*Year End Mission Reports: 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013*
2013 Mission Report
As in years past the Lord has abundantly blessed Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU). All of us at RAU are grateful for God’s sustaining grace and for all who are standing with us with their prayers, encouraging words and gifts. It is an honor to press forward with Jesus’ mission in Northwestern Uganda, Southwestern South Sudan, and Northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The RAU vision and mission remain the same.
In January, 2011, land was purchased and in August of the same year building work on the RAU Guesthouse/Hall of Tyrannus began. Building in the bush of Africa, many miles from building supplies, has certainly been a challenge. However the Lord has been gracious in provision, wisdom and patience. We praise His holy Name! We have worked hard and have endeavored to spend every dollar/shilling wisely. The ultimate goal of the physical building is to facilitate the vision and mission of RAU in its geographical area for generations to come.
In July, Carol and I moved into the unfinished shell of the Guesthouse and helped in the ongoing work of making the facilities ministry-ready. In August we had our dedication of the Guesthouse/Hall of Tyrannus attended by officials, pastors, and the general public. It was an all day affair! Pictures and videos of the dedication may be found here. Building work continued through December. The water tower was completed, 4 tukalus (able to sleep 17, and with a latrine/bathing station for visiting pastors) were completed, beds (to sleep 29) were built (along with other inside furnishings), an outdoor charcoal kitchen (able to cook for 40+ people and with small attached living quarters for the cook) was finished, 17 acres of brush was cleared and is being made ready for planting soybeans (to bring funds in for the ministry), and a solar electrical system was installed.
RAU now has a place to: host pastors for teaching retreats, the ability to host visiting short term mission teams, a facility to mentor church planters, and to be a launching pad for bringing the gospel to nearby unreached areas. May we be faithful in the charge given to us.
In late October we had the first Pastors’ Retreat with 31 pastors from various denominations in the Moyo area. Long time friend, Ron Zeiner, from Texas, was our guest teacher. In February, a retreat is planned for Yumbe pastors.
Pastors in the region have little or no Biblical training. It is RAU’s expressed desire to help meet that need so that the local churches of the region can be strengthened and become multiplying churches. By God’s grace we will have many RAU pastor’s retreats each year.
RAU also hosted two other American teams who had a great interest in its vision for pastors and who wanted to investigate the possibilities of working with RAU to support and propel the mission forward. We appreciate the bond and partnership with our Tennessee friends, David Jones, Michael Lambert and Eric Williams, as well as with the SWI team of Kevin Turner and Ron Day.
A great joy of mine has been the opportunity to mentor young men in hopes of launching them out to pastor newly planted churches. One such man, Godfrey, has been sent to pastor RAU’s first church plant in Obongi town. Obongi has 25,000 and had no evangelical churches in it. Now there is a growing church there with many new believers who have been recently baptized.
The RAU container reached Kampala in the middle of November and has been held there by the Ugandan revenue authorities. The reason it is being held centers around a NGO which was abusing its tax exempt status; because of this the Ugandan government is looking at all other tax exempt NGO’s very, very closely! RAU’s tax exemption was granted to us last January but the exposed fraud has increased the scrutiny on all tax exempt NGO’s. With one signature the container could be on its way to RAU. This container is loaded with ministry supplies and 1100 ESV Global Study Bibles/over 3500 Christ exalting Christian books for pastors. Pray, my friends, for its release!
The latest news on the ’1999 Land Cruiser which we purchased from Japan in September is that it is due to arrive in January, according to the broker. He continually has pushed the timeline back. Our getting around has been limited, but we have managed by using boda-bodas,taxi’s,buses and for trips to Obongi and Yumbe the goodness of Abraham in transporting us with his vehicle. The Land Cruiser will be a great asset to RAU’s ministry. Please remember this in your prayers!
As mentioned earlier, RAU is hosting a pastor’s retreat in February for Yumbe pastors. According to evangelical pastors from Yumbe, the city has less than 1% evangelical Christians and is 2 hours from RAU. To help effectively reach Yumbe with the gospel there needs to be ongoing and active evangelism and discipleship. With a Yumbe Hall of Tyrannus Branch, RAU could have an accessible resource and teaching center for discipleship.
