My sincere, urgent and humble prayer is that we who have been entrusted with so great a salvation will NOT respond with a worldly sorrow which produces death, but with a godly sorrow that produces repentance and salvation without regret (2 Corinthians 7:10). Let the discomfort of hard facts do its good work of awakening us from our slumber in the sun to actions which produce everlasting life as we fulfill the commission we were given by Jesus who bought for us ,with His blood, the right to be seated with Him in the heavenlies. After all, it’s not just bread we are busy making, but it’s the privilege of introducing the world to the Bread of Life (John 6:35) Who not only feeds us for a day, but gives us life forevermore. Let us commit ourselves and every resource which God has entrusted to us to accomplish, with great vigor, that which is most precious to His heart, that which gave Jesus the joy for which He endured the cross—the bringing of many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10-13):
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.“
So, how do we do a little less “sun-basking” and a little more bread-making? How do we develop a global, every-tribe-tongue-nation-people focus? The scripture at the top of the page (from Colossians) urges us to SET our hearts and minds on things above. “[W]e must follow the ascended Savior with the wings of our meditations and the chariots of our affections” (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown). Where our treasure is there will our heart be also (Luke 12:34). We have been lulled into complacent slumber because, generally speaking, we have it so good. We are happy with our current heaven and cannot fathom that some of what we are investing in now is not worthy of what is to come. This is one reason why persecution and hardship produce such growth in the church. They strip away the illusion that this world is heaven so we can be awakened to our true home in heaven. (In Ma’di: ” ‘Baru amadri loso rii ‘bu ‘a.” =”Our good home is heaven“). Suffering makes us keenly aware that this world is broken. It jolts our senses. Suffering commands us to be dissatisfied with this world and to realign our sight and affections to heaven where Christ is seated. Knowing that this world is temporary and that souls are eternal MUST change our priorities, the focus of our energy and use of our resources. Just as, during WWII, every resource was re-purposed to fill wartime demands, so, also, we must consider how our earthly resources can be purposefully channeled into Christ’s Kingdom building efforts. This requires course-correction. This requires new sight, new priorities, new affections. This requires us to wake up from our slumber in the sun.
Below are listed some things that Christians can do to realign their sights and affections to “make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Research these mission boards and consider if the Lord is calling you to take the unconventional step of serving in hard places.
Read books which will fulfill 1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.“
- David Platt: Radical & Something Needs To Change
- John Piper and David Mathis: Finish The Mission & Let the Nations Be Glad
- Clint Archer: Holding the Rope:Short Term Missions Long Term Gain
- J.D. Payne: To the Edge & Apostolic Church Planting: Birthing New Churches from New Believers
- Andy Johnson: Missions
- Missionary Biographies and Autobiographies (Adoniram Judson, John Patton, Hudson Taylor, Elisabeth Elliot, Lottie Moon, William Carey,Amy Carmichael, to name just a few!)
- Operation World Reference Book and Prayer Guide for learning about and praying for unreached people groups.
Find out which missionaries and church-planting organizations your local church is supporting and become more personally involved in the care and support of those missionaries. Consider joining them.
Jacob and I, under the organization of Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU) are sent out by our home fellowship, Lifegate Church. We welcome teaching and ministry teams from local churches (with whom we have developed a relationship) to assist in training local church leaders who will faithfully train others. Our focus is to reach physically unreached “places” with the Gospel (e.g. Metu Mountains) as well as unreached “people groups” such as the Aringa Tribe in Yumbe District which is ~95% Muslim (Yumbe town, 98%). More recently, we have been privileged to partner with men from the Republic of Sudan who are Muslim-Background-Believers (MBB) who trusted the saving work of Christ, fled their country due to civil and political unrest and now want to return to bring this saving Good News to their tribes (some of which are 99.9% Muslim). Our part has been to train them Biblically and support them with resources so that the foundation they build on is Christ and salvation by faith alone through grace alone and so that the cause of Christ can be multiplied exponentially by teaching faithful people who, in turn, can teach others to teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).
We have added Agricultural training to our ministry palette because, wherever these men and their families are ministering (in mostly agrarian societies and economies), we want them to have the means to support their families through farming as a business–either as a supplementary or primary means of income.
Our recent ministry events are the fleshing out of these priorities.
