Changing Times and Seasons

Changing Times and Seasons

by Carol Lee

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“For everything there is a season,, and a time for every matter under heaven”

Ecclesiastes 3: 1

Never before have Jacob and I experienced the reality of this verse more than here on mission in Uganda.  Our lives are in a constant state of flux.  There are different branches” of ministry, different groups coming and going and, then, there is our upcoming trip to and from the USA.  There is not much “routine” as we knew it in the States.  If the adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” were true, Jacob and I would be in serious trouble!  Daniel 2:21 also reminds us that: “He changes times and seasons.”  That position is exactly where we find ourselves right now.  The only routine we know is change!

As you know from our previous newsletter, the months before May were a major push in construction to finish the new Hall Of Tyrannusand other building projects.  That is a season we are glad to have BEHIND us!  The Reaching and Teaching attendees were the first ones to benefit from that new facility.  It’s truly beautiful and it’s hard to believe it was built in a matter of a few months – a testament to Jacob’s great administrating and a very good work crew.

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The new and enlarged “Hall of Tyrannus” was completed May 6th

On April 30th, our new friends, George and Geraldine Smith, from Jinja, brought a discipleship team of 15 (themselves included), ten of whom were from Mississippi and they were here until May 4th.  They packed in mega amounts of ministry in 3 days!  On Monday through Wednesday, one group (of two teachers) stayed at RAU for a seminar for 25 local leaders (T4T), George and Geraldine took a group to one of the refugee camps for discipleship training, and Jacob took a third group to the Metu mountains to various villages each day.  These teams were rotated so everyone got a taste of different ministry opportunities.  The part of the day Jacob and I most enjoyed was the after supper “debriefing”  with the whole group together.  We all shared our experiences, both the good, the great and the difficult.  We encouraged and spurred one another on to love and good deeds. And we prayed for one another. It was beautiful to take part in it.

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“T4T” Team
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With IBM missionaries, George and Geraldine Smith. They have become special friends to Jacob and me.

On May 6th, Jacob went to Arua to pick up the Reaching and Teaching team from High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas while I stayed back to ensure that our campus was ready to receive them and the (what turned out to be) 40 pastors and leaders who showed up for the retreat.  We only have 32 beds and so we had to do some creative planning to serve all the ones who came. The church leaders were from Moyo, Metu Mountains, Obongi, Lefori, Yumbe, and Koboko.

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First group of church leaders to receive training in the new and enlarged “Hall of Tyrannus”

It was another packed week of teaching ministry and ensuring that all of our visitors were fed and cared for.  The Reaching and Teaching team consisted of four teachers (Otis Fields, Delmar Hager, Jon Kraus, and William Sebree) and one lovely service and administratively gifted sister, Kacey Hanson.  Because the men were able to adeptly manage their teaching schedules, Jacob was free to continue administrating over the many other activities which were still happening on and off the campus. Kacey and I handled the meals and snacks “like a boss.”  Of course, we didn’t do the cooking!  We had 3 lovely ladies (Lucy, Christine and Beatrice) who did that bulky work; Kacey and I just made sure that everything was on schedule.

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One of Delmar’s sessions in the new “Hall of Tyrannus”.
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The “Reaching and Teaching” team from right to left: Will,Delmar,Jon,Otis, and Kacey.

While the Reaching and Teaching team was here they had the opportunity to do some ministry in the Metu mountain villages, teaching, preaching and praying for God’s beloved people in new church plants in the hard to reach places.

Metu Land Cruiser Adventures: https://youtu.be/HXbG0DFDtxk

A special occasion was the baptism of 97 people from Aya, Alugodu, Cinyi, Lea, Eremi, Oku, and Ijujo. It was just last month that 71 were baptized from other new churches in Gbari,Arapi, Duku, and Oyo. It was a joyful celebration and a long walk for many (or run, for some!) down to an available water source.  This kind of event does not happen often so it had great significance and for it to be celebrated with special guests made it a pinnacle event.

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Celebrating God’s grace! Six people were baptized at a time.
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Jacob preaching from 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 before the baptisms.

God is opening the window of His favor upon the people in the Metu Mountains.  This is not only evident in the church growth but also seen in the blessing of funding being provided for bore holes in these remote regions.  We now have funding for 2 out of the 3 areas in which we plan to sink bore holes.  Each bore hole costs $7500. Praise the Lord for the loving response of our financial partners!  The district officials and the local villagers are also doing their part to make the roads more passable for the drilling rigs.

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Emma explaining the fruit fly traps to visitors on our RAU demo site

Emma, our Principle Ag Extension Officer, continues to manage the RAU demo plot (which is visited by many) in addition to two other plots in the Metu mountains AND the weekly radio call-in show.  The folks in these remote villages are getting free and expert training and opportunities (that are rare and come at a cost beyond their reach) through Emma’s physical presence and training and over the airwaves through the radio program.  We will soon be expanding our outreach by building a screen house here at RAU for mango grafting; this will allow us to sell grafted mango seedlings at a greatly discounted price using all our own resources right here on the demo plot (we have both the native root stock as well as the grafted mango stalks or scions). Our goal is to help empower church leaders as well as our local community through the long term benefits of mango and banana production along with vegetables and food grains.

