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Open Doors of Opportunity

February 25, 2015

 Open Doors of Opportunity

by Carol Lee

Boy in Door

Children peaking through the open door at Pilgrim’s Church, Yumbe

Ephesians 5:15-16

Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

There is so much happening these days that it is hard to recall and record it all!  We are grateful for the many open doors of opportunity the Lord has given us through which we are gladly walking.

I am happy to report that the outreaches that were made into the interior of the Metu Mountains are bearing fruit.  In the last outreach to Oyo there were 21 professions of faith.

 [This is the big difference in planting the seed in this region vs. the Yumbe area, where Islam is deeply rooted.  In one area the “harvest sickle” is “bringing in the sheaves,” whereas in the other the seed is being scattered but we do not see yet and may not even see in our life time whether any seeds have taken root and are growing. We press on in both cases.].

It is now our big priority to ensure the discipleship process in the Metu mountains is done thoroughly and that shepherds are set in place to oversee the dear ones the Lord has saved by His sovereign grace.  Tobias and Geoffrey are doing a great job.  We are developing a strategy together for watching over the flocks that are scattered throughout the various hard-to-reach villages, many of which cannot be reached except by foot.  We  are working together in training  several young men  as disciple-makers and overseers. Tobias, Geoffrey, and several others are planning an area wide retreat at Aya Baptist Church for all the new believers to come together, receive teaching and encouragement and to fellowship with one another.  Our goal is to come alongside these key leaders and help them to be successful in their goal of being faithful shepherds over God’s flock.

Working hand in hand with local churches to reach the unreached

Working hand in hand with local churches to reach the unreached villages in the Metu Mountains

 

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Oyo

Last week we held our 12th Pastors’ Retreat.  Brothers from D.R. of Congo and Arua were in attendance.  We never grow tired of seeing the fruit of these retreats: joy and progress in the faith.  We want to equip and encourage as many pastors and church leaders as possible.  On That Day, we will look around in wonder and celebration at the eternal fruit born by every effort made to reach the unreached with the Gospel.  That inspires and energizes us to keep on doing what we are doing!

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Pastors and church leaders from D.R. Congo and Arua at RAU for pastors’ retreat

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Jacob illustrating his message

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Pastor Bob Gad presenting his teaching on what the church is and what it is not!

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Zorah explaining the Gospel

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Fully loaded with resources and ready to go and rock their world!

On Saturday, the 21st, we attended the wedding of Dominic, who runs the New Life Radio Station, and his wife, Gloria.  It was a beautiful and encompassing celebration!  So many people came to watch the ceremony and enjoy the lavish meal they prepared.  Dominic and Gloria managed to feed nearly the whole town of Laropi.  I was able to capture some pictures of that happy day, but it was as if I were a part of a large group of paparazzi, trying to squeeze my way to a good shot!

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Dominic and Gloria

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The ring ceremony

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The Bride and Groom

Dominic is doing a lot with what he has.  As a result of his radio outreach the Gospel is making headway in the West Nile region.  We would love to see his influence spread by an increase in the power of his radio broadcast through more solar panels and battery storage capacity.  Let us know if you have an interest in investing into that ministry.

Preaching on New Life radio Moyo

Preaching on New Life Radio, Moyo

On Sunday, the 22nd, we set out early to Yumbe.  Jacob preached at Pilgrim’s C.O.U. (Church of Uganda) on prayer in YUmbe town.  Charles, who pastors this flock, is starting a new series on prayer.  Jacob preached on “The Persistent Widow.”  This church is full of many young people!  It gives us great hope that, under the wise and zealous leadership of Charles, this group of believers will have a profound effect on their town of Yumbe and the surrounding villages.

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Delivering a message on prayer from “The Persistent Widow” at Pilgrim’s COU

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Beautiful colors on beautiful people

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Receiving a Kindle

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A new disciple receiving an Aringa New Testament

After a lunch break and short rest, some of the youth came back to load up the Land Cruiser with sound equipment and instruments…and many choir members!  I just love how folks here make the absolute best use of every square inch of space!  Every vehicle here is a HOV (high occupancy vehicle)!  After loading, we made our way…slowly…to Kuru for Open Air preaching and person-to-person contact with tracts (John Piper’s “Quest For Joy” in English and Aringa as well as others in English.)  After some joyful singing by the choir, Jacob climbed atop the Land Cruiser with Charles where he preached his heart out.  Charles is an animated and gifted interpreter and gave his best as well.  We are sure that many heard the Good News.  We pray that the seeds  that were planted fell on good soil and will bear eternal fruit for the joy of the hearers and angels!

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Loading up for ministry in Kuru

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A few moments of rest with Charles before afternoon ministry in Kuru

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Fully loaded! I really think there was room for one more thing…don’t you?!!!

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Setting up the sound system – Kuru

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Singing with gusto and drawing a crowd

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Some of the crowd dancing to the music

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Members of the Choir

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Telling the old, old story in a new way!

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Young boys in the crowd

 

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Handing out tracts

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Pensive girl reading English tract

The young lady seemed thoughtful and stayed the whole time. She was a serious listener. We pray she is a “Lydia”!

Right across from the area where we set up was the Yumbe District hospital.  Jacob, Charles, Zorah and some of the members of Pilgrim’s went over to the hospital and were able to hand out tracts and pray with people.  One experience, in particular, inspires hope and intercessory prayer.

In one of our recent letters we wrote to you about a young girl who came to faith in Christ out of a Muslim family.  She had received harsh physical and emotional treatment and even threats on her life from her family and even her mother.  By the grace and heart-softening work of God, this young girl was released by her once-opposed family and was allowed to be sent to a Christian school in Arua where, we trust, she will receive an excellent education academically and spiritually.  The first time we met the mother, her heart seemed hard and closed off to us.

Then, this last weekend, we found out that this mother had another daughter who just miscarried twins and was in the very hospital that was across from our open air ministry.   Jacob and Charles went to see the mother who was there caring for her daughter.  Jacob offered comforting and empathizing words, even with tears (as he thought of his own grandchildren.)  Charles and Jacob prayed for her and gave her a gift to help with expenses.  This once-hardened mother was moved visibly, expressing thanks for the compassion and care which she did not experience even from her own family.  We are praying that the visible, tangible love of Christ will make an inroad to her heart where Gospel seeds have been planted and that this will bear fruit to salvation.

