North Sudanese Leader’s Retreat

Sudanese Retreat
RAU’s 27th Retreat: Sudanese Leaders July 16th- 20th

We have just finished Module One of Nine of the Reaching and Teaching pastoral training program with 37 young men. This is RAU’s 27th  leaders’ retreat since our move to Afoji, Moyo District. Most of the 37 are from the Republic of Sudan states of Nuba Mountains, White Nile, and Darfur. A few were from the northern states of South Sudan which border the Sudan;  there were two locals, one of which was an Imam who sat in on the classes. Currently, the Sudanese  are residing in refugee encampments in Uganda. Their heart is to see the fame of King Jesus spread throughout the whole of Sudan. They are from tribes which are nearly 100% Muslim. For instance, one brother is of the Tima Tribe. The Joshua Projects states on its Tima page that “it is unlikely there are any followers of Jesus today within this small tribe.” This Tima brother was once a Muezzin. Now he calls people to believe in Jesus! He left RAU to go directly to his tribe with Bibles, literature, and with help for his transport. He is committed to being back to RAU in September for Module 2 of 9. The men at the retreat are from ten different unreached”  Sudanese people groups. Your prayers and support make it possible for men like these  brothers to attend RAU’s trainings.

Multiplication Is Key in Missions

“….Paul…. taking the disciples with him, and went on holding daily discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus [instead of in the synagogue].This continued for two years, SO THAT ALL THE INHABITANTS of [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor], Jews as well as Greeks, heard the word of the Lord [concerning eternal salvation through faith in Christ]. (Acts 19:9b-10 AMP- Emphasis mine)…….“The things [the doctrine, the precepts, the admonitions, the sum of my ministry] which you have heard me teach in the presence of many witnesses, entrust [as a treasure] to reliable and faithful men who will also be capable and qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2 AMP).

May the gospel spread throughout the Republic of Sudan as it did in “Asia” when taught in the Ephesus “Hall of Tyrannus”!!

 When the men arrived they were immediately registered and given a bag of ministry resources. By the end of their nine modules they should have a nice little library.

They settled in their sleeping accommodations and were able to take a refreshing shower to wash away the dust from their journey. Because of the gifts of God’s people, RAU transported the men from their various refugee encampments and back and kept them well fed throughout the week.  Co-worker Maeghan Bell and Carol, as well as all RAU staff, were great examples of Christ’s love through selfless service all week long.

 

Pastor Jason Andrew Van Bemmel of Forest Hill Presbyterian (PCA) and Bob Brown from Maryland did the bulk of the teaching which covered an overview of the Old Testament, God’s call to Ministry and also lessons on love, truth and the importance of Bible reading. Jason and Bob are excellent, Christ-centered teachers of the Word of God! RAU’s agricultural expert, Apiku Emma, had his first of nine modules on agriculture, farming as a business, and entrepreneurship. I started off with a lesson from Acts 17:11-12 on the importance of following the example of the “Bereans” and RAU’s vision of multiplication in missions.

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Discussions in the RAU library with Jason, Emma, and Bob
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Joshua Abraham, who is from Darfur North Sudan, is our “man on the ground in the camps” who faithfully oversaw which men came from the various refugee encampments. He is a trusted brother who has taught me much about Sudan and the gospel advancement/struggles in his homeland.

Carol closed with poignant and wise exhortation on the importance of shepherds recognizing all who serve in the church, not just those who are front and center.  I sent them off with a closing exhortation from 2 Timothy 2:9-10. The vision we have for Christ to be glorified in the Republic of Sudan will mean the laying down of  lives to see the gospel spread.

“…I am suffering even to [the point of] wearing chains like a criminal; but the word of God is not chained or imprisoned! For this reason I [am ready to] patiently endure all things for the sake of those who are the elect (God’s chosen ones), so that they too may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it the reward of eternal glory.”