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Seedlings for the new season and demo project

We never get tired of hearing feedback from the community members who are pleading with us to keep up the excellent standard of Ag Extension service which is being provided on site and through the radio program. So many people are voicing hopefulness that the socio-economic status of Moyo District and surrounding areas will continue to improve as long as community members are inspired and well-instructed through the sound Ag information and guidance which Emma is providing.

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Metu mountain farmers receiving on site training from Emma

Another opportunity has developed through a relationship with a young man named Joshua Abraham.  He ministers to and disciples pastors in the refugee camps.  Through him we have been able to distribute nearly 400 ESV Global Study Bibles as well as many other resources.  This networking is helping us to reach a demographic which we did not expect to reach.  The ripple effect of that – only God knows!

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South Suddenness pastors from the nearby BidiBidi refugee camp receiving ESV Global Study Bibles and other resources . BidiBidi is now reported to be the world’s largest refugee camp.

Now that this season of intense ministry is over, Jacob and I are on a big push to do the next thing – get ready to return to the States for a visit.  It’s amazing how much has to be done in order to leave – so MANY details which must be attended to.  The next season doesn’t necessarily mean slowing down!!

While we hope to come back to the States for some R&R, we also know that the pace will not slow too much!  Our special emphasis this time around is to connect with our growing family and to spend some time with Jacob’s aging parents.  Jacob’s mom, especially, has had some setbacks which could be serious. We are looking forward to holding our newest grandchild for the first time. She was born last  December.

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Our beautiful grandchildren

We will be arriving to Seguin in the last few days of May.  After about a week in Seguin we will begin traveling to see various family members and should be back in Seguin in the latter part of June and into July.  We hope to see many of you at church on Sundays.  We will try to visit as many churches as we can; however, we hope you will understand our limitations in time as well as our need to catch our breath before another busy season starts up when we get back to Uganda mid-July.  Jacob and I will be at Lifegate Church our first two Sundays (May 28th and June 4th) and also on our last Sunday in the States (July 9th). We wanted to be in the States for our 36th Wedding Anniversary, July 10th. We return to RAU on July 12th.

We are grateful for each season in which the Lord has us.  However, we have to admit, the seasons seem to be changing very frequently.  Pray for us to have stamina and a cheerful and grateful heart to face whatever is next up!  May we all not grow weary in doing good!  May our eyes stay fixed on the prize and may we, for the joy set before us, endure for the glory of God and the good of many!

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

Fr. Alfred D’Souza

My business is, with all my might to serve my own generation; in doing so I shall best serve the next generation, should the Lord Jesus tarry… The longer I live, the more I am enabled to realize that I have but one life to live on earth, and that this one life is but a brief life, for sowing, in comparison with eternity, for reaping.

–George Mueller

Carol (and Jacob) Lee

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http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: 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

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!
Jacob 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 their link below. 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.

PayPal Link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=WAR99DL4JFWXQ

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Go therefore…..!

A Race to the Finish Line

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can.  As long as you ever can.”                                                                                                                        ~Unknown author~

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Bountiful and delicious mango harvest
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Getting it done! New “Hall of Tyrannus”

The above statement we once attributed John Wesley, which apparently is not his, is nonetheless an inspiring exhortation.  And we seem to be trying awfully hard to do it!  The pressure is on and we (especially Jacob) have been busy on just about every front.  Here are some of the events of the last two weeks as mostly narrated in our Face Book posts and have generally had to do with getting ready for our two back to back teams which will come from the USA for trainings and ministry and our Ag Extension and Mercy Ministry.  Also, Jacob always remains ready for offers from his Yumbe friends, to interact with Sheikhs and Imams who show an interest in discussing religious matters.

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Jacob doing his favorite thing – directing traffic!
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Checking on the building progress

April 10 was a busy day at RAU as Jacob stayed active in overseeing all the building and other activities on our campus.  He is not just a visionary, but a man of great administrative abilities.  I wrote: “Jacob is a wonderful manager/administrator! He not only monitors projects to make sure they stay on schedule and are done properly, but he also encourages the ones doing the projects, sometimes by joining in on the work with them. It is no surprise, then, that in 4 years, RAU has developed into an amazing complex of buildings and Agricultural success. He would be the first to say, though, that he is surrounded by and partners with some amazing people.”

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Samuel touching up the “talking house” writings
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Working together to buy local farmers’ soybeans

As you can see, the new “Hall of Tyrannus” is coming along nicely and while all the finishing work is going on, the solar panels and batteries are already being hooked up and producing light.