The year has ended with turmoil in South Sudan. There has been a coup attempt and, as I write, ongoing fighting in the country which could erupt into a civil war. RAU is I mile from the South Sudan border and around 50 miles from the capitol city of Juba. At this point we do not how this will affect the ministry of RAU. There is a possibility of large numbers of refugees coming our way. May the God of peace bring peace to South Sudan for the sake of the Gospel.
Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support!
2012 Mission Report
The Lord has been very gracious to Reaching Africa’s Unreached in 2012.
At the end of 2011 we had the slab poured for the Guesthouse/Hall of Tyrannus and at the end of 2012 this beautiful and functional structure was 85% complete. Building in the bush of Africa on the Ugandan/South Sudan border has presented many challenges but none which we have not been able to overcome by the grace of God. Money has been provided, materials collected, wisdom in building given, labor issues remedied, and favor with government officials has been granted by God. Details of the building along with a chronological picture log can be found here on our web site. We give praise and honor to our Lord for all that has been done. We are also very grateful for all those who have prayed and sacrificially given to get the Guesthouse/Hall of Tyrannus closer to being finished. By God’s grace it will be completed in the beginning of 2013!
In 2012 the Lord made a way for us to purchase 5 more acres in two separate deals. This gives us a total of 17 acres one mile from the South Sudan border. This additional land not only squares up our land but gives us a lot more road frontage.
The overarching vision and calling of Reaching Africa’s Unreached (R.A.U.) is to strengthen the local church, propagate the gospel among unreached villages and tribal groups, and minister to the physical needs of the area. North Uganda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo have gone through much suffering in the last decades (Joseph Kony and LRA in North Uganda, the Muslim/North Sudanese atrocities in South Sudan and the many rebel uprisings in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formally called Zaire).
In our next phase, R.A.U. purposes to build a Medical Clinic and Primary School on the land God has provided. The medical needs are extreme. We have plans drawn for a Medical Clinic by a Ugandan doctor and have a bid to build it. We also have plans drawn up for a Primary School as well.
By faith, along the road we will build and operate a Medical Clinic and a Christian Primary and Secondary School. Please pray with us that the Lord will open the way to build these facilities. We want to be able to show Christ’s love through medical care and education.
On November 21st Reaching Africa’s Unreached was given NGO status by the Ugandan government! Thank you for your prayers in this! As an NGO we can bring in items at a lower tax rate. Lord willing, we will be able to eliminate all import taxes for the next three years. Paperwork has begun in earnest in this endeavor. Receiving this exemption would allow the funds into ministry instead of taxes.
In 2012 there were many ministry opportunities which were granted to R.A.U. in the Moyo area and the nearby regions as well. The Word of God was taught to pastors and students. Evangelism outreaches took place in city markets, villages without churches, and in one-on-one situations. The Jesus Film was shown on many occasions. We rejoice in the many who have become disciples of Christ. We pray that this is only a small foretaste of things to come! Please pray with us and for us! Thank you!
“Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men or women. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for power equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle but you shall be the miracle”
Phillip Brooks (1835-1893)
2011 Mission Report
God’s blessings have been with us! As many of you know, in 2010 several Ugandan pastors and I established Reaching Africa’s Unreached (R.A.U.)! R.A.U.’s expressed goal is to strengthen local churches and pastors through Biblical exposition in the fundamentals of the Christian faith so that they are better equipped to shepherd their flocks and plant churches in the many unreached villages of North Uganda, South Sudan, and Northeast Democratic Republic of Congo. On many occasions I have heard pleas from pastors for sound biblical instruction and quality Christian literature. We have had opportunity to hosts dozens of conferences, distribute several thousand good Christian books and distribute five hundred Study Bibles to church leaders. Discipleship is paramount in the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:18-20). We hope to do much more of this by God’s grace!
Along with proclamation of God’s Word, R.A.U. will also continue to seek to show the love of Jesus through various mercy ministries. There have been some very serious conflicts in all three of these countries for many decades. The Bible calls us to be “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14)! The needs remain great and the Lord has positioned us strategically here to be His hands and feet. As my friend Kevin Turner, President of SWI, has aptly said, “We are called to bring a two fisted gospel (to passionately preach the gospel and actively participate in mercy ministries)!” The most important thing we can do during our lifetimes is to ardently and faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed!