Shortly before the High Pointe team retreat, we hosted 3 men here (Joshua Abraham, Absalah Kori, and Salah Hamed) overnight so that Jacob and they could strategize a visit into areas of the Republic of (North) Sudan for much lacking gospel work. They even discussed the logistics of Jacob being able to go with these men to see for himself and to be able report the conditions and opportunities accurately. Unfortunately, it became clear that the trip (for Jacob) most likely would not be possible this year, but there is great hope for something next year. Still, we were able to send these precious brothers in the Lord on their way with key resources for their work of discipling in areas where the Gospel has made the least in-roads. Just recently, Jacob also had the opportunity to touch base with another young man who has been pouring time and energy into evangelizing and discipling in the Nuba Mountain regions. He came with a well-thought-out plan for reaching many unreached tribes in his country. This is exciting because the church abroad can partner with these men who are reaching unreached people groups–and they already know the language and culture–because its their own! Just the other day, we received a visit from two men, one of whom is a chaplain in the South Sudanese army and another from the Nuba Mountains. They are using all their means to reach those in his sphere of influence with the Gospel. Their first language is Arabic and so Jacob was thrilled to be able to provide them with some Arabic literature and an Arabic Study Bibles. Because of such men, the Gospel has a far greater reach than what we, as individuals, could ever have.
On August 26th, Addison Lawrence and Scott Cope (from High Point Baptist Church) and Peter Brock (with Reaching & Teaching International) arrived to teach Modules 6 & 7 to Pastors/leaders from the Metu Mountain churches, Moyo District, Obongi,Yumbe, and Koboko. This is our first track of leaders to go through the 9 module Reaching and Teaching curriculum. There was no “down time” as the retreat started the very next day (Tuesday) and, being a back-to-back, 2-module retreat, went until the following Wednesday. A lonnnggg haul, but with maximum “bang for the buck“!!
All three of the visiting team taught through what was a rigorous schedule of morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Module 6 & 7 covered topics of Missions and Church Planting, Homiletics and Storying and other issues of heart and mission. Scott’s youthful exuberance and engagement with the men was refreshing (that exuberance also extended to a few between-session football [soccer] games and night out in Moyo town for a televised Arsenal game). Addison’s caring, pastoral heart and commitment to keep everyone on task and focused on vital matters was a great blessing to the men. Peter, with his humble and gentle nature, honed in on the heart issues of R & T’s “Hearts, Heads & Hands” curriculum.”
Jacob and I eagerly looked forward to afternoon “tea and crumpets” (or coffee and apple crisp) with Addison and Peter and Scott (when the schedule would allow). We were both so encouraged and strengthened by our interactions and vigorous discussions of many topics relating to ministry and mission in addition to home and family life. The end of the retreat came quickly and the abrupt silence in the wake of the departure of leaders and our team was deeply felt.
As the Pastors and leaders in the Metu Mountains, Moyo, Obongi, Yumbe, Koboko,Sudan and South Sudan work faithfully to guard the deposit of truth they have received, we also want to strengthen them in one of their most challenging life-problems: providing adequately for their families. Most congregations in these regions cannot support a full-time pastor. EVERYONE is struggling to make ends meet. Agricultural and agri-business training helps leaders develop skills and a mindset which can push them ahead financially to meet the needs of their families.
Emma, our Principal Agricultural Extension Officer, offers training during retreats for “Farming as a Business“. In addition, He continues to offer extension services via the RAU weekly Ag radio program (modeled after the American “Lawn and Garden” broadcasts) which reaches even beyond the pastors that were initially and primarily the target of Ag training. This coming Thursday, Emma has invited 13 farmers from the community to join him on the radio program to share there successes and struggles in their fields. We look for that to be especially inspiring to hopeful farmers. Our demo farm is continuing to be cultivated. Emma is always on the lookout for new crops that can be tested for their usefulness in providing nutritional and food security and improved socioeconomic conditions. Some of the latest crops are: sugarcane, herbs, cucumbers, zucchini and butternut squash and marigolds (for pest control and pollination). There are always new varieties of vegetables, grains and legumes.
In the last couple of weeks, RAU has hosted 2 groups of leaders in the area of livelihood. The first group of 106 farmers were brought by World Vision to visit the demo farm. Each farmer is the leader of a group of 25 farmers. The training and exposure they received potentially benefited 2,650 people (both from South Sudanese refugees and the host population). The very next day we received a smaller group from an NGO called, “ZOA,” a Dutch sponsored livelihood organization. Three of their team represented 750 farmers each, totaling 2,250 people. You can see the potential reach of this if the 2 Timothy 2:2 principal of training trainers is used. We long to see the West Nile region (and beyond) transformed by renewed inspiration and vision, new technology and information.