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Installing the solar panels on the new “Hall of Tyrannus
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Coming along nicely

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 Emma, our Principal Agricultural Extension Officer (PAEO), spent the day planning and marking out his block design for the new season Ag demo plot at RAU, with help from our co-workers.  Emma has proved himself an invaluable contributor to what RAU is doing in the community of Moyo and well beyond.  The radio program extends his influence to wherever the signal reaches and he is reaching communities with his Ag extension services which have otherwise rarely, if ever, received such expertise.

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Emma marking off the blocks for the demo plot garden
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Stephen helping with the plot demarcation
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Making a compost pit
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Tomato seedlings

Today, Emma and co-worker, Pastor Henry, are up in the Metu Mountains holding another agricultural training session, empowering remote communities to use their land and labor effectively to improve their lives and livelihood.

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Shopping for mangoes off the tree

The grafted banana and mangoes trees are bearing beautiful fruit which we are enjoying ourselves as well as selling to local customers.

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RAU shopping cart for matooke

We have some expert craftsman working on the building as well as carpenters who are doing some renovating in the big house.  The old library will be transformed into another bedroom for guests and the library will be moved to the old “Hall of Tyrannus” where we used to hold the training sessions.

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Nkata and Lawrence – expert carpenters

On April 12th, Jacob had an amazing opportunity to show the “Jesus Film” in the least likely of places:

Many of my Muslim friends are some of the most hospitable men I have known. Case in point: Last month I was invited to speak to a number of Imams and Sheikhs in Aringa County, Yumbe District. For over two hours, they listened intently and politely as I preached and taught from Mark 2:1-12. Aringa County is considered the birth place of Islam in Yumbe District. The Aringa County Khard (Sheikh elected by other Sheikhs and Imams to lead them) has been most gracious and kind.                                                              

We gave each other a number of “Texas hugs” as well as traditional greetings openly and sincerely before the crowd. Last week he invited me to come back to show the “Jesus” video to his Imams and people. Co-worker, Charles, and I arranged a date and that date was last night. In a large soccer field near the Mosque and school buildings (they have a primary school and teacher training school) we showed the “Jesus” film. We had many technical difficulties with the equipment but the Lord was gracious and they were worked out. Many hundreds watched intently…I know many seeds were planted and watered and the Lord will give the increase in His timing.                                                                                                             
After finishing, the Khard and I gave some brief comments and then we packed and headed back to RAU. I left with the Khard over 100 Aringa New Testaments, many booklets in both English and Aringa as well as reading glasses and RAU grown mangoes. He was happy to receive them and give them out from his office.
The Lord granted safety on the road back. Due to the current environment across the border in South Sudan, it is not recommended to travel at night, but some times one must do what needs to be done. I got in bed about 2:30 AM with a tired body and a heart full of joy. Please continue to pray for the Aringa’s that the Lord would reveal Himself fully to them!”

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Showing the “Jesus Film” outside a mosque in Yumbe District

April 13th brought some visitors from Canada who had heard about us through a mutual friend, Charles Ullibari, who works with Action, International in Gulu.  It was a mutually encouraging visit with some great new friendships and contacts.

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New Friends from Canada and well know friends, too

April 14, 2017 was an unexpectedly busy day, but encouraging nonetheless.  I posted this on Face Book:

“What we have been thinking and planning for sometime is becoming a reality. Having heard and read and seen more about the famine and malnutrition in the midst of this refugee crisis which covers three districts (Moyo, Adjumani and Yumbe) and beyond, our hearts have been stirred to play a part in mitigating the crisis by growing soybeans and by inspiring the community to join in this venture.

Last night, on our Ag radio call-in show, Emma put the call out to the community that RAU would pay “top dollar” for anyone who brought in good quality, clean soybean. He also highlighted important information about soybean crop management and nutrition among many other facts.

So, today, this is what happened! People with soybean kept appearing and we were able to stockpile close to 900kgs just on the first day. I am sure that, as word gets out, more people will be coming by with soybean to sell. Our coworkers, as they saw people benefitting from their labors with cold, hard cash, were inspired to plant soybean as a cash crop.

This encourages us in several ways:
1) it is proof positive that our radio program has a listening and responsive audience and the timely, thorough and inspiring info which Emma disseminates is impacting our community through socioeconomic empowerment, and
2) we are that much closer to realizing our plans of providing a good nutritional supplement for host and refugee populations who are suffering from malnutrition!

We invite you all to participate in this life changing venture by donating to RAU. This will allow us to buy more soybean to make a corn-soya blend to supply local Health Centers with Nutritional Therapy for their clients (children and nursing mothers of host and refugee populations). It will also inspire and empower the local farming community to see value for their effort and inspire them for their futures!

Thank you, especially, to M.A.R.S. (Missionary Agricultural Resource Services) for your continued partnership and encouragement. Without you, our Ag program would not have had liftoff! We thank Emma for his expertise and passion which inspires and builds up!