The young girl we mentioned (that recently came to faith) is doing very well and overjoyed to have the opportunity to attend a school away from the harsh treatment she was receiving.  We plan to visit her in March when the school has an official day of visitation.

The eight children who were sponsored to attend First Presbyterian’s Primary school are doing very well, from what we hear.  They have adjusted well and are studying hard!  When we make our way to Kampala for our trip back to the States we hope to get some photos of these children so you can have more of a personal connection with them.

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First Presbyterian Church, Kampala, where the 8 children are attending school.

After a busy season of ministry, we have been so thankful for this week of slower pace – the opportunity to rest as well as take care of things here at home.  Jacob pushes really hard.  He, especially, has enjoyed the recuperation of slowing down for a bit.

A timely rest it has been because this coming week will be another Pastors’ retreat – another group of men from the D.R. Congo for whom our friend, Joseph, has been the “point man.”  The Lord is stretching our reach.  However, it makes us realize even more the need for resources that are either in Lingala or French.  We need to find and include more of these resources in our next container. The “Quest For Joy” tract has now also been translated into Lugbara and Kakwa. Any help you can give to help publish and print thee tracts would be greatly appreciated.

Please keep in mind the importance of the container and its priceless contents!  Our ability to provide resources is at the very center of our ministry.  The resources we give out freely ensure an effectiveness that outlasts face-to-face encounters.

Information on what needs to be placed in the container before it ships may be found here: http://reachingafricasunreached.org/fill-the-container-study-bibles-books-and-more/

The need for more pastors for the new churches being planted and the many pleas of pastors for more in-depth training keeps our plan for a pastor’s college in the forefront of our vision. In Northwestern Uganda (West Nile Region) there are very few places where pastors can receive pastoral training.  The Pastor’s college would not take the place of the retreats that RAU holds here – both have their place and benefit.  The Pastor’s College would hold several months of courses.  It is not possible, generally, for folks to be away from their families for much longer than that.

Jacob and I thank you for your never-flagging support, prayer, encouragement and love!  May the Lord bless each one of you!

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“Puttin’ on the Ritz” for the wedding!  That’s about as “Ritzy” as we get!

Blog: http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

For those who have asked, small packages and letters may safely be sent to:

Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa

Our “wish lists” may be found at Amazon (Click on the “Wish List” link and type in our name or email  address)

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our  power to get it to those who do not have it. May the Lord grant each of us His followers the wherewithal to be obedient disciples!

Jacob W. Lee

Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal.  PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly gifts. To do so  please click the PayPal link. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal are now tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501 c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate Missions, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155

Rejoicing in Answered Prayer

February 14, 2015
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Beating the trails to get the gospel to Oyo

 

“…While you also cooperate by your prayers for us [helping and laboring together with us]. Thus [the lips of] many persons [turned toward God will eventually] give thanks on our behalf for the grace (the blessing of deliverance) granted us at the request of the many who have prayed.”

2 Corinthians 1:11 (Amplified Version emphasis mine)

This verse expresses the heart of this short note of thanks to those who have prayed for us and especially for those prayer requests in my last newsletter. You can find the previous newsletter here:  http://reachingafricasunreached.org/2015/02/09/revival-fires/. You need to know how the Lord has moved since last writing so you too can join in thanksgiving and praise to our heavenly Father!

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In Arua

First, there has been a change of heart of the Muslim family of the 16 year old girl from Yumbe whom the Lord recently saved; she has become a firm follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Relatives, who are all Muslims, convinced the young girl’s mother to allow her to attend the school we were looking at – a very good Christian secondary school in Arua.  Zorah, Carol, and I were told this good news Thursday morning on our way to Arua when we picked up Charles and John in Yumbe. Previously, the family was determined that this young girl be placed in an Islamic secondary school. While in Arua, Charles, John, and I met with an administrator at Ushindi Christian School. Even with short notice the school graciously accepted our young girl. On our drive back to RAU on Friday we met the girl’s mother and grandmother in Yumbe. I shared with them that we and Jesus love their daughter and, as an expression of love, we wanted to help their daughter receive an excellent education. The Lord is doing a work in this family and clan. Please continue to pray for this young girl and also for her family that they would come to Christ. If you would like to help in covering the costs of her secondary education it would be appreciated. Because of sponsorship eight primary students from Moyo are now all settled in and have started school at Covenant Presbyterian School in Kampala.

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Charles with mother, daughter, and grandmother

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What a lovely new sister in Christ

While in Arua I got some front end work done on the Land Cruiser. It has been taking quite a beating in our outreaches. We also purchased bulk supplies of beans, rice, sugar, posho, and Royco (spices used in cooking), and traded an empty cooking gas tank for a full one. We have two upcoming pastor’s retreats and we go through a lot food.  Buying in bulk in Arua saves us money. Please pray for the pastors from Congo and Arua who will be with us 17th - 20th and another group of Congo pastors March 3rd - 6th.

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The roads, especially in the Metu Mountains, have been very hard on the Land Cruiser.

Some money was given to help the local child who was brought here by her mother who had an umbilical hernia repair at age 3.  We will be sending her to Moyo hospital for an ultra sound and will seek a referral to Gulu’s Lachor Hospital, which specializes in children. Depending on what needs to be done, we will see if the donation will cover all the costs. Pray that it does!

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Preaching in Ayo

The day after writing the last newsletter we went back into the Metu Mountains for another evangelism outreach. The Metu Mountains (Southern Appalachian size) stretch on our east side.  We went to Ayo, which was the last village among of string of villages we preached in (Gbarai to Arapi to Duku and Ayo.) We drove as far as we could and then walked the rest of the way into Ayo. A little over 30 adults and many children gathered for the preaching of the Word. I preached my heart out and the Lord came down! At first it seemed that there would be no response to my exhortations/pleading with them; then, one older lady stood and as soon as she did 19 other adults stood to make open professions to follow Jesus. Our hearts leapt with joy along with the angels (Luke 15:10).  After sharing more and getting names, we, along with the local clinic nurse (she also confessed Christ in Ayo), gave out many medicines which RAU brought along. Upon leaving we were told that a woman who could not make the walk (because of being burned badly as child) wanted salvation. We walked down to the stream and met her.  Geoffrey shared the gospel and she immediately believed! Thank you for your prayers! Pray now that we can work out strategies for discipleship and the planting of a church there. It is too far of a walk to Gbari. There is one more village beyond Lea in a nearby string of hills that we know of which still needs to be reached. Plans are set in motion to go there soon. Keep praying. God is hearing your prayers!