A couple of Sundays ago, Jacob took Pastor Henry with him to Yumbe where they met up with Onduga Charles, a faithful brother and friend. Charles oversees the youth activities in his church. Jacob reports that these youth are “ON FIRE” and effectively involved in outreach in their community as well as surrounding ones. Before the evening program of outreach in an outlying town market, Jacob met with a Sheikh in town in a one-on-one meeting at his home. He had hoped to have more time with his friend before the evening open air program, but vehicle trouble prevented him from leaving Moyo in a timely way. At any rate, they had a good visit. The Sheikh expressed great thanks to Jacob for the Arabic Study Bible (which was sitting right next to the Qur’an on the table) and the other resources. They hope to have another meeting where, Jacob says, the Sheikh has many questions for him. The open air program went very well. The youth had been visiting that market center for several days in advance and that may have had something to do with the amazing response of the crowd to Jacob’s message from John. Fifty people came forward openly profess their desire to follow Christ. Please pray that leaders, sound in the faith and grounded in the word, would be raised up for places like this where there is currently no good place for them to plug in as new believers for discipleship. Please pray as Jacob and Charles head to another location on October 11th.
At the invitation of Jeannette de Groot, my Dutch friend, I had the privilege of sharing with the Mothers’ Union in Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement how to care for one’s back to prevent injury. It took some creativity to work with what was available to make some visual aids and to see how the teaching could be maximally practical for them. It’s not surprising that many women suffer from back and neck pain when you see the burdens that they carry every day. I pray that something–anything–I taught will benefit their lives to relieve some pain or burden.
Whether the story of The Little Red Hen points us toward hard work and the reward of worldly goods and pleasures or, allegorically, to our labor for the “absolutely incomparable weight of glory,” both pursuits, to be successful in transforming our actions, require intentional, captivating, delighted anticipation of what is to come. May this perspective from Charles Spurgeon clinch this message in a way that will transform us from sunbathers to bread-makers with a healthy appetite for the true Bread of Heaven.
“It is the time of our life, the space of our opportunity, the little while we shall be upon the present stage of action that is short! It is narrow and contracted, as the original implies. Brief is the season we have allotted to us, brothers and sisters, in which we can serve the Lord our God. If you knew the sterling worth of time, you would shrink from the smallest waste of so precious a thing! It ought to fire us with zeal for immediate action. The sun hastens on, the sands run down. “Now is the accepted time.” Let those who love the Lord be prompt. The time to do the deeds that you must do, or leave them undone, flies swiftly past. Let this also admonish us, brothers and sisters, to singleness of purpose. We must have only one aim. My soul, bend yourself down, and lay yourself out for the glory of God! Be this the one aim of your entire being! Form your friendships, and order your occupations so as to fulfill this first and highest duty of life. Be it your one sole motive to live for His honor, and, if necessary, even to die to promote His renown among the sons of men! “Present your bodies a living sacrifice.” Attune your souls to the great Hallelujah—“While I live will I bless the Lord. I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being. If Christ has bought you with His blood, and redeemed you from this present evil world, He has a claim on you as His servant, and it is at your peril that you take up with any pursuits that are inconsistent with a full surrender of yourself to Him! You belong to Him, so live wholly to Him!“
“Time is short. Eternity is long. It is only reasonable that this short life be lived in the light of eternity.“
Charles H. Spurgeon
Thank you to the MANY who through prayer, financial partnership, encouragement, physical presence and loving gifts are very much a part of RAU. We could not do what we do without your action. We are, as we have often said, a conduit of the grace of God flowing through you to the precious ones He means to bless and strengthen and equip for great and mighty things.
Pray for safety and strength and endurance and health. Pray the fruit that lasts would be produced in our lives and in the lives of those we love and serve.
Thank you and God Bless you,
Carol (Jacob) Lee
Tax deductible charitable donations may be made via PayPal or check. PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly gifts. Reoccurring monthly gifts are very helpful to the ministry. To do so, please click on the PayPal link below. PayPal deducts a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal and by check are tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501c3 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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RAU was recently registered with Amazon as a non-profit organization to which a percentage may be donated for every dollar you spend there. Here is the link if you are interested:
For those who have asked, small packages and letters may safely be sent to:
Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa
The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it!
When at least 35% of the world, “the unoccupied fields”, have no access to the gospel, we (believers) must all do all we can to reach them. We who are saved owe the gospel to every lost person, most especially the 2.4 billion who will not hear unless someone breaks into their “unoccupied field” with no thought of their own life!
Sowing seeds of love and kindness should not be separated from preaching the gospel of sovereign grace but completely intertwined with it!
I am sure that none of us will say when in heaven that we prayed too much, we sacrificed too much, proclaimed the gospel too much, and were too passionate to get the gospel to those who have little to no access to this gospel of grace. Let us together press on to make it our ambition to preach the gospel where Christ has not been named!
Our goal in our gospel witness is to take our eyes off the “risk” and place them on the cause for the risk. When God compels us like this he often will not tell us the risks…after all there are no risks for the all-knowing, all-powerful God. So let us be AMBITIOUS (Romans 15:20) to see that ALL are reached with the gospel of grace (Romans 1:16) in ALL places…there are no closed doors to the gospel, just some which are more difficult to go through!