Thank you to those who provided funds for a grinding mill and funds to purchase soybeans and maize from the local community. We ask that you also give to this effort through earnest prayers for rain. After a few good soakers, we planted soybean over most of our 17 acres. Then…the rains stopped. We are at a crucial juncture where rain will determine the output for our soybean crop. Help, Lord! So many people are in desperate need of what we are hoping to grow! Thank you all in advance.”

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Examining the soy for impurities – ensuring quality
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Cleaning up the soybean which was brought for sale
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John keeping track of the sales
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Paying
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Being paid! Cash in hand!

April 15th: Jacob took another trip to Yumbe to visit a friend.  Here is his narration of the events from Face Book:

Mindra and I traveled to Yumbe today where we had lunch and discussions with co-worker Charles and Aringa County Khard, (Muslim leader of leaders) Ayile. Ayile is the Sheikh who helped arrange the “Jesus” film showing this last Tuesday in a football (soccer) field near the leading Mosque in the County, as well last month’s meeting with the Imams he leads. He is a most gracious and kind man. I have known him for almost two years now. He has become a good friend. We had discussions covering a number of topics which include my sharing why Resurrection Sunday is loved by Christians.

He has given an open invitation to me to come as often as I can to “teach the Bible” to the Imams he is over. He also has been faithfully giving out the Bibles and books he has received from RAU. At the end of our time, I had opportunity to pour my heart out in prayer for him and all the Muslims in Aringa County. Please keep this friend and those he leads in your prayers…may he and they behold the beauty of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ!!”

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Meeting with a Khard

April 16th:  The drillers will soon start their work on a bore hole for Cinyi. In the photos you can see where they have been getting their water. Most of their health issues comes from having to drink this water. We have identified two other spots in villages where we work but we still lack the funds. It cost $7500 for one well. Please help if you can.”

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Water hole for Cinyi – soon there will be a real bore hole for them!

April 18th:  Emma and Pastor Henry drove via boda to Aya area where Emma held another Ag training for the new growing season.  He is a particular encouragement to the people of the remote mountain villages because they rarely, if ever, receive Ag extension services where they are.  One young man, particularly, expressed praise and thanks of Emma’s expertise and willingness to share it by explaining that he gave his life to Christ because of this information shared freely. Apparently, it softened his heart to experience the loving community of Christ through Emma and RAU.

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Emma also traveled the same day to another area of the Metu Mountains, Gbari and Arapi, where he is helping the farmers there in good agronomic practices and where they are clearing land for another RAU demo plot.  All of the clearing has to be done by hand with a panga (machete), so it takes time and energy!  When it is ready he will also do a training there.

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April 18th:  Jacob has taken another trip to Arua to get necessary supplies, including the grinding mill and other agricultural supplies which will be helpful as we move ahead with our plans to bless the host and refugee communities with the CSB (Corn-Soya Blend), a nutritional supplement for those affected by famine and malnutrition. He also took two older Yumbe Sheikhs for assessment and treatment.

“Sowing seeds of love and kindness is not separate from preaching the gospel but completely intertwined with it.” Jacob Lee

We are on a serious countdown to the finish line of having everything ready for the teams that will be arriving in less than two weeks….YIKES!  Lord help us all!

In the midst of all these events we have received wonderful feedback from a young man, Joshua Abraham, who has been delivering many RAU resources into the refugee camps which have been entrusted to RAU to disburse.  These resources include ESV Global Study Bibles and other literature into the hands of South Sudanese leaders as well as some beautiful dresses which were handmade by some lovely ladies in Fort Davis, Texas.

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Pastors and leaders in the refugee settlements receiving ESV Global Study Bibles and other materials
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Young ladies in the camps receiving dresses made by ladies in Fort Davis, Texas

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Please pray for our upcoming events and for all the work that still needs to get done.  There have been some setbacks with machinery breaking down and other events which have slowed down the progress. Pray especially for Jacob upon whose shoulders rests so much weight and responsibility.  Pray that, no matter what, our focus would be on serving people and pointing them to Christ in all things, even stress!

Pray for:

  • The new “Hall of Tyrannus” to get finished
  • The renovations of the bedroom and library to go smoothly and for successful repair of the electric table-saw
  • Safe travel for the teams coming: April 30th and May 6th.
  • More rain for the soybean crop
  • The attendees of the retreats, that they will be blessed, strengthened and inspired to share what they have received.
  • Provision for all three wells we hope to have dug in Cinyi, Alugodu and Ijujo. At this point we only have funds for one well. It cost $7500 to drill a well in the difficult hills of the Metu Mountains.
  • Successful repair of the tractor.

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Carol (and Jacob) Lee

http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: 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

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!
Jacob 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 their link below. 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.

