November 27, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Wow, it seems so much has happened since I wrote last month about our inaugural service at the Upper Room Baptist Chapel. I was excited when I wrote to you all last month describing our first service. But I didn’t know who might return and who wouldn’t. Now I have more that I can report.
Since our inaugural service, we have been averaging right around 12 in our attendance each week. I am very happy that we have had that many in our weekly services. Especially since those who are attending seem to be truly interested in receiving teaching from the Bible and in knowing and following Jesus. The next four weeks after our first service saw pretty much the same 12 people attending the services. I think that they are definitely getting something they do not experience at other churches here in Kitale. Here’s a couple reasons why I think that.
First, I set up a time to visit one of the families in their home. Elphas, Ann and their daughter Esther haven’t missed a service since we started. I meet with Elphas every week to disciple him but I wanted to visit him at his home. While I was in his home (a small, one-room apartment), he told me that he has gone to church for a long time but has never had a pastor visit him in his home. He didn’t know that was a thing pastors did. This week Elphas and I will visit a man named Joseph in Joseph’s home. Joseph was a first-time visitor last week.
Second, I’ve been told by others who have been coming that the teaching is simple, easy to understand and straight from the Bible. I say, “Praise God,” because that is exactly what I am striving for! This is definitely a rare element in Kitale churches.
Last week I was really excited because we had four first-time visitors to the Chapel. Each of these four-first time visitors came as a result of being invited by other regular attendees of our services. Two of these four I know to be very new believers. After the service and the “informal pastor” time and fellowship they stayed around and talked with me for nearly an hour. They told me that what they heard and experience at the Chapel that day was not like anything else they’ve experienced elsewhere. They said the teaching was Biblical as opposed to, in their own words, “Motivational speeches about succeeding in business” or “sermons about making money and getting ahead in life”. They also said that when I confessed I was not a good guitar player and that they should expect to hear mistakes, that they knew then and there that the Chapel would be different. This is because they said a Kenyan pastor will never admit to doing anything wrong. Finally, they appreciated hearing what the Bible actually says instead of hearing a list of rules and man-made laws about how they can be acceptable to God.
Dear Lord, Oh, how we would like to make a difference in the lives of these new believers and in the lives of the others who are attending and in the lives of many other Kitale residents.
Please make this your prayer for us as well.
Until next month, beloved.
May God’s peace and joy be with you.
For the glory of God in Kenya,
Roger & Julie Tate (and Amy, Josiah & Chloe)
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