April 24, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am sitting in my office on the eve of a long journey. Tomorrow morning, I head to the bus station and take the eight-hour trip to Nairobi followed by my two-day plane ride from Nairobi to the States. I haven’t been to the United States for couple of years now and the last time I was there it was a short visit of only a month to attend Emily’s wedding. So, in the last four years I have spent exactly two months in the States. I am beginning to forget what it feels like to be there and I’m wondering what kinds of changes I will notice. I am sorry that I will not be able to see most of you this time around either as I will only be in the States for, again, one month. Julie and I still are not able to leave Kenya together because we still are not able to travel with Chloe and we do not wish to leave her here without us. So, for this trip I will be mostly in Michigan (where family lives) and Ohio (where my church family is) with short trips to Indiana and Kentucky thrown in. Please be in more prayer for Julie than for me during this month. I will be busy and will be “back home” while she will be left in Kenya to fend for herself. Believe me, it is very difficult to remain in Kenya while your spouse is traveling back to the States. And to pour on more suffering for her we just today had one of our beloved cats killed by the neighbors’ dogs. This was very bad timing indeed with me leaving tomorrow morning. Please pray for Julie and Amy, as she was Amy’s cat. Even now I am waiting until school is out at RVA so that I can call Amy and tell her. My poor Amy. There will be many tears.
Well, I did NOT accomplish the one thing I wanted to do before I left for the States tomorrow. As I have reported in past newsletters, I am wanting to start a church and be the pastor of that church and lead that church to worship and know God. I have been searching and searching for a place in town to rent so that we would have a centrally located place to meet. Everything I was finding in town was either too expensive (usually the case), badly located, too small or otherwise not conducive to starting a church. I had finally found a location that I thought would work. Even though I was not entirely thrilled with the location I thought it would work fine for what I wanted and the price was low enough that I could afford it. I wanted to get the room reserved and arranged before I left for the States so that when I returned I could begin trying to start the new church in earnest. When I went back to rent the room and sign the papers, “Kenya bit me”. OK, Kenya didn’t actually bite me (as you probably guessed). But I say “Kenya bit me” because when I went to actually rent the room the owner doubled the price! I guess his original price was meant to lure me in and snag me. All the same, it was very disappointing and discouraging to once again be foiled in this way. I have explained the situation to a couple of my Kenyan friends and they are now going to bat for me. They have told me that they will be looking for a place in my absence while I am in the States. They have also told me that they would be willing to do the negotiating for a price and that it would be best to let them handle it and for me to stay out of it (to not even let it be known that I will actually be the one renting the place until the time comes to sign the papers). I am glad for these Kenyan friends who are willing to look out for me and who want help me out as best as they can, knowing the culture and the situation in Kitale. Friends, all I want is to start a church that will glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, expand his kingdom here in Kenya and shine the light of the gospel into the hearts of the beloved Kenyan people. May God accomplish that to his glory.
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 Amy, Josiah & Chloe)
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