December 21, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I don’t know when you all will receive this newsletter but as I am writing it we are only four days away from Christmas. This may sound absurd, but I miss the snow like crazy. I love the snow – the beauty of it, the cold of it, the way it changes almost everything about your daily lives when you get a lot of it. I want to put on a heavy coat and gloves, trudge through the snow to my car, feel the bite of the cold on my face, scrape the ice off my window, hope my car starts, drive through the snow to a coffee house, see big flakes of snow falling from the sky, watch people tread carefully over a slippery parking lot and drink a hot cup of coffee while the snow piles up outside. This missionary truly misses the change of seasons. Changes of seasons mark the passage of time. Without them one day seems to run into another for me around here.
As you are, we are awaiting Christmas here in Kitale. It doesn’t look or feel much different than the rest of the year, except in one area – going to town gets crazy. It is chaos. I took Amy to town yesterday to help her buy a 5×7 picture frame. There were cars and people everywhere, glue boys and street people accosted us at every turn, I was grabbed and held by at least two different people who “wanted to greet me”, loud speakers blared music and advertisements from every corner and Amy received one marriage proposal. However, we could not find a single 5×7 frame anywhere in town.
Amy and Josiah are home from school for the holidays. As a result, I haven’t had time to do as much ministry tasks this month. We only have them home a total of three months out of the year. After this Christmas Amy only has one more Christmas in Kenya with us. After that she will be gone to the States and who knows when we will spend Christmas with her again. Josiah only has two Christmases left and then he too will follow Emily and Amy to the States. This is a very difficult aspect of missionary life for Julie and me. We see on Facebook the families gathering together for Christmas. We had to abandon that practice when we moved to Kenya ten years ago, but it becomes even more painful when we think that in just a couple of years none of our older children will be able to join us for Christmas. So, I’ve been trying to spend as much time with them as possible while they are home. I’ve played games with Josiah and drank coffee with Amy. Today we will decorate Christmas cookies and wrap presents. The time is short.
Time is short for the lost of this world too. Jesus came into this world two thousand years ago. We celebrate that birth during this season. He came to redeem. He came to save. He came to reconcile sinners to God. He came to offer Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. That is why we are here in Kenya. Not that we can do any of those things that Jesus came here to do. But we can point people to Jesus. We can say “Look at Him”. And that is what we are trying to do, to point more Kenyans to Jesus. May all of Kenya see the glory of Jesus this Christmas season.
May God’s peace and joy be with you.
For the glory of God in East Africa,
Roger & Julie Tate (and Amy, Josiah & Chloe)
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