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Those standing are the ones who are saying “I trust in Jesus for salvation and want to follow Him”!

 

You Tube Video in Ayo:

Tomorrow I am preaching at Laropi Baptist Town Church and next Sunday, the 22nd, in Pilgrim Church of Uganda in Yumbe Town. Later in the day we will have open air preaching (following the example of George Whitefield) in Kuru market. Kuru is just outside of Yumbe and is considered by the Christians in Yumbe (that I have talked with) to have the most ardent Muslims in Yumbe District. It was confirmed to me by two Christian “men of the soil” that 95% of the people of Kuru are Muslims. I am asking/imploring you all to pray daily and fervently that the gospel would make inroads into the hearts of the people in Kuru.

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We have already been in Kuru on several occasions for one on one witnessing and handing out tracts in Aringa.

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Kuru market

Please continue to pray for the rest of the money to come in for the 5,000 ESV Study Bibles we seeking to get. They would be placed in a container which would come to us.  See: http://reachingafricasunreached.org/fill-the-container-study-bibles-books-and-more/

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Pastors with their ESV Global Study Bibles

On this Valentine’s Day I am reminded of the grand blessing Carol is to me and to so many others. True love is exhibited not only in words but with words that are accompanied by actions. My dear wife of 33 years is a person who exhibits this kind of love for Jesus and His church, her family, friends, people of another culture, and for me. She has left behind ones she deeply loves and the securities and comforts which come from living in America to be with me to serve Jesus whom we both supremely love! I love you, Carol, and I say that not just because it is Valentine’s Day! I am grateful she has followed this wild man to the African bush! This is why “security” is not an issue for Carol:

Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your savior, your guide? If He is, you don’t need to search any further for security.” (Elisabeth Elliot)

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In a village church in Yumbe District

Thank you for all your prayers and support. Carol and I appreciate them and you. May the Lord richly bless you!

Pressing on with Jesus and You,

Jacob (Carol) Lee

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Blog: http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

For those who have asked, small packages and letters may safely be sent to:

Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa

Our “wish lists” may be found at Amazon (Click on the “Wish List” link and type in our name or email  address)

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our  power to get it to those who do not have it. May the Lord grant each of us His followers the wherewithal to be obedient disciples!

Jacob W. Lee

Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal.  PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly gifts. To do so  please click the PayPal link. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal are now tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501 c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate Missions, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155

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Revival Fires

February 9, 2015

 

Even though it has been a while since I have written, you have been never far from my mind. I am continually reminded, as I see grace and mercy working effectually in people’s lives here as well as in our own, that your prayers and support are the means of supplying that mercy and grace here in the West Nile. Seeing such an outpouring spurs me on to further action. Puritan Thomas Brooks puts it this way, “A man full of hope will be full of action.”  Carol and I have this hope because of our Lord and His promises. We also have hope because of so many faithful friends!  Thank you for your effectual partnership.  Come and see now what the Lord is doing!

“We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.”  

Campbell Morgan

I truly feel that the Lord is fanning a fire of revival, especially on Metu Mountain.  The physical fires that rage during the hot season all over the mountains, which we saw with our own eyes not long ago, are almost representative of what is happening spiritually there! We have been blessed to “catch the wind from Heaven” and to come alongside the churches that are reaching out with the gospel in the remote villages of Metu Mountain.

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While physical fires blazed around us in these hills the Holy Spirit was ablaze, opening eyes to Jesus

The following paragraphs are Facebook posts of outreaches which took place in January and they will give you a picture of what the Lord is doing in and among us.  Reaching Africa’s Unreached has a Face Book page which provides an easy and accessible place to post pictures and make short posts. I hope that as you read over these short posts you will be spurred on with your intercession and sacrificial support. This is the link for Reaching Africa’s Unreached Facebook page  :

www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

If you click on “Like” you will receive a notice each time I place a short post or picture.

 

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January 21st

“I am off to the remote villages of Gbari and Arapi with Zorah and Zakeo. A little over a month ago, we partnered with Aya Baptist Church in evangelism outreaches…tukalu to tukalu (traditional homes)…and helped move a young man and his family from Aya to shepherd the new church planted there. Now there are over 80 coming for worship on Sunday mornings with over 60% being new believers (this fits my definition of revival.) Today we will hold discipleship sessions and also give out de-worming medicines. Please pray for this new and growing church!”

Discipleship in Gbari

Discipleship in Gbari

 

80% of the people in the Gbari/Arapi church are new believers

80% of the people in the Gbari/Arapi church are new believers

January 23rd
“Yesterday, Zorah, Charles, and I picked up John Howarton who flew in from Juba to Arua. We also took care of some business in the town. Arua is very nice and is a bustling town as it draws trade from both South Sudan and D.R. Congo. This morning we headed back to Reaching Africa’s Unreached. The route takes us through the Muslim dominated areas of Koboko and Yumbe. One would have to travel to North Sudan (or nearly there) to find an area as densely populated with Muslims. In Kuru, which is between Yumbe and Koboko, we took a break from our drive, taking advantage of the divine appointments all around us. For the most part, the people of Kuru readily received our gospel tracts (with several local pictures in it) in their native language of Aringa. (Charles is the one who translated the tracts. See a sample here: http://reachingafricasunreached.org/aringa-language/ .  We would like to get more of these tracts to be sent in our next container. If you would like to help us do that, see this link: http://reachingafricasunreached.org/fill-the-container-stu ). We are targeting Kuru for our next open air preaching in Yumbe District. It would be in this very same market we were in today. This last Christmas Eve, a small group of Christians from Kuru were “physically” dispersed while celebrating Christ’s birth. Lift up Kuru in your prayers…may Jesus be known and worshiped widely and freely in Kuru!”

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Zorah and Charles in Arua

Heading RAU from Arua with John and Charles

Heading to RAU from Arua with John and Charles

In Kuru

Acts 16:14?

 

 

Divine appointments in Kuru

Divine appointments in Kuru

How will they know unless someone tells them?

How will they know unless someone tells them?

January 27th
“Today and tomorrow (evangelism today and discipleship/medicines on Wednesday) we ( John , Zorah and I) are back to Gbari/Arapi (pronounced “Bar-ee” and “uh-rah-pee”) in the nearby Metu Mountain range ( Appalachian size ). The church there is growing very fast in numbers and we want them to grow in depth as well. Geoffrey has moved his family of 8 there from Aya to shepherd this growing flock….On Friday we go with a team from Reaching Africa’s Unreached and Aya Baptist to another village — Cinya (pronounced “chinya”), just a ridge over, which has no church. May the Name of Jesus be also worshiped in Cinya! Pray for us and help if you can…blessings!”

