobody bothered to close it even though it was in much worse shape that the “main” road that actually had been officially closed. I put the vehicle in 4-wheel drive, low gear and started down the mountain. I guess some men would think this an adventure. I, on the other hand, get nervous in those situations, knowing that at any time I could be slipping off the crown of the path and hopelessly stuck. Julie and I were able to slip and slide our way down the path to the school, white knuckling the steering wheel the whole way. But we had to make it down because it was Amy’s 16th birthday. And make it down we did. That day I felt like a true missionary.

But I guess true missionaries do other things too, that are a bit more mundane, if not more important. This past month I taught a week long class to 11 students on Biblical Financial Management. It is an important class because the whole idea of managing finances is somewhat foreign to many Kenyans. There is very little concept of the future in their culture. And their cultural ideas of money is quite often very contrary to the Scriptures. For example, if money comes into their church via offerings and the Pastor has a need (say, to pay school fees for his kids), then he oftentimes feels quite justified in taking the church’s money and using it for his own personal needs. This practice is widespread and nobody thinks anything of it. The younger generation of Kenyan church workers see the practice as immoral but usually don’t have the clout to confront the older generation of pastors. The goal of my teaching in this class was to try and reach this younger generation and to get them to follow Biblical principles in the way they use money in their families and churches. We have to think “generationally” as we try to grow the Kingdom of Christ in Kenya.

I will be heading to the States for the month of August for Emily’s wedding.  Please pray for our ministries and those here who will be overseeing things while we are in the States.

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)

rojuta[at]gmail.com
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