Teaching Future Ministers, Caring for Tina

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

May 23, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

If you read my report from last month (and I certainly hope you did), then you know that I gave you a little teaser at the end about what I wanted to write about in this month’s report. This teaser concerned some of my future plans that I feel God leading me to do. Now, I know it’s not “right” to give a teaser and get your readership all excited and anticipating what you will write about (if indeed you read last month’s newsletter and care about what I teased you about) and then NOT write about it. I know that’s not decent and decorous. However, that’s what I’m going to have to do. The reason for this is because I wanted to use this past month to solidify some of my thoughts and plans and have something more concrete to present to you. However, this month ended up being so busy for me that I had little time left for thinking about future planning. So, instead of laying out future plans, I will have to content myself (and you) with relating my busyness of the past month.

I guess I should have known this month would be busy as most, although not all, of what I did was pre-planned. I had two classes scheduled to teach at the local Bible college I teach at on a fairly regular basis—one in May and one in June. The class in May was Hermeneutics and the class in June is Old Testament Prophetic Literature. The Hermeneutics class I have taught before but having taught it before I recognized that my notes and class material needed to be revamped to better address the level of my students at the college. The OT Prophetic Literature class is a new class for me and has to be prepared from scratch. That being said, I have been working feverishly to prepare for these two classes. Then, last week I taught the Hermeneutics class to a new, fresh group of young, future pastors and ministers. Teaching future ministers proper Bible interpretation methods and principles is a great joy and worth all the time and effort it requires. It is, however, quite exhausting, especially for an introverted person like me who would prefer not to have to talk. Talking is exhausting, especially when you are not used to talking for an extra 40 hours a week. My throat is always raw and sore by the end of the week. But believe me, if these future ministers can learn to properly interpret and teach God’s Word then it is worth any effort and sacrifice. Oh, and before I started the class I took a long trip to Rift Valley Academy to spend the weekend with my kids at school.

On top of all this, Julie and I have another baby in the house again. Tina, whom we have cared for in the past, is back. She was born three months premature, we cared for her for the first two months of her life and she is now six months old. Tina had been in the hospital for a week with pneumonia. When she was discharged from the hospital the director of the children’s home where she lives called to ask us if we could take her in for a while while she recuperated. Julie and I talked about it and came to the conclusion together that we were too busy right now to take her in. We just couldn’t add the full-time care of a sick baby to our plate. I knew immediately in my heart that it was the wrong decision but didn’t admit this to Julie. What?!?  Too busy to help one of God’s precious little ones back to health? Too busy to make some small sacrifices for the life of a child? Bad decision. Anyway, I found out a little later that Julie also thought it was a bad decision. When I returned home one night after teaching she said something like this: “I know I shouldn’t have made this decision unilaterally but I told the director we could take Tina in and care for her until she is well”. I responded with the words “OK, Julie, if that’s what you decided” but what I thought in my heart was Good for you Julie! Way to go! That WAS the right decision. Thanks for having the courage to deny yourself and follow God’s leading in this. So, Tina is back with us until she is well, and although unbroken sleep and less work is good and desirable, caring for and loving God’s children is better.

One more thing to add to the list. Tomorrow I am heading to Nairobi for a Bible conference on the local church. I have not been to any kind of Bible conference of any sort since I first left the States to come to Africa nine and a half years ago. I am looking forward to the conference but am already tired just thinking about it.

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)

rojuta[at]gmail.com
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