Every village must be reached with the gospel. Where there are no roads we walk!

Every village must be reached with the gospel. Where there are no roads we walk!

Where there are roads we take them

Where there are roads we take them



January 27th
“We had a fruitful day of evangelism in Gbari, Arapi, and Duku today. Zorah, John Howarton, and I were joined by Aya and Gbari believers. Duku was very hard to get to and I almost turned around twice. The Land Cruiser was in first gear and 4 wheel drive on some parts but we made it to Duku. I am glad as 13 of the 34 people (not counting children) making professions of faith were from Duku! Many others seemed to be very close (to a decision) in the others places we went to, but continued in their bondage. We pray that, at some point, their eyes will be opened and their hearts made soft and receptive. We are back for discipleship/medical outreach tomorrow. The Lord is adding daily to the number of believers in the 5 week old Gbari/Arapi Church. We are also surveying spots for a permanent site for the new church. Please keep praying for this church plant and, most importantly, that the believers would grow in their faith and love for Jesus!”

Duku

Duku

Cinya 18

John with a new believer

"Road" to Duku

“Road” to Duku

YouTube Video from 27th:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGiuNduIofY&feature=youtu.be


January 27th
“We are back in the same area of the Metu Mountains today. Yesterday’s focus was evangelism and today’s focus is discipleship. Yesterday, 34 adults placed their trust in Christ alone for salvation. …PTL! Today John, Zorah, and I will have lessons on the fundamentals of the faith with these new believers and members of the 5 week old Gbari Church. Nothing short of revival has been happening in these rugged Metu hills which envelope Gbari, Arapi and Duku! We have received some more medicines and will be giving them out after the teaching. Basic medical care is very lacking in these remote areas. Here are some special prayer requests: For the Land Cruiser- travel is extremely hard on the vehicle; New believers- not only these 34 from yesterday, but also the almost 60 from the last 5 weeks; physical strength- we are all very tired and sore from yesterday; Pastor Geoffrey, his wife, and six children — he has answered the call and moved his family to Gbari; purchase of a plot of land for this new church and construction of a meeting place. Currently, there is no permanent place to meet. Thank you for your prayers for us and the ministry of Reaching Africa’s Unreached!”

Discipleship training in Gbari with John Howarton

Discipleship training in Gbari with John Howarton

Preparing medicines for distribution

Preparing medicines for distribution

Standing: Pastor Geoffrey and and Pastor Tobious

Standing: Pastor Geoffrey and and Pastor Tobious

On January 29th I posted this to Face Book:
“We MUST get the gospel out (most especially to those places that are “gospel starved“) using all means: by radio, by vehicle, by bicycle, by walking, by sitting with families, with literature, with medicines, in the market, next to Mosques, in remote villages, and together with others! The fields are ripe for the harvesting…let us go and not just talk about going!”

Preaching on New Life radio Moyo

Preaching on New Life radio, Moyo

Proclaiming the gospel in the remote village of

Proclaiming the gospel in the remote village a couple hours walk from Cinya

Working hand in hand with local churches to reach the unreached

Working hand in hand with local churches to reach the unreached

January 30th
“We are off to Cinya, a village of about 200 in the Metu Mountains. It has no church and no witness of Christ. We are getting off a little late as we had a problem with our solar power, but it is now back up and running…PTL! Whenever we have made a decision this week to go to an unreached place there have been roadblocks, both literally (lack of roads) and figuratively. Each time we have pressed through the Lord has opened the way for the salvation of many. This week the Lord has granted us the privilege of being in Ijujo, Aya, Gbari, Arapi, Duku, and, now, Cinya. Each of these villages is enveloped by beautiful hills…beautiful, even in the dry season. (In the wet seasons it is very green and monkeys, chimps, and gorillas can be seen in the highly forested areas). In our evangelism pray that the Lord opens eyes again today. The last leg of today’s journey we will be footing. Pray also for physical strength (especially for us old guys- John and me! It is the middle of the hot/dry season and trails can be steep). In all our evangelism we partner with a local church or churches and seek to support them in planting other churches in these unreached areas, but try to step out of the way to allow them to carry out the responsibilities of the local church, such as performing the baptisms. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out harvesters!  The fields are ripe! Thank you!”

Working together to spread the fame of King Jesus!

Working together to spread the fame of King Jesus!

 

Tea break and good fellowship

Tea break and good fellowship

Roads to and from Cinya:

Cinya 1

Cinya 12

Cinya 4


After our return I posted this:
“We are back from a long hard but fruitful day in some very remote areas of the Metu Mountains. We trekked into 5 different villages. My legs still feel like jelly. The Lord opened the hearts of 26 to respond to the gospel! Thank you for your prayers! I will try to put up more pictures later…. I am fighting a severe sore throat now and am quite dehydrated…your prayers are appreciated!”

Every village MUST be reached with the gospel!

Every village MUST be reached with the gospel!

YouTube Video from the 30th:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLWrSbIIQRw

While John Howarton was here we also went to Obongi on Sunday Feb. 1st.  It is always a joy to stand with Godfrey and to encourage him in his every effort to shepherd his flock well and to enlarge the flock through loving evangelism to those around him.

John preaching with Godfrey interpreting

John preaching in Obongi with Godfrey interpreting

February 1st:
“Our Sunday in Obongi was a great blessing! Thank you everyone for your prayers. The Lord was in our midst bearing testimony of His greatness and love through Jesus. Three leading Imams of Obongi , a leading local politician, and other Muslims joined together for the preaching of God’s Word along with the Obongi Town Church pastored by dear friend, Godfrey. They heard the CLEAR presentation of the gospel in John Howarton’s (Luke 5:17-21) and my (John 8:12) messages. During the day we also gave out 300 de-worming tablets, 40 anti fungal creams and 50+ reading glasses (tracts were given with the glasses). ESV Global Study Bibles, Bible stories in Arabic, a John Piper book in Swahili and the book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus were given to each Imam. We went to the RAU Obongi land and prayed over it. This is where we are looking to build a branch of the Hall of Tyrannus and where Obongi Town Church would also meet. Then we visited the largest local Mosque where we talked to the secretary of the Mosque and also gave him a Bible. To see him walk to the Mosque at prayer time with an ESV Global Study Bible in hand made me smile from ear to ear! More seeds were planted in Obongi and previous seeds planted among the Muslims were watered…may the Lord bring about the harvest. Please keep praying for the work in Obongi.”