An Eager Hope

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Beautiful Oku Valley Metu Mountains

Dear Family and Friends,

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.”       (Romans 8:25, New English Translation)

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Village of Lea (meaning “elephant”)
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Jacob and Stephen “doing stuff” in the field

Last week, we eagerly received Dr. Stephen McConnell to RAU.  We had been anticipating his visit for months, making plans with local medical personnel, especially Kiiza Frances, a clinical officer, to squeeze as many experiences as possible into Stephen’s fact-finding mission.  Our efforts did not disappoint!

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Stephen helping to serve communion at Gbari/Arapi Community Church
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Stephen sharing a message and Pastor Tobious interpreting
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Dr. Stephen holding an impromptu clinic
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Visiting the local Gbari clinic, and one of the nurses who runs the clinic

It’s a good thing Stephen got some rest in Entebbe before he arrived in Moyo/Afoji on Saturday because we did not give him any down time.  On Sunday, we took him to the Gbari/Arapi Community church where, on the previous Sunday, 71 were baptized from this church and a few surrounding churches.  Everywhere we took Stephen, he was able to hold an impromptu clinics to help diagnose various ailments which were brought to him and give advice on treatment. We made a short visit to a local clinic where Stephen was able to see the amazing work that healthcare workers do with limited resources for the communities they serve.  What a blessing to have his expertise and he was tireless and kind in giving his time and attention.

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Visiting in a home in Moyo

On Monday, I took him to see Moyo Hospital and to meet with many of the staff there.  Moyo Hospital has made great strides in upgrading its facilities – it will be such a blessing to see things up and running well for the benefit of the local community as well as the many refugees who are also being referred there for treatment.  It was especially a success to meet and talk with Dr. Joseph, one of the very few physicians, and to get a clear idea from him what the major concerns and needs are.  In addition, Dr. Stephen McConnell was also inspired and encouraged by the possibilities of coming in the future with other physicians and medical personnel to work alongside Dr. Joseph and to do capacity building workshops for healthcare workers as well as to provide community health instruction for disease prevention to community members.

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Under the tree and behind the Land Cruiser Clinic
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Trying white ants (termites)
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Walking to the proposed site for a bore hole at Cinyi
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Under the Mango Tree Clinic
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Heading down into Lea and Oku
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Women carrying heavy loads up the steep mountain climb
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Praying for a new follower of Christ
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Walking to the church under the tree at Oku

Tuesday was a completely different and unique venue:  the Metu Mountains and some of our favorite, hard-to-reach villages.  We stopped at a clinic along the way, near Ijujo, and met with a wonderful woman who runs the clinic under the most bleak of conditions, bearing a load with little help and a deficiency of supplies and medicines that must be very discouraging.  Further down the road we stopped in Cinyi (Chinyi) where we looked at the proposed site for a bore hole and where Stephen held a small clinic for the local village members who would, under normal circumstances, have to walk a day’s journey to get to the nearest .  After Cinyi, we hiked down to Oku, which is the end of the road for that deep valley.  We wanted Stephen to see the difficult circumstances in which these precious people live.  Along the hike down into the valley, we noticed several women, young and old, some with babies on their backs, hauling water up the very steep mountain. These experiences made their mark on us all and inspired us anew to do as much as possible to improve the lives and livelihood of this remote “unreached” (in terms of resources) community of people, especially clean water via bore holes.

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The clinic at Ijujo
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Gathering information from a healthcare worker at a Health Care III across the road from Beramaling 3 Refugee settlement
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Temporary shelters at the refugee settlement

Wednesday took us in a different direction: to Palorinya Processing Camp for Refugees and, then, to a local Health Center III, right across the road from one of the new refugee settlement areas called, “Beramaling 3”.  While Uganda has been gracious and welcoming to the flood of refugees, it has not done it without a cost to its own host populations.  This was evident in the clinic we visited as resources, space and personnel had to be shared and the waiting lines were long.  Fortunately, several NGOs are partnering with the clinic to bring personnel and supplies to this needy area which serves a growing population of refugees fleeing from South Sudan as well as the host community.

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Health center within the Beramaling settlement
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Ever growing camp site
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The schools have had to absorb the refugee population and the students cannot be contained within the classrooms

Jacob and I are particularly grateful for a young man who has proved faithful to minister inside the refugee settlements, disseminating many of the resources which have been given to RAU to distribute.

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Bidi Bidi refugee church leaders receiving ESV Global Study Bibles and other resources, including the Christian-Muslim Dialog booklets written or compiled by Jacob

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Thursday was Stephen’s last day in Moyo.  He was grateful for some time to spend on RAU farm, observing the folks who were hired to dig holes and plant soybeans and also helping cut down banana trees which have finished fruiting and slicing them up as mulch which is then placed at the base of the other trees.  Stephen never missed an opportunity to serve in any way he could while he was with us. He and Jacob enjoyed hanging out together just “doing stuff” around the compound.