I have had the privilege of making numerous relationship building trips to this region since 2006. They have been an extreme blessing in so many ways! Through these trips a rapport as been built with many Christian brethren, pastors, tribal leaders, and local/regional government leaders. The Lord has used these connections to open many doors of ministry for R.A.U.
In January of this year the Lord providentially granted RAU the opportunity to purchase 12 acres one mile south of the border of South Sudan and five miles north of Moyo North Uganda. South Sudan became the world’s newest country this last July. At our web site you can find the story of how the Lord connected the many “dots” to make this purchase possible. The Lord is to be praised! This land’s strategic location will enhance R.A.U.’s ability to bring in pastors, church leaders, church planters, and evangelists for retreats/conferences and for Biblical encouragement (See 2 Timothy 2:2). The R.A.U. compound will also serve as a base of operations to launch such conferences throughout North Uganda, South Sudan, Northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, and Lord willing further North. Furthermore, the twelve acres gives opportunity to have a Medical/Dental Clinic, Orphan Care Center, Christian Day School for children, and a Vocational Training Center for adults with Micro-Finance opportunities. It now also looks as if we will have an opportunity to purchase 3-4 adjoining acres. RAU’s plan is to plant numerous fruit bearing trees (mainly Mango and Orange trees) on the 12-16 acres which would bring in a future income to help supplement our ministry efforts.
This past summer RAU began earnest work on the land. The Lord has granted us the means, through hard work of His people, to pour a slab for the Guesthouse, build a perimeter fence, and to construct a number of homes on some nearby land for refugee families which had been living on our newly purchased land. We have also have been able to build a traditional African home (tukalo) near the future Guesthouse for co-worker Sam Nyombi. Sam is a Registered Nurse and will live there to help watch over the property and aid in ministry outreaches. Pictures and details of the on going building work can be found on the the “R.A.U. Building Picture” page on the website.
It is Carol’s and my hope that we will be able to move into the Guesthouse sometime in 2012. For this move to take place, the Guesthouse will need to be completed. This is where we will make our new home and begin to learn the local language, Madi, and to serve and participate in the local church. The Guesthouse will also allow us to host ministry teams and will be the headquarters of R.A.U. Carol and I know the Lord has been preparing us in numerous ways all of our lives for this calling. Please be in prayer for us as we work towards this move. The hardest part for us is leaving our many friends and dear family. With the birth of our first granddaughter this year this has been made even clearer to us. Thank you for your prayers, much grace is needed!
With the inflation rate over 70% in South Sudan, over 30% in Uganda and a bad economy in the USA building has been challenging on this pristine piece of bush land. Nevertheless, the Lord has graciously provided for each step we have taken and we know He will continue to do so. To those of you who haveprayed –Thank you!
Below is a list of the most immediate needs/goals for your prayers. When moved, Carol and I would love to host you in a short term ministry outreach!
- Completion of Guesthouse
- Drill a well/water storage tanks
- Durable used 4 wheel drive vehicle for RAU use. This vehicle is a necessity for the type of ministry in which we will be involved. We have been told the best vehicle to get is a Toyota Land Cruiser with a snorkel breather (for crossing streams) and a winch.
- Fruit Trees (They begin to bear fruit in about six years)
2010 Mission Report
Mission to North Uganda, South Sudan, & Northeast D.R. Congo: May 26th-July 8th
1. Thank You!!
- “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many” 2 Corinthians 1: 11 (emphasis mine).
- Many Christians were encouraged and many lost made professions of faith in Christ.
2. Motive for Missions
- John Stott commenting on Romans 1:5 which says “[I am called] to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake ofHis Name among the nations ” rightly said “The highest of missionary motives is neither obedience to the Great Commission (important as that is), nor love for sinners who are alienated and perishing (strong as that incentive is, especially as we contemplate the wrath of God…), but rather zeal—burning and passionate zeal—for the glory of Jesus Christ….Only one imperialism is Christian… and that is concern for His Imperial Majesty Jesus Christ, and for the glory of His empire….We should be ‘jealous’…for the honor of His Name—troubled when it remains unknown, hurt when it is ignored, indignant when it is blasphemed. And all the time anxious and determined that it shall be given honor and glory which are due to it” (John Stott, Romans: God’s Good News for the World, p. 53.)
