Please allow me to introduce myself and my family. We are Roger, Julie, Emily, Amy, and Josiah Tate. We are from Dayton, Ohio, and sent out by Emmanuel Baptist Church in Bellbrook, Ohio, where I have attended for more than 27 years.
A few years after the Lord saved me he began directing my life towards missions by giving me a heart for missions. This constituted a big change for a young man who previously had no desire to leave the comforts and culture of the United States. However, what the Lord begins in us He always finishes and though my desire for missions started and grew slowly, God eventually brought me to submission to His will for missions in my life. At this point in my life, however, I did not know where the Lord was leading me. All I knew was that he was leading me to some cross cultural mission field.
While struggling with the questions of where, when, why, and how, God provided us an unbelievable gift - the opportunity to go on a short term missions trip. I had been praying for just such an opportunity for two years. This was definitely from God, as He provided all our expenses for the trip through the generosity of some good, mission minded friends. We would be going to Kitale, Kenya, to visit the ministry of Mike & Pam Anderson.
I went to Kenya with one overall purpose in mind: To allow God to use the experience to solidify in my mind His will for us to go to the mission field. For me, it was a trial run. I was hoping God would use it to answer some of my questions, to help me with some of my fears, and to guide me into my future ministry. He did this and more. In fact, He did something surprising. He gave me a heart and a zeal... FOR KENYA AND THE KENYAN PEOPLE.
This, I was not expecting. I had never really had thoughts toward Africa before. In fact, when I was a younger man I said I would never go to Africa as a missionary. God has a mysterious way of changing our hearts. Now, Kenya, Africa is in my heart's desire. I desire to minister and serve there, to see Kenyan people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, to see indigenous churches being built and firmly established in the faith and in God's word, and to see the glory of God shining on this far away dark continent.
Please pray that God would use us mightily in His service to glorify His name and extend His kingdom in Africa.
In Christ's name and for His glory,
My parents raised me in church from infancy. They were very devoted Christians and active in their church. It was not until I turned twenty, however, that the Lord saved me, making me alive from spiritual deadness, calling me and drawing me to His side, and granting me faith and repentance. Praise God for His unspeakable gift.
I would like to say that everything went great after that but that would be a lie. Even after salvation I had great struggles with sin, wanting to please God but seemingly powerless to overcome it. This caused hardships in my life and strife in my marriage. This dark struggle continued until God revealed to me through His word that my struggle was all in the flesh. He showed me through His word that the power over sin came not from my own resolutions to be strong and certainly not in my own ability, but through faith in HIS glorious power, through faith in the cleansing blood of Christ, and through faith in the effective working of the Holy Spirit to conquer sin in the life of the believer. This gospel truth brought breakthrough in my life and tremendous spiritual growth. I am by no means a perfect Christian man, but I can certainly give testimony to the power and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ not only to save and forgive sins but also to cleanse and break the bondage of sin. Because of this experience I see my main ministry as teaching, exclaiming, and explaining as best I can the glory of our Almighty God so that others can see it and worship Him as well. My desire is that others also know the power of God over sin that their lives might also bring Him glory.
My other main ministry, as I see it, is showing people the sufficiency of Scripture in their lives. In a world where people, even Christians, are looking in every direction for truth, they need someone to point to the Scriptures and show them it contains everything they need for life and godliness.
My mission is for people to see, know, and treasure the glory and power of Jesus Christ as He is depicted in the Scripture and to glorify Him through their lives. Amen!
The youngest of three children, I was born in 1971 to Ben and Jean Hugen and grew up in Grand Blanc, MI. My mom and dad were faithful members of Liberty Baptist Church in Burton, MI, and made sure we were all there every time the doors were open.
I made a profession of faith at the age of 8 and was baptized into the fellowship of believers there. Our parents instilled in us a very strong sense of right and wrong, and my nature was such that I didn't stray very far from the path that had been laid out for us. As a teenager, I felt in my spirit that something was wrong with my faith, but I couldn't put my finger on it.
I only knew I was afraid of dying without Jesus. I just wasn't sure of my salvation (especially knowing I had only walked the aisle at church following my friends). I was afraid to talk to anybody and simply tried to take matters into my own hands. Based on my own understanding of my situation, I tried to get saved "again." A few years later when another family member made a second profession of faith, I mentioned that I, too had not been truly saved the first time. I talked with my pastor, and he agreed to baptize me again. I tried hard to be good after that. Again, my personality was such that I always tried to do the right thing.
It didn't take long for my good intentions to turn self-righteous and judgmental, but I certainly didn't see it at the time. It wasn't until years later, after I was married with one young child and another on the way, that God revealed to me the problem. During an intensely difficult morning in our home - at a particularly self-righteous moment - God chose to tear the blinders off my eyes and show me my heart the way He saw it. It wasn't very pretty. In a matter of moments that were some of the most painful of my life, God removed layer after layer after layer of self and sin, each layer getting deeper to the heart of the matter than the one before. "Who are you loving, who is first in your life, who do you worship?" The final answer was... ME! All my righteousness, all of the good I had tried to do, all of my sound doctrine, all of it was as filthy rags. I was completely undone. For the first time in my life, I saw that there was no good in me whatsoever, and I cried out for the mercy and forgiveness available only through the righteousness of Christ and His shed blood for my sin. That was April of 2000, seven years ago.
God is still working on me, conforming me to the image of Christ. There was a lot to work on. He had to take a strong, willful, self-confident, self-righteous woman, and show her that she had no strength on her own, switching my confidence from self to Christ. I'm far from perfect; this is often a daily lesson for me. But I am so thankful He promised that He would finish the work He has begun in me. His strength is so perfect; mine is so weak. What a wonderful exchange!
Our Father has done a lot in our lives to bring us to the point where we would be willing to take our family to Kenya, East Africa. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared. Having visited Kenya last year, I have some first hand experience at how difficult it will be, and I feel a great weight of responsibility both to my family and to the people of Kenya. But after seven years of being chiseled, broken, and remade, I also have a lot of first hand experience in the strengthening and sustaining power of Jesus Christ. I look forward with great anticipation to see what He will do in Kenya.
PO Box 761
Kitale, Kenya 30200
Emmanuel Baptist Church
2928 Wilmington-Dayton Rd
Bellbrook, OH 45305
Pastor Darrell Messer
Baptist Faith Missions
George Sledd - Treasurer
PO Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747
Roger: November 11, 1969
Julie: September 18, 1971
Emily: March 23, 1995
Amy: June 26, 2000
Josiah: October 20, 2001