2 Timothy 2:9-10 AMP

 

On Thursday night we watched a powerful video of the conversion of a Jihadist and we had a number of testimonies of on how God opens hearts to the gospel message. It was a testament to how powerful the word of God is to break into the stony hearts of men.  When asked how many do not have any portion of Scripture in their language, about twelve brothers raised their hands. Fortunately, all the brothers knew either Arabic or English or both. Tears where coming from my  eyes as I listened to their testimonies and their vibrant gospel singing in Arabic. I videoed one brother who gave a testimony on how many Muslims have come to Christ in his village. Our God is an awesome God mighty to save! The video is in the YouTube link below. The Arabic is translated into English at second 55.

 

 Our plan was to have just those who are pastors or called to be pastors to be in the training. BUT GOD in his providence also sent two Sudanese Muslims to be with us. One of the brothers said these men were seeking the truth and he had to bring them. Well…on the second day of training they made an open profession of faith before all. On day four Jason and I met with them along with Joshua. These new beleivers are on fire to take the gospel back to their camp and back to Sudan. I gave them the 9 Marks Arabic versions of  Who Is Jesus? and What Is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert, as well as my Christian/Muslim apologetic booklets. These were in addition to what they had received in their resource bags. We all praise God that we had a week together! Please fervently pray for our Sudanese brothers and that the light of Christ will shine brightly throughout the Republic of Sudan!

Below are the two new brothers in Christ.

Because of the great financial difficulty of church leaders, RAU actively seeks to teach people how to make money through agriculture. The one thing most all people have is land and God has given the gifted Emma as a teacher. Teaching them sound agricultural and business practices is a necessary component of our discipleship training. Along with the training each guest was given start up seed of upland rice, soybeans and bananas suckers. They had to dig their own suckers which was also used as a teaching lesson. RAU is seeking to walk out 2 Timothy 2:2 with agriculture as well sound biblical training. Please continue in your prayers for us in this calling the Lord has given us.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him (and his family) for a lifetime.”

Chinese Proverb

My heart was full of praise and thanksgiving all week long. What an privilege and honor to be a part of God’s plan of reaching the unreached in the Republic of Sudan. You who pray for us and give financially have also been given this privilege.

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!

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Here are a few upcoming events we seek you prayers for:

  • Co-worker Charles has told me that we will have an opportunity to meet soon with two top Muslim leaders in Yumbe District, Chairman of the Muslim High Council and the District Khard. Our last meeting with the Chairman was cordial. My prayer is that we will be able to continue to have dialogs with the District’s Imams and Sheikhs.
  • On the 25th RAU will host the monthly meeting of a UNHCR director for the area and a number of NGO representatives working with the refugees. Emma has been attending their meetings on behalf of RAU. They wanted to meet at RAU to walk through our 20 acre demonstration farm and hear about what they say is a “unique approach“, aka 2 Timothy 2:2. They have heard much about RAU and wanted to see and hear for themselves. Pray that we will be a good witness for Christ.
  • August 9-22 another team led by High Pointe Baptist Austin Texas will be here for Module 5 training for our Tier 1 leaders. We have other ministry events planned as well.
  • Rocky Point Baptist Stephenville Texas will be bringing another team to RAU September 13-26th for ministry. The 17th-21st our Sudanese brothers will be back for Module 2 of 9 tier 2 leaders.
  • Evangelism in Yumbe District, Obongi sub-county, and Metu Mountains.
  • Discipleship training in church plants.
  • Agricultural training via the radio and RAU demonstration plots. Second season grain crops are soon to be seeded. Pray especially for Emma as he teaches and represents Christ Jesus through agriculture.
  • The almost daily opportunities to  welcome and witness to visitors coming to RAU for various reasons.
  • Continual good health and protection.

On the 10th of July Carol and I celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. I am so grateful that the Lord in His mercy and grace gave me a woman who has remained faithful to Him and me. We remain committed to each other and our Sovereign Lord. Carol’s life of sacrificial service is a testimony to her children, grand children, and many friends from Uganda, South Sudan, D.R. Congo, the Republic of Sudan, and the U.S.A. May the good Lord give us many more years of service together for His glory. Please pray for our marriage that we will be a good representatives of Christ and His church!

1981 Engagement Photos 

Love and blessings,

Jacob (Carol) Lee

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http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

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:

https://smile.amazon.com/

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!
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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!
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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 or check.  PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly giftsReoccurring 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.

