January 1, 2019
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is the New Year. As hard as it is for me to believe that statement, 2019 is now here and ready for us. I write this on January 1st so today is page 1 of 365 for the year. My new year has actually started with a little adventure. I was driving to town today to get some dog food and as I was driving down the road my car broke an axle and my front right tire broke completely off from my vehicle. Next thing I knew I was skidding down the road with metal on concrete. Metal on concrete is not a lovely sound or a lovely feeling. But I am completely unhurt, for which I thank the Lord. While I was waiting for a tow-truck (which arrived in just 10 minutes), three different Kenyan friends who were driving by stopped and sat with me to make sure I was OK. It was comforting to know there were people who cared and would assist me if they could.
We have closed out the old year at Upper Room Baptist Chapel on a positive note. Attendance at the Chapel has slowly gone up a bit and we averaged 17-18 people throughout the month of December. On the Sunday before Christmas we had 20 people in attendance, which matched the high attendance of our Inaugural attendance on October 21st. The work of Christ here in Kenya is not a numbers game but we are very glad to see that some people are interested in what we are doing here in Kitale. God really has been blessing the work so far in spite of my weaknesses. We have had other first-time visitors to the Chapel which has been encouraging to me as the minister of the work. In fact, one of the three friends who stopped by while I was waiting for the tow-truck was a man who has attended the services a number of times. He was talking with the tow-truck workers when they arrived and introduced me to them as “his pastor”.
A few short stories from the Chapel. First, I noticed that the room across the hall from our room was being used by a school that meets in our building. Each week I noticed that the room was unlocked and unused on Sundays. I decided to approach the administrators of the school to see if it were possible to use the room on Sunday mornings. Without reservation they agreed to let us use the room since they had no use for the room during that time period. They even agreed to let me use the room for no charge. So, we are now using that room each week as a Sunday School room for some of the young children who attend. This was a blessing from God. Second, we had a teenage girl attend one of our services. She has a Catholic background and regularly attends a Catholic church with her family. After the service she mentioned to Julie how different our worship and services are than they are at her church. Specifically, she said “You all actually teach from the Bible. At my church we are there for three and a half hours and the only thing that happens is one politician after another stands up and talks about their own political agendas. Nobody ever talks about the Bible at all”. She said she really liked what she heard at the Chapel that week. We pray that she is able to come again and hear the gospel message proclaimed again in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. Third, it was exciting to see my son Josiah and another teenager, Jesse, ministering in our services. Josiah and Jesse took over much of the music duties during the month of December while Josiah and Amy were home from school. What a thrill to see these young men ministering unashamedly in the Lord’s Kingdom. The other benefit is that they are both better guitar players than me. I would be glad to completely hand the music responsibilities over to them. Unfortunately, Josiah and Amy return to school on Saturday.
Happy New Year to all of you reading this update. May God’s grace and presence bless each of you all through this year.
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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