Preaching with Godfrey at my side

Preaching with Godfrey at my side

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Carol capturing the beautiful people of Obongi and Africa with her camera.

Obongi Town Church congregation. Many Muslims including three prominent Imams joined us for the morning

Obongi Town Church congregation. Many Muslims, including three prominent Imams, joined us for the morning

Imams happily receiving Bible Stories in Arabic, ESV Global Study Bible, , book "Seeking Allah Finding Jesus, a John Piper book in Swahili, and various gospel tracts. Later they and many Muslims received reading glasses , de-worming pills, and anti-fungal creams

Imams happily receiving Bible Stories in Arabic, ESV Global Study Bible, , book “Seeking Allah Finding Jesus, a John Piper book in Swahili, and various gospel tracts. Later they and many Muslims received reading glasses , de-worming pills, and anti-fungal creams

Enjoying....

Enjoying….

With one of the Imams. Pray these Imams and all the Muslims who attended the church service.

With one of the Imams. Pray for these Imams and all the Muslims who attended the church service.

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I can read…and it is the gospel!

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The largest Mosque in Obongi. The Imam was with us all morning!

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Lord, open their eyes to see and believe the glorious gospel!

February 2nd:
“John Howarton left early this morning for Kampala and heads back to Texas around midnight on Wednesday. Having him here last week for all the outreaches in the Metu Mountains (where over 60 people were saved) was a great blessing to God’s people and a great help to Carol and me…thank you John!”

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Thank you John!

The day after John left we received 15 pastors and church leaders from the Maracha and Koboko areas which are situated close to the D.R. of Congo as well as South Sudan.  It was a great group of men which our friend, Joseph, organized and brought.  Our friend, Pastor Bob Gad, from Kampala came and helped me with the teaching.  He is a gifted teacher and really has a heart to help other pastors grow and be encouraged in their faith. Also, RAU intern Achidrii Onet Zorah taught a session. Zorah received his biblical training in Kampala and is originally from the West Nile (our Northwestern area of Uganda). He has a real heart of a servant and has been a great aid to me. He is helping to fill in the gap since co-worker Sam left to upgrade his medical training. The Facebook posts continue below.

February 3rd :

We have another group of pastors with us this week for a retreat. They should be here in a couple hours. The leaders are coming from Koboko and Maracha. Please pray that the Lord would strengthen and encourage these shepherds!

Koboko Marach Retreat

RAU’s 11th Retreat

Teaching:

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Bob Gad

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Zorah

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Yours truly

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Pastor Joseph from Maracha was our contact man for organizing this retreat. He also vibrantly led the music and interpreted into Lugbara

 

February 5th:

We are about to start day three of our 11th pastor’s retreat. Most of these pastors are from Koboko along with a few from Maracha. Bob and I have been doing the teaching. Zorah will jump in the line up this morning. It is such an honor to have a part of shepherd’s lives that are on the front lines. May the Lord use our time together and the materials they are receiving to encourage and empower them for their flocks and the multiplication of their congregations in village which do not have a single church!

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Food and fellowship

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Resources

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Reading glasses and ESV Global Study Bibles

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Study time

February 6th:

May this truth be cemented in all hearts on this our last day of our retreat with Koboko/Maracha pastors! “This [Good News] cannot be merely discussed, analyzed, or taught. It must be heralded!” (John Piper)

 

YouTube Video notes from church leaders at the retreat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iPxwc4v3wo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9h3-S4cP_I

This retreat was our 11th one since Carol and I made our permanent move here. We are currently adding a large room to “Sam’s tukalu” which has an attached bathroom and is near the Guesthouse. This addition will allow us to sleep 8 more church leaders for retreats. We also will have a double bed in the room for any married couples from America which would like to come for short term ministry. As I have mentioned in past letters these retreats are the top priority of RAU’s calling. In these retreats we are able to interact closely with church leaders to strengthen and encourage them through the teaching and resources. Our goal is to better equip them so that they can strengthen their congregations and so that they can  be multiplying congregations. 2 Timothy 2:2, with the biblical examples of Acts 19:9-10 (“…so that all…”) and 18:24:24-28 (“…took him aside….”) are our theme verses for the retreats. Your prayers and support help us transport leaders here and back and care for them while they are here. We have other retreats scheduled and we are planning for more.

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2 Timothy 2:2

 

February 8th (Sunday):

We are back and had a blessed time with the Katrini believers. (Katrini is located in Yumbe District not far from the Koboko District). Their love for Jesus shines brightly! What an honor to proclaim the Word to them. On the way back we met with a 16 year old girl who recently received Christ. She has been repeatedly beaten by members of her Muslim family. I can’t mention anything more for now. We are working to help her. Please pray for her and all Christ’s sheep in Yumbe District.

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Preaching in Katrini

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Katrini believers

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Listening to the Word in Katrini Yumbe District

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Pray for Yumbe. It is a stronghold of Islam with 95% of its population being Muslim. This is the report we have received from Christian “men of the soil”.

 

We have just heard back from our contact in Yumbe District that things have gotten worse for this 16 year old girl.  Yesterday she was able to secretly get away to meet and pray with us.  It touched my heart deeply to be able to meet with her and try to strengthen her with scripture, prayer and our physical presence and assurance.  Her maturity as a new and very young believer reveals the hand of God’s grace in her life. We have definite plans in the works but they are best left unwritten at present.  Please keep praying for her, her safety, and her family as well as all of us seeking to be Christ’s embrace in her life!

Here are a few other updates. The security wall around the outside of the veranda is finished. It adds another wall of protection and has not taken away from the beauty of the Guesthouse/Hall of Tyrannus.

Veranda Security wall is complete:

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Front

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Southwest corner

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The East side

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This is the Northeast corner. Our bedroom is in this corner and it was from this direction the assaults came last September

 

Work continues on the room addition to the tukalu which I previously mentioned. Remaining parts of the land are being cleared for the upcoming growing season. Lord willing we be able to add another 300+- grafted mangoes to the land. This would put their number at 500+. These mangoes will by God’s grace be able to help support the ministry of RAU in the future. We now have hot,rather warm, water for showers. There is a long length of black ¾ inch black pipe snaking around in the attic from our 5,000 liter tank to our showers. The heat in the attic keeps the water the warm. Praise God for warm showers! The downside is that we all will be using more water :-) .

We are also preparing a pad for the second container for when it arrives. By faith we are trusting the Lord and working on getting it here packed full of resources for the ministry. The most important item in the container is the 5,000 ESV Global Study Bibles.  It is most beneficial resource we give to church leaders. The fruit of such a gift is immeasurable! For $10 one of these bibles can be placed into leaders’ (pastor, elder, deacon, evangelist, Sunday School teacher, administrators, and denomination leaders as well leaders in the army, police, and politics) hands. The money is available for buying and shipping the container. We just need people to step up and help us purchase the bibles. We have $14,600 of the $50,000 needed for the 5,000. Do not let the big number scare you. The number can be reached with many small gifts or several larger gifts. Please pray over this need and do what you can. Receive this word of encouragement from one of my missionary heroes: I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.” Hudson Taylor

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At this link you can find information on the container shipment and how to give:

http://reachingafricasunreached.org/fill-the-container-study-bibles-books-and-more/

Because of specific targeted gifts by individuals we have been able to be vessels of help for a number of children, both medically and educationally. We have written in the past about these children and people have been touched by the Lord to specifically meet their needs. These outreaches are not RAU’s primary mission but we count it a privilege to be a pipeline of help in these ways. The West Nile region is way behind the rest of Uganda in means and places to help the children.

In the last month 8 local primary age children have been sponsored for one whole year of education including room and board at First Presbyterian Covenant School in Kampala. This school is run by the church in which  RAU co-worker, Patrick, is a Pastor.  In our Moyo area the schools are very crowded (100+ students per teacher many times) and are known to perform poorly in testing. In many cases parents do not have the money to even send their children to school so they remain home with no education. When the Lord opens the way, RAU’s 17 acres has the room to build facilities for a Christian School, but until then this is a way in which we can sow into a young person’s life. It is still not too late to sponsor a child/children for the 2015 school year. Six hundred dollars plus a onetime start up cost of $100 educates and cares for a child for one year at First Presbyterian Covenant! When giving please specify that this is where you want your gift directed.

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One of the local children who received an education scholarship

We also have been able to help children with cleft palates/lips (3), hydrocephalus (2), severe club feet (1), teeth issue (1), severe eye problem (1), and various other smaller needs.  Since the beginning of the year we have given out 1,500 de-worming tablets, 150 anti-fungal creams, many malaria meds, and pain tablets. Many, many reading glasses have been given out as well, both to believers and unbelievers. These acts of love touch people/families in a very special way! We only use funds specifically designated for “medical” needs to carry out these expressions of Christ’s love.

Carol just came in weeping. A local child was just brought here by her mother who had an umbilical hernia repair at age 3.  She is now 7, but looks as if she is only 4 or 5 years old.  She cannot eat well as her belly becomes distended and food won’t pass through properly.  She often is unable to keep food down.  Carol feels that there may be some kind of intestinal blockage which could become life-threatening without some kind of intervention! The child cannot be helped here but there are places in Kampala or even Gulu. The expense is in getting to the hospital and having the funds to care for themselves while they are there keep them from being brought to these places for care. When you give specifically for “medical” needs these are kinds of things we do with the funds.

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In this newsletter I have written about many needs and have asked you to give. Living on a long term basis here coupled with spending most of my life in America gives me a unique experience. Each of our living experiences gives us unique insights. My prayer is that Carol and I can be your eyes and hands here. One of our goals in writing is to “make you aware” of  what we see day in and day out.

Effectiveness in doing anything long term does not come as a result of guilt. I unashamedly lay these needs before you, trusting the Holy Spirit to move as He sees fit. As an American and especially as a Christian I know that many “needs” are “laid” before us all. In fact, because of television and the internet we are inundated with pressing needs both in our own country and around the world.  What we must all do is ask the Lord in what way we can best serve the cause of Christ with what we have. Most often we do this with those we know and  have confidence that our gifts are used properly.  As it says in 2 Corinthian 5:10, we ALL, as believers, will have to give an account for our actions at the judgment seat of Christ.  Also, our lives are like a vapor; we only have a short time in which to make the greatest eternal impact.  It’s not a matter of feeling guilty but being effective.

Here is link where information can be found on giving to RAU along with number of good articles on Christian giving:

http://reachingafricasunreached.org/donations/

May the Lord richly bless each of you and your families! Carol and I are so very grateful for all your love, prayers, and support!

All for Jesus,

Jacob (Carol) Lee

Carol

Blog: http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

For those who have asked, small packages and letters may safely be sent to:

Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa

Our “wish lists” may be found at Amazon (Click on the “Wish List” link and type in our name or email  address)

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our  power to get it to those who do not have it. May the Lord grant each of us His followers the wherewithal to be obedient disciples!

Jacob W. Lee

Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal.  PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly gifts. To do so  please click the PayPal link. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal are now tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501 c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate Missions, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155

What’s Going Up Is What’s Going Down…At RAU!

January 20, 2015

What’s Going Up is What’s Going Down…At RAU!

by Carol Lee

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Progress results from persistence with purpose.

- Frank Tyger

  Jacob is good about putting posts on Face Book that keep people current on activities and projects here at RAU, but we realize that not everyone “does” Face Book.  We want to lasso everyone “into the know” with this post and email.

It has been a season of projects and building and organizing.  If there were no seed-sowing, fruit-bearing purpose, it would simply be busy work, but with Jacob there’s always a purposeful plan and he’s persistent, so…we make progress!

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The perimeter security wall has been nearly finished.  It is now just a matter of aesthetics. As you can see  from the picture above, the wall serves not only a practical purpose, but pleases the eye as well.

Right on the heels of that project a second one has begun.  Another room is being added on to “Sam’s tukalu” which will allow a queen-sized bed and a couple of bunk beds.  We already have solar panels and a battery with which the tukalu can be “electrified.”  The current tukalu already has a bathroom with toilet and shower.  As we think about the ministry goals of RAU, Jacob is keeping in mind ways of increasing the number of people who may be served during retreat times.  He is also thinking in terms of teams, especially couples, who may come to serve.  This tukalu will serve both purposes.

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Addition of a room to the Tukalu and the foundation for another container.