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

Keeping Watch Over The Flock

Keeping Watch Over the Flock

By Carol Lee

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Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Acts 20:28

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

1 Timothy 4:12

But in many ways the selection and training of leaders are most important aspects of church planting because these individuals will not only manage church affairs, they will model the faith for good or ill.“.

David J. Hesselgrave

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During Jacob’s early visits (2007-2012) to Moyo District, when the “Jesus Film” was shown to large crowds in the region, one on one witnessing, and open air preaching many people would respond to the invitation to trust in Christ’s redeeming love for them.  Jacob’s pressing question to Christian leaders in the area was, “So, now that these people have trusted in Christ, who will disciple them?  Who will be their pastor?”  The sad response was that the most mature among the new believers would be identified and set in as their “pastor” — a recent convert, probably someone without a Bible and certainly someone without any Biblical training.

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In response to the scarcity of biblically trained leadership, the mandate to identify and build faithful shepherds of the flock of God became the very fuel of RAU’s (Reaching Africa’s Unreached) propulsion into the northwestern region of Uganda which borders South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  In an area where few to no Bible Schools existed when Jacob began his mission thrusts, it was clear that one of the most important activities in which RAU could expend energy was training up leaders.  In J.D. Payne’s book (a book Jacob highly recommends), Discovering Church Planting: An Introduction to the Whats, Whys and Hows of Global Church Planting, he writes: “[L]eadership development is about the process of leading someone to faith in Christ and equipping that person to become a fruit-bearing disciple who begins to reach others with the gospel.  The multiplication of churches requires the multiplication of leaders and disciples.

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This has been the thrust of RAU’s ministry from the beginning and it will, by the grace of God, remain a priority.  We are coming up on the hosting of our 27th Leadership Retreat next week. RAU’s vision verses for the retreats are 2 Timothy 2:2 and Acts 19:9-10. Pastor Jason Van Bemmel and Bob Brown sent by Forest Hill Presbyterian (PCA) will be here to kick off the 1st Module for a new tier of participants in the Reaching and Teaching Bible training program with whom RAU is partnering.  In this tier we are targeting  37 Muslim Background Believers (MBB) from the Republic of Sudan (North) who are currently in Ugandan Refugee settlements  with the goal of preparing them to return to their own unreached people groups ready to take part in birthing new believers and discipling  the new believers to do the same.  It is an exciting privilege to take part in such a far-reaching plan; its ripple effects, we trust, will have a fanning and eternal reach.

Several weeks ago we held our 26th Leadership Retreat with a team from High Pointe Baptist Church out of Austin, Texas (where Maeghan Bell is from).  The team consisted of Otis Fields (who had been here twice before), Kacey Hanson (who had come once before) and Micah Snowden, a newcomer.  As someone who had never done any teaching in a formal setting, Micah did an excellent job and received some very positive feedback from the participants at the end.  Otis was skillful in teaching, administrating the schedule (keeping things on track and being flexible where changes were needed) and leading the team in Module 4 of the Reaching and Teaching program.  Kacey, as usual, was an amazing “serving machine“, ensuring that meals and snacks were ready and served, washing dishes and addressing anything else which needed attention.  It was a lot of fun to have 4 women to help with all the details this time (my friend, Helen, was here for a visit).  Every retreat is an underscoring of our primary and urgent goal of pouring into the lives of local leaders of the flock of God.

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The Sunday after the Austin team left for the States, Maeghan, Jacob, Mindra, Pastor Henry and I headed for Yumbe for another evangelism outreach, this time in Kuru. The previous outreaches had been in Ambelecu and Rodo.  Kuru is a conservative Muslim town and it was not an easy place where suspicion and resistance were keenly felt.