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Stephen propping up banana clusters
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Hired day laborers planting soybean

Thursday afternoon, we spent some time visiting a local family and experiencing their love and hospitality.  Thursday evening was an inspiring “think tank” experience where we met with Dr. Joseph and clinical officer, Kiiza at a local restaurant.  Two physicians, Doctors Lynn and Sharon Fogleman, a husband and wife team from the USA who will be living and working within Moyo, joined up with us for what was an exciting sharing of needs and ideas of how those needs could be met through networking and shared resources.  It gave Jacob and me an eager hope of good things to come – a foretaste of the grace which the Lord wants to extend to this under served and underdeveloped area.

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Beautiful Metu Mountains; beyond those ridges is South Sudan

Friday was a bittersweet day.  We took Stephen back to Arua to catch a puddle jumper to Entebbe on Saturday morning.  We enjoyed every bit of time spent with him; his humble and kind spirit  brought refreshment to us and his exuberance and vision for the future fueled us with eager expectation for “what’s next.”  While he was here we half-teasingly, half-seriously pointed out where we could build a house for him and his family for when they “decide to move here” and told him we were going to go way “over his head” (if you know what I mean) and ask for a transfer!  Thank goodness, all those things are in the Hands of a wise and loving God who knows the end from the beginning and everything in between!

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Dr. Stephen McConnell, his wife, Maddie and his lovely family

We want to especially thank Maddie McConnell for not only “allowing” Stephen to come, but for encouraging him to come.  We were blown away by her organizational skills and by the care and thoughtfulness with which she packed the many supplies which were donated for the ministry.  A grand “thank you” to all the loving people who gave requested items, including the suitcases in which everything was safely arrived.  We definitely look forward with eager hope to the next time when Maddie is able to accompany Stephen!

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George Smith
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The Texas guys (pastors) visiting with George: Brian, Doug and Shawn

While we were in Arua, dropping Stephen off, our next group of visitors was arriving at RAU!  Recently, we met George Smith from Mississippi who, along with his wife, Geraldine, have been missionaries in Uganda for 17 years.  When he came through the last time, he was looking for opportunities for short term mission groups and for places for them to stay.  At that time, we made plans for him to bring a team of 3 men to stay with us as they ministered in various places in the West Nile region.

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Getting the grand tour
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Final Goodbyes

It was a particular joy to meet and fellowship with George, Shawn, Doug and Brian.  His three visitors are all from Texas, so you KNOW they had to be good folks!  It never ceases to amaze us that perfect strangers, because of the bond in Christ, can immediately feel like family!  They spent three nights with us but, during the day, they headed out to Itula and other places along the Nile where several of the refugee camps are located.  Their goal was to share the disciple-making strategy of T4T (Training for Trainers) in hopes that, by a multiplication process, the impact of the Gospel will go far and wide.  Our visits in the evening were full of laughter, great conversation, sharing of personal stories and prayer.  Thank you, George for coming our way and giving us the privilege and blessing of knowing you and your guests.

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We look forward to seeing George and his wife, Geraldine, when they bring a larger group (12-13) at the end of this month!

On a personal note, we have found out that the Lord is bringing several American missionary families to this area to serve both the host and refugee communities.  This has meant for me the eager hope of friendships and fellowship and the possibility of being more involved in medical endeavors as time allows.

We have so much to be grateful for.  The Lord is clearly at work in this area and is increasing the opportunities we have to serve Him and the people to whom He has called us to live alongside.  I have told so many people that I am thrilled to see God openning the windows of heaven to pour His blessings out on this particular area of Uganda.  Though the attention and help has come largely on account of the influx of refugees, we see that many resources are being channeled to the West Nile region, both material and human resources.

Being so close to the South Sudan border means their civil war has been brought a little closer to us as well.  In Face Book posts we have shared links to many of the events in South Sudan as well as our own experience of seeing and hearing exchange of gunfire right near the border.  Just this week we heard of armed rebels who came across the border into Uganda and were seen at Afoji center, just a quarter of a mile from us, and apparently they were hunting down some of their own people.  However, they threatened our local people not to make any calls out “or else”.  We also heard that some of them were able to sneak into refugee camps and several deaths were even reported.  You can find the story at this Ugandan Newspaper link:

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http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/South-Sudanese-gunmen-sneak-Moyo-District/688334-3880536-13ob5fv/index.html

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The New Hall of Tyrannus making some progress

Jacob never misses an opportunity to meet with Muslim leaders who are willing to interact on matters of religion.  Here is something he posted on Face Book about his latest visit:

I had a very good one on one meeting with a Sheikh yesterday. I was joined by co-workers,Charles (who interpreted), Samuel, and Mindra. I have known him now for almost 2 years and he has attended a number of my dialogs with Imams and Sheikhs and has become a friend. He gladly received Bibles in Aringa,Swahili and Arabic along with other reading materials and RAU-grown fresh mangoes. He is older (my age  ) and teaches Islamic studies in a school. We discussed, civilly, differences on the person of Jesus, salvation, and prayer. He is very ingrained in Islam but, by the end of or three hours together, I sensed him opening more to the message I was sharing with him then and in our past times in group dialogs. Close to the end of our time together he stated, “Jacob, if what you say is true and it is revealed to me I will come to your side and you,Jacob, if it is revealed to you that Islam is right you come to my side “. Before we parted he asked for me to pray for him which I gladly did in, Jesus Name, with my head and arms upward to Jehovah! Sometime, in the next couple weeks, I want to take him to the clinic to be tested for an illness which has been plaguing him for a long time. Thank you all who prayed…may the Lord grant him revelation and eyes to adore the Savior!
Pray also for another one on one meeting next Saturday with another Sheikh who leads other Sheikhs and Imams. Also, we have the opportunity to show the “Jesus” film, in the middle of next week, to a large group of Imams and Sheikhs. Praise God for these open doors!!”
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In Jesus Name!

Here are some of the things we are working towards with EAGER HOPE and for which we ask you to be in fervent prayer:

  • The work on our larger “Hall of Tyrannus” is making great strides.  There is still a bit of pressure as we see the end of the month coming upon us more quickly than we want and in light of the two groups we will be hosting back to back at the end of April and the beginning of May.  Please pray that all will move well and without many obstacles and that the builders will meet that deadline with some time to spare!  We are so grateful for the provision of a large donation to help with its completion!
  • The drilling of 3 bore holes in the remote areas of the Metu Mountains (Alugodu, Cinyi and Ijujo).  In partnership with a local engineer, John, we were able to do a survey and locate a water source in each of these 3 areas which will provide clean water and an improved quality of life and health for these communities.  Currently, we have funding for 1 of the bore holes.  We ask for your help in funding the other two bore holes.  Each one costs $7500.
  • Please be praying for the two groups which will be arriving back to back beginning on April 29th .  Pray that all the preparations would go smoothly and that all the accommodations would be ready to go!
  • Pray for rain in this region.  We have had some rain, but, now that the soybeans and regular beans have been planted, we could use some heavier rains to help them germinate well and grow to produce abundantly.  As we have stated, the soybean yield will be ground with millet and given to a local health center to assist host and refugee community members who are suffering from malnutrition.
  • Pray for South Sudan! The loss of life and livelihood, the displacement of millions of its citizens, the horrific trauma they have experienced and the wanton destruction in terms of infrastructure, food production, resources and progress is beyond understanding.  Please also pray for Uganda who is struggling to keep up with and care for the immense number of refugees.  The influx is stressing the local population.

Thank you for your loving interest and partnership with us!

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Carol (and Jacob) Lee

http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: 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

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!
Jacob 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 their link below. 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.

The Family of God

The Family of God

By Carol Lee

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Gathering at Gbari/Arapi Church for Baptisms

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21)

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Playing the Adungus for worship

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Pastors praying for the people’s needs

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The Ladies hard at work preparing lunch for the gathering

  This beautiful section of scripture heralds belonging, love and family and the God who displays it and makes it so. Our awesome Trinitarian God lives and works in loving community: “Let US make man in OUR image.”  (Genesis 1:26)  He means for us to live and work in loving community as well.  God created and placed Adam in the Garden to work it and keep it and then said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2: 18)  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have so wonderfully modeled for us what it is to exist together in loving and humble community.  It is our desire, at RAU, to see this pattern fleshed out among ourselves and multiplied among those who have received the call to love and serve the Lord.  This garden of loving community must be tended and we mean to work it and keep it in such a way that it will flourish and be fruitful.

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Walking and singing – to the Baptism site

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Gathered at the stream for Baptisms

This past week we experienced something wonderful – a community of “new creations” being baptized in the Metu Mountains –  members of Gbari/Arapi Community Church joined by other church plants in Duku and Oyo  as well as a couple from Aya Baptist, making a total of 71 people.  For the past two years Aya Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Ojji Tobious and in partnership with RAU, has been pressing into these Metu Mountain villages with the hopeful story of God’s redeeming love in Christ Jesus.  Many have responded by expressing a desire to trust in what Christ has done on their behalf.  This last Sunday provided the opportunity to make a public declaration of their intention to be followers and disciples of Jesus – through Baptism. The event was a joyful assembly of thankful people.

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Jacob and Samuel watching in joyful celebration during the baptisms

Though it has been a challenge for Aya Baptist Church, they have found men who are willing to take on  a shepherd’s role of caring for the new believers in these remote places to which they have to “foot” every weekend.  It has been RAU’s privilege to support, encourage, train and provide resources for this band of brothers.  We are so proud of their commitment to be faithful in a calling which has few earthly remunerations and rewards.  It remains our strong commitment to see them through.  When Jacob preached this Baptism Sunday, he reminded them of the message in Philippians 1:6 which germinates into hope: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  The task is daunting to reach the many who have not been reached and to disciple, with limited resources, the ones who have.  BUT GOD is at work in all of us and is able to do so much more than we can imagine.  We long for and work towards the unimaginable, glorious fulfillment of this promise.