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Making headway

On the north side of the new room, the foundation is being laid for a platform for the 2nd container for which we are hoping, praying and planning.  The idea here is that, between the two containers (which,in themselves, will allow for much storage) there will be a covered work/storage space.  That Jacob!  He thinks of everything!  There is funding enough at present to purchase the container and send it.  However, we still need the funding to fill the container with precious cargo – Bibles!  It costs $10 per Bible.  If everyone bought even one Bible it would help a lot towards meeting our goal.  Please keep that in mind in your prayers and your budget. We have the details here: http://reachingafricasunreached.org/fill-the-container-study-bibles-books-and-more/

Jacob continues to walk through opening doors.   Tuesday the 20th he will have an opportunity to preach over the radio airwaves via the local Christian radio station. At the end of the message people will be able to call the station with questions or comments. I believe we have mentioned before that this could become a regular event.

In the hills nearby the radio station, Aya Baptist Church has been busy reaching out to its neighbors in the remote areas of Gbare (pronounced, “Bar- ay”) and Arapi (pronounced, “Ah-rah-pee”).  They are in the process now of discipling new believers in Jesus and sending one of their own to move to Gbare to pastor the newly formed church.  Last Sunday there were 81 people who attended church in Gbare, at least 60% of which were new believers from the last month of evangelism.  RAU is partnering with Aya Baptist Church to see a good work established and to see the roots of the church grow deep in love for and obedience to the Word of God.  This coming week, on Wednesday, Jacob and Zora (our new ministry intern) will head up to Gbare for some time of discipleship and instruction as well as the basic good of some de-worming medicine.   Please pray for this work.

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Tobious (and the pastor from Ijuju Baptist Church) and Jacob in the Gbare area  evangelizing tukalu to tukalu

On Sunday the 18th, Jacob, Zora and Mindra (one of the men who works here at RAU) drove to Yumbe where they were met by Charles.  Charles took them to Ambelecu, one of the Church of  Uganda (COU) congregations in Yumbe District near the Koboko border. The COU (also known as the Anglican Church) is a solid presence amidst a devout majority Muslim population.  It is a very urgent and major goal of RAU to come alongside believers in an area where it is becoming increasingly dangerous and difficult to be a Christian.

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Praying and thanking the Lord for safe arrival to Ambelecu COU.

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Eager gathering of believers

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Jacob preaching the Word and Charles interpreting.

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Praying over those who responded to the message to forgive from the heart because they’ve been forgiven.

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Honoring the women who cooked and served

On Sunday the 11th, Jacob, Sam and Zora went to Obongi to strengthen Pastor Godfrey’s congregation, Obongi Town Church, in the Word as well as to stand with Godfrey amidst some intense opposition which he has been experiencing.  Keep praying for him and his flock.  His experiences give us a current depiction of first century church problems such as are recorded in the Book of Acts where Paul went from place to place, experiencing hardship and opposition wherever he was.  While Jacob and the guys were there in Obongi they took the opportunity to provide reading glasses, tracts and medicines to those who had gathered, most of whom were Muslims.

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Godfrey and Jacob

In one of the last posts, we had mentioned the need for education sponsorship for Richard, who has received surgery for club foot.  Within two days, a brother came forward to offer the amount needed for Richard to attend First Presbyterian’s Covenant Junior School!  When we told Richard’s father, he was thrilled, as you can imagine, for his young son (for whom life had thrown a curve ball) to receive such an opportunity.

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Richard – he walketh!

In addition, Anzoa, the young girl who received corrective surgery for congenital cataracts, also received a sponsorship.  A brother in America is working on meeting a goal to find sponsorship for 18 more local children.  (For one year, it costs $600 to board and educate and provide uniforms for one child.)  In America, we take a decent education for granted.  Here, people struggle to find ways of getting their children into school and keeping them in school.  The older the child, the more expensive and, therefore, the harder it is to keep them in school all the way through to graduation.  If anyone is interested in sponsoring a child please contact us.

During the writing of this, a young father came with his child who has hydrocephalus (or some other congenital abnormality.)  It is the most expensive of corrective surgeries in which we have been involved because it typically requires numerous follow up visits to the hospital and we rely on special donations for these medical needs that present themselves to us.  If the Lord lays it on your heart, we would love to take part in helping this child’ s life and lot improve!  You may designate a donation specifically for “the hydrocephalus child“.  Thanks in advance for placing your life and resources at Jesus’ feet to be used for His glory in this child’s life!

Not long after, just today, a mother brought her little 6 month old baby girl, named Charity, who has a cleft lip and palate.  She is asking for help to get the corrective surgery for this.  We, in turn, are presenting this need to you all, hoping that your compassion may be kindled for this child.  While the surgery is provided free of charge at CoRSU Hospital in Entebbe, the cost of transporting the mother and child back and forth 2 times as well as providing their up keep while there is what costs.  From our past experience, the cost comes to about $800.  Any amount that is left over will be kept for the next child who has a physical need.

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Baby Charity and her mom

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A happy baby in spite of her challenges

We feel an empty space which Sam has left in his moving back to the Kampala area to further his medical education.  We have been so blessed to have his friendship, his commitment to RAU’s vision and goals, and his talents.  He has been a great help to Jacob and a great help in making the vision of RAU a reality.  We are grateful for the Lord’s provision for Sam – getting a Bachelors Degree in Nursing is a three year process and is not cheap!  The Lord is good.  Sam, we wish you very well!  We will miss your joyful heart and your beautiful voice leading us in praise!

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Nyombi Samuel Wilson

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An evening walkabout

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His last RAU papaya for a while

Providentially, the Lord has brought us a young man to intern with RAU – Achidrii Onet Zora.  Zora completed a two year theological training at African Renewal University, a school which is greatly supported by Desiring God Ministries.    Zora has shown himself to be servant-hearted, willing to put his hand to a broom or a hammer or the dishes, or to help Jacob organize books and other resources.  He is an “eternal” student, one who likes to ask questions that open up great biblical discussions and who is humble in receiving insight as well as in adding his own insight to the conversation.  Jacob has given him opportunity to prepare and give a teaching or a word of encouragement which he has not only done willingly, but with an earnest desire for feedback by which he can grow in serving in this area.

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Zora enjoying the library books! A man after Jacob’s own heart!

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Jacob has perfected his “Tom Sawyer skills” on Zora

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Getting resource bags ready for future retreats

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Filing and organizing

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Handy with a broom, too!

This weekend we look forward to the return of our dear friend, John Howarton.  He has already been ministering in Ethiopia and South Sudan.  Shortly after he arrives we will be hosting another pastors’ retreat in which John’s teaching gift will be used and appreciated.

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John with his friend, Muhtar

I (Carol) am back to my “normal” self.  We will leave out any description of what that word, “normal” might mean for me!  On advice and reminder from my brother, Dave, I am staying home from the bumpy day trips to allow any unseen injury to heal which might have occurred from the jarring fall I experienced a few weeks ago.  I am enjoying some time to work on my skill set: drawing/painting and my latest interest – ink.

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An ink drawing of my favorite tree in front of Aya Baptist Church

We hope that, as you read about our adventures (and misadventures!), and as you pray for RAU, you may also be asking the Lord if you can serve with us here on a more permanent basis.  There is more than enough for one man to do and it would be awesome to have a others working together with us here.  For starters, consider coming for a short stay to see how your gifts could be used in a greater way to serve the people of this under-served area.

The earthly formula at the beginning of this post could have you wondering if you have the wherewithal to take part in this mission and it places the burden on frail humanity:  “Persistence + Purpose = Progress.”  Who is equal to the task?!!  BUT!….thanks be to God who does not make us His co-workers without equipping us!  Remember I Corinthians 4:7:  “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”  Philippians 2: 13 says, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  In Luke 24:49 we are reminded that Jesus did not leave without fulfilling His promise to give us the Holy Spirit.  “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”  “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work withing us, to Him be the glory…!” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

May the Lord bless you all!  We pray for the Holy Spirit to fill you all with joy, obedience and eyes to see the joy beyond the Cross!

Carol (on behalf of Jacob and RAU)

Blog: http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

For those who have asked, small packages and letters may safely be sent to:

Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa

Our “wish lists” may be found at Amazon (Click on the “Wish List” link and type in our name or email  address)

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our  power to get it to those who do not have it. May the Lord grant each of us His followers the wherewithal to be obedient disciples!

Jacob W. Lee

Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal.  PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly gifts. To do so  please click the PayPal link. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal are now tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501 c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate Missions, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155

“Psalm 151″ By Carol Lee

January 10, 2015

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 Recently, Mark Altrogge posted a challenge to us to look back and remember our story, to recount the goodness of the Lord in our lives. I was looking through some of the stuff we brought along to Uganda and found the following “assignment” that Mike Geer, a friend from our home church, Lifegate, had asked us to do for a Adult Sunday School class he was teaching. We were to write our experiences and struggles in the form of a Psalm. Hence, I named it “Psalm 151“. I hope that it encourages you to lean upon the Lord for grace and to also take time to write your own story of grace and to remember the goodness of the Lord in your own life.

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Psalm 151

(A song of Carol Lee recounting the works of the Lord in her lifetime and supplications for present trials; sung to the tune of “Come Thou Fount”)
(phraseology borrowed from John Piper’sSeeing and Savoring Christ” as well as other scripture)

Blessed are those upon whom the Lord has set His affection,
Who are adopted as His children and have been given eyes
To see and savor His beauty, power, sovereign grace and love.

Blessed are those who, in seeing and savoring the Lord,
Turn from everything of lesser value and follow the Lord
With their whole heart!
They will never be put to shame and will enjoy intimate friendship
With the Lord and His people in this life
And a glory that surpasses every earthly affliction and joy
In the life to come.

Lord, You have been my father from my childhood.
In my afflictions you drew me to Your living waters to find life.
You helped me find great comfort in Your Word.
I would have totally despaired in the loneliness of separation from family
If you had not tenderly shielded me from the enemy of my soul
By giving me hope through Your presence
And Your people.

In spite of Your faithful love,
Many times I left Your path and trespassed into disobedience,
Rebellion and the fleeting pleasures of sin – even though
I was Yours (for You bought me with Your lifeblood.)
I did not set my heart on things above where my beautiful Savior
Is seated, but I set my mind on earthly things;
I lost sight and taste of Your beauty and goodness.
I forsook the joy of Your friendship
To find friendship with the world.

But You, O Lord, in the faithfulness of Your covenantal love,
Pursued me!
In faithfulness You afflicted me and brought me low.
You convicted me of all my sin and made me to know
That there is no way, no love, no happiness or joy like YOU!!!
All praise be to You, O God!

Though many times I felt forsaken by father and mother,
You made me to know and cherish Your Word – and how beautiful it is:
“Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife
Or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the Kingdom,
Who will not receive many times more in this age,
And, in the age to come, eternal life.”
See what You have done?!!! You have surrounded me with
Fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers and children.
I lack no good thing! And you will do it again!

O, but Lord, I find my soul in danger, once again,
Of taking pleasure in fleeting earthly joys above the joy of Your call
To keep in step with You and Your Kingdom plans.
My heart prefers comfort, safety, routine, entertainment and ease.
I prefer the boundaries You have given me now
And shrink away from the enlarging borders You want to give me.
I am often having to repent of not making the most of every opportunity
or of not numbering my days.

I hear Your voice, O Lord, 

As You speak to me through Your Word:

“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up
His cross daily and follow me.”
“If anyone comes to me and does not love me more than
Father, mother, sister, brother, children…”
“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world
and forfeits himself?”
I hear You, Lord, and I am wrestling with these words.

And, as if that were not enough, Lord,
You are entreating me through my husband,
who shows by example what it means to passionately take up his cross
And follow Christ,
Who is ready to love You more than all earthly treasures
And the people who are so dear to him,
Who so clearly sees that there are other sheep “not of this fold”
Who must be brought in so that there are worshipers of You
From every tribe, tongue, people and nation,
And who does not love his own life
More than Your glory and fame among the nations.
I want to accompany this man joyfully and willingly;
but You, O Lord, from Whom no thoughts are hidden,
Know the unrest in my soul.

O Lord, in this affliction of soul do not forsake me!
Seek Your servant again, for I am a straying sheep.
Pursue me and make me to be set apart for You in thought, motive, word and deed.
Be gracious to me and open my eyes to see and savor You – and
All the more as that Great Day approaches.
Make me to remember Your promises and faithfulness in the past
And to trust that You will, once more, provide the grace that is needed in days to come.
Incline my heart to You and to Your praise and not toward selfish gain,
That I may enjoy Your presence along with Your people,
Both now and forever more. Amen!

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Note: I found this a year or two after it was written and I have retyped and edited it…as I sit in the very place for which I was struggling in this Psalm. The Lord has, indeed, been faithful! His grace has been sufficient. My heart has been made more than willing as He has enlarged the boundaries of my lot.

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