While some of the youth of Pilgrims Church (Yumbe town) were setting up the sound system, others of us were sharing and passing out tracts among the town’s people along the streets and in the market place.  It’s amazing what a short greeting in a person’s own language can do to peak interest and expand openness to receiving something which could be perceived as threatening to them (like Christian reading material).  Maeghan, Jacob and I each had someone from Pilgrims Church accompany us so that our attempts to engage the local people of Kuru could be translated, adding to what our Pilgrims Church companions had to share.  We were all gratified to have had some meaningful interactions with people from Kuru who showed a genuine interest in what we had to say and who also had well thought out questions about Christian beliefs.  After that, the youth group presented some songs and very energetic dances to draw a crowd for the preaching and the Jesus Film. Maeghan and I both agreed that the bar for membership in their youth group was set high (especially with regard to physical fitness and knowing dance moves!).

Jacob and Charles (the dynamic duo) climbed up on top of the Land Cruiser for a powerful message from John 10 about Jesus, the “Door” and “Good Shepherd“.  Jacob was skillful at bridging from the Qur’an to the Old and New Testaments and helping the listeners to find validity in what Jesus was saying about Himself!  Charles is THE most amazing interpreter that Jacob has had the privilege of working with!  The energy, clarity and passion with which he mirrored Jacob’s message (not only verbally, but physically) in Aringa was, in itself, mesmerizing.  It was a little nerve-wracking, though, watching them move around on the Land Cruiser rack, a small space a meter and a half off the ground!

After the message, when darkness started to enclose us, the Jesus Film in Aringa was shown. Charles estimated that approximately 2,000 people were watching.  The height of the screen on top of the Land Cruiser and the loud speaker system made it easy for people to enjoy the film from quite a distance away.  It was amazing to see how big a crowd gathered for the movie (a media which few people are exposed to) especially under the cover of darkness (in a conservative Muslim town).  Watching a movie in these rural areas is a very social activity with lots of verbal feedback and outwardly expressed emotions in reaction to what is happening on screen.  It was amusing to hear laughter and shouts in places where we would have least expected it, yet, something in the film was producing a big response.  Oh to be able to understand the language and to get insight into their reactions!  When Jacob shows the film in a highly Muslim-populated area, he does not like to make a push for public profession of faith.  Even if a Muslim were to be touched by the message or the movie, it could be dangerous for them to come forward publicly.  One young man contacted Charles about placing his faith in Christ, but it was agreed he would meet up with Charles in Yumbe because of the fear of reprisals. Later it was reported to us  that he had trusted in Christ as Lord and Savior.

Though there have been few open professions of faith in Yumbe District, we have a growing belief that the Holy Spirit is at work birthing new creations and faith in the saving work of Christ in the hearts of many.  This propels us even more passionately to continue the trainings we are having so that there will be well-trained shepherds ready to care for the new sheep in the fold!  Our energy and priority in evangelism is not “a notch in our belt” but our care for the souls of people for whom Christ came.

In recognition of the great task before us, we have been pushing full steam ahead on building our “Mission House” and simultaneously interceding for the families and/or singles whom the Lord will call alongside us in this task of training those who “keep watch over the flock of God.  We are so excited to watch the progress  the builders have made on the house and we eagerly anticipate the “unveiling” of the team for whom we are praying.

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A hopeful member of the team is Maeghan Bell!  Her presence, gifting, passion for sharing Christ, desire to serve, her friendship and her example have blessed us all and she would be a tremendous help to RAU’s continuing ministry.  It is our earnest prayer that her departure at the end of August will be temporary and that an exclamatory “yes!!” will be given by her sending church, High Pointe and that provision of her monetary needs will be a confirmation of God’s own “yes and amen“.

We continue to watch in amazement at the expansion of RAU’s reach in our Agricultural Training program in the role the program is playing in the lives of the leaders we are serving and in the agricultural development in the community at large.  In addition to the weekly radio program, the local demo plot and the extension service into difficult-to-reach places, RAU is proceeding towards certification of our Agricultural Training so that participants can take a nationally administered exam which, upon successful completion, opens doors for employment by providing a nationally recognized certificate. RAU’s Principle Agricultural Extension Officer, Apiku Emma, will be entering his second year (research) of post-graduate course work in Project Planning and Management after which he will be qualified to oversee this program.  Emma has also been invited to join in the monthly Review and Coordination meetings between the UNHCR and the NGOs involved in the Refugee settlements.  This is an honor given due to RAU’s contribution to livelihood improvement through Agriculture.  Part of the 