- It was confirmed to me through my travels and interviews that the vast majority of villages in North Uganda, South Sudan, & Northeast D.R. Congo have no witness of the gospel of grace.
- In the last 30 years only the past three years have been peaceful. The evangelical (in Africa they are call “born again” churches) church is now growing at rapid pace with very few to lead and shepherd!
3. Method for Missions: His People
- “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God…Working together with Him (God)…” (2 Corinthians 5:20-6:1).
- Training: Carol and I believe that during the last three decades the Lord has been preparing us through Lifegate and our education (both vocationally and spiritually) as well as our many experiences for life and ministry in this part of Africa.
- Relationship: My four trips to Africa have given time for strong bonds of unity to be developed with a number of African Christian leaders. In this last trip of six weeks I had time not only to minister the gospel but also to live, move, work, plan, laugh, eat, and yes even get sick together with my African brethren. There are now 100’s of evangelical pastors and many denominational leaders, throughout North Uganda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, whom I am dear friends with, some of which I am very close to. They all want to work together for the glory of God. They especially desire more Biblical training. God has also given favor with the political as well as tribal leadership. It is not every day one is given a goat from the King (Chieftain) of the Madi tribe and made honorary ambassador of Moyo District (State) :-)!
- Sent: “And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:15) and “Therefore, after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off” (Acts 13:3). Carol and I, as well as RAU, believe that missionaries need to be under the authority of the local church. Lifegate has been our home for 28 years and we want it to remain so!
- It would seem God has been confirming Carol’s and my call, through the call in our hearts and outward circumstances, to the Ugandan/Sudan border! Will you pray and believe with us?
4. Vision and Goals
- RAU to have a center of operations where pastors could come for retreats and receive Biblical instruction. Most pastors can only get away for short periods of time. We also desire to have a place where pastors/denominational leaders could send those in their congregations who are called as evangelists, pastors, and church planters for training. We can also use this center for outreaches and conferences in the region. Many pastors and church leaders have had little or even no Biblical instruction (See: 2 Tim. 2:2 & Acts 19:9b-10). We believe this to be the most effective way for us to help plant churches in the many unreached villages.
- RAU to buy 15 acres, which has four school buildings on it, near Moyo and six miles from the Sudan border, as our center of operations. We are presently negotiating and hoping to purchase it, as well clear the brush, for $20,000. This land would allow place for Biblical training as well a place for future growth for an orphanage, Christian school and a medical clinic as the Lord provides. On this acreage many hybrid mango, Teak, and Neem trees could be planted to bring in a continual income for the ministry. (Please note update)
- Carol and I plan to move to this location to work alongside the born again believers of this region to help train church leaders and facilitate other ministry opportunities… “the harvest is great and the labors are few”. We are seeking to sell our things to pay off all our debts and build a modest home on the RAU compound. Pray…!
- Our African brothers and sisters are praying and believing for this as well!
5. Ministry Details
RAU is now officially registered as a no-profit with the Ugandan government. This gives great freedom in our ministry.
*RAU Team Members: Patrick Bukenya, Michael Drichile, Abraham Aluma, Sam Nyombi, and Jacob Lee
* Numbers below reflect estimates by those seeking to follow up and registrations. Numbers actually could be higher because in some cases there were not enough workers (Matt. 9:37-39). Our Lord only knows the exact count!
* Ten Conferences in ten separate locations with over 1100 in attendance. The majority present were church leaders. Meals were paid for by RAU and cooked/served by volunteers. The bulk of the preaching and teaching was done by Jacob Lee.
*Evangelism was carried out through various means. By our best count over 1200 professed faith in Christ. All praise to our Lord and Savior! Over 4,000 viewed the Jesus film in their own language.
* Over 300 John Piper books were given out at conferences to those who could read English as well as 1000 Quest for Joy tracts in English and 1000 in Madi to the lost as well as believers. Michael did Madi translation work. Brothers are working on translating Quest for Joy in other tribal languages.
- RAU Team Retreat for prayer and planning (2 days)
- Adjumani Girls Secondary School (Catholic)
- Preached gospel to several hundred girls
- Many prayed to receive Christ but we were unable to do any follow up.