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Preaching…

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Pastor Tobious and Samuel

Our deep desire is that these new communities of believers are not only birthed, but that they are strengthened in their inner man and have a deepening understanding of the love of Christ as well as a richer expression of that love towards others within the family of faith and towards those who are not yet part of it.  “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (John 13:35)  Please be praying for them.  They have so many struggles.  Please pray that their sights would be set on Jesus, the author and perfecter of their faith.

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At the same time that we long for their faith to be firmly rooted in Christ, we also long for them to experience the grace and blessings of God in their physical lives.  They are no different than we are.  They struggle to make ends meet, to find healing in times of sickness, to get their children educated and empowered for a better life than they have had and to have more than a life of subsistence.  To this end, we are working with them, through the empowering and inspiring avenue of Agricultural training.  Emma has especially been focusing on Agriculture as a business in hopes that they will envision and experience the fulfillment of their aspirations to improve their lot in this life through knowledge and hard work.

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Thank you, family and friends, for working with us to see faith become sight.  Every activity in which we have invested energy, resources and faith is bearing fruit.  The feedback we are getting  through friends and acquaintances and through call-ins on the Ag radio program all attest to the fact that we are not wasting our time.  And, because of the current refugee situation, more and more opportunities are presenting themselves.

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Most refugees are leaving their homes in South Sudan with just what they can carry.

Jacob posted this on FaceBook:

This short “60 Minutes” video gives a look at the suffering currently going on in South Sudan. We are 70 miles south of Juba, the capitol, and just a couple kilometers off the South Sudan border. Refugees have flooded our three district area making Uganda the largest host of refugees in Africa. Uganda is a welcoming community and plans to give each refugee family a plot of land. Most say the refugees will be here many years.

The Lord has set us here for such a time as this! We are working on putting soy beans into the 17 acres of Reaching Africa’s Unreached and when they are harvested we will grind them for porridge mix for young children and nursing mothers for those in the community and the camps. It is the little we can do for their immediate relief. Our field work is at stand still right now as the clutch went out on the tractor. Living where we are makes mechanic work and obtaining parts a challenge. It is also an unexpected cost. Any help would greatly be appreciated.

With the refuges receiving land we know that we can help in their development by helping them gain agricultural skills. In our enlarged “Hall of Tyrannus” which we are building right now we will be able host not only pastors but also leaders from the refugee camps for classroom and hands on training on our demo plot. The life skills learned at RAU will remain with them and they will be able to take them back to their homeland when that time comes. And of course along with this development training those we host will receive biblical teaching pointing them always to King Jesus.”

“Any financial help you can give will be squeezed for all its worth. Living here full time has given us many good relationship with community and Uganda officials which in turn helps us be more efficient with blessings passed our way. By all means pray for South Sudan, the refugees, Uganda, all those aiding the refugees and us. Thank you!”
To give go to: https://reachingafricasunreached.org/donations/

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I love the prescription of Galatians 6:10:  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”  It leaves us without excuse.  It’s not a matter of “if we have opportunity or if we have resources“.  The opportunities abound, the needs are great and urgent, the resources are plentiful and the time is short.  Please allow the love of God which has been freely lavished on us all to have a direct effect on your priority of doing good to everyone – in the household of faith and  to all who bear the image of God.

 

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Tractor in serious need of parts and repair. There are no parts here for Ford 3600. Good News: Jacob just received an email that good friends were able to get a clutch and it is on its way to RAU! Pray for its safe arrival.
The new and enlarged “Hall of Tyrannus” with attached study and dining area. This new hall will facilitate larger groups to be taught.

Please keep the following things in your prayers:

  • Dr. Stephen McConnell is on his way!  He will be doing an important fact-finding mission for this area as well as bringing needed supplies and helping in any way he can.
  • We just received word from Pastor Patrick Bukenya, one of the directors of our Ugandan NGO, that his daughter, Gabbie, will need to return to the States urgently for a heart problem which recently developed.  As you may remember, she was born with a severe congenital heart defect which required immediate corrective surgery.  At age 3, she had to return to the USA for a follow-up surgery.  There was every expectation that everything would progress well.  However, a problem arose which was not expected to be an issue until later on in life.  We ask, not only for your prayers, but also for financial support to help Gabbie make the journey to the USA.  She will be traveling with a friend who lives very near family members in California.
  • The building projects need timely completion for our Reaching and Teaching group who is coming in early May.
  • Physical and spiritual stamina for Jacob in his many activities and projects.  He really does the work of more than one person!

Love and blessings!

Carol (and Jacob) Lee

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http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: 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

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!
Jacob 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 their link below. 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.