- Village outside Laropi
- Michael’s clan-gospel preaching
- 10 family members professed faith in Christ which included Michael’s father and grandfather
- Moyo District Prison
- Gospel preaching
- 15 inmates professed faith in Christ
- Cefo Village Conference (1 day)
- Preaching/teaching-50 in attendance
- Meal served
- Afoji Village-2 evenings of Jesus film
- First evening 140 in attendance-50 professed faith in Christ
- Second evening 267 in attendance-39 professed faith in Christ
- Ayaa Conference-3 days
- 140 in attendance which included King (Chieftain) Saverio of the Madi tribe as well as the LC5 (Governor) of Moyo District (State).
- Four meals served. Ate with both the King and LC5…a good relationship has been established.
- Jesus film was shown two evenings with 500+ in attendance. Over 200 people professed faith in Christ.
- Afoji Village Conference- 1 day
- Preaching/teaching-67 in attendance
- One meal served
- Kajo Keji Conference- 3 days
- Preaching/teaching- over 200 in attendance
- Four meals served
- Jesus film one evening with over a 1000 in attendance, over 200 professed faith in Christ
- Moyo Conference-2 days
- Preaching/Teaching with 169 in attendance.
- Two meals served
- Moyo Crusade- 2 evenings
- In the center of town with many in attendance.
- Showed Jesus film after gospel messages each evening, many in attendance with many who professed faith in Christ. Do not have any numbers.
- Itula Secondary School- Gov’t Run
- Preached gospel message
- Over 200 in attendance and every student in the room, including one teacher prayed to receive Christ.
- Metu Secondary School
- Preached gospel message
- About 60 in the room with 12 who professed faith in Christ.
- Wedding at Ulia
- Preached at a wedding ceremony and gave a gospel message at the reception where 8 professed faith in Christ
- Jesus film shown-300 in attendance with 87 professing faith Christ.
- Amuru Village Conference-1 day
- Preaching/Teaching with 150 in attendance
- Served one meal
- Jesus film with over 300 watching and around 70 professed faith in Christ.
- Mungula Village Conference-1 day
- Teaching/Preaching with 70 in attendance
- One meal served
- Also preached one gospel message in nearby Secondary School (Gov’t) to 36 Scripture Union members.
- Pakwinya Village Conference-1 day
- Preaching/teaching with 80 in attendance
- Two professed faith in Christ.
- Obongi Village (along the Nile River) Conference- 3 days
- Preaching/teaching with 53 in attendance. This church was birthed in the Fall of ’09. There are no other churches for 10-20 miles depending on the direction.
- Three meals served
- Six people baptized in the Nile. Before baptisms preached a gospel message to a crowd along the bank.
- Jesus film shown in a soccer field with over 700 in attendance. Well over 200 seeking to accept Christ…we did not have enough workers to follow up!
- Mahagi Conference
- Preaching/teaching with 76 pastors from over a dozen different denominations.
- Jacob only preached 4 times as he was battling malaria. Michael and Abraham preached the other sessions.
- Three meals served
- Debriefing-1 day in Moyo
1. Common plea among all the pastors is more Biblical training.
2. Pastors desire a place to send future leaders/church planters for Biblical training.
3. Pastors greatly appreciated the Christian literature and desired more.
4. We needed many more gospel tracts…people loved getting them and do read them…more translation work needed on Quest for Joy tract by John Piper.
5. Majority of the evangelical churches meet under mango trees and would like to build a simple brick structure to keep out of the rain.
6. The majority of villages in Northern Uganda, Southern Sudan, and Northeast Congo do not have a local church!
7. There is much poverty and many medical needs. Most village children have a bad case of worms (distended bellies)…malaria and other diseases are rampant.
8. There were no evangelical schools in any of the areas we were in; Christians desire a place for their children to be educated. Many cannot afford school fees.
9. Moyo District has very many uncared for orphans. People were reluctant to give numbers because of embarrassment. In the last 30 years there have only been 3 years of peace.
10. There is a great need for vocational training. Most pastors have to work two or three outside jobs.
*I love this quote that Pastor Odom passed on to me:
“I’m not afraid of failure; I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” William Carey (Missionary to India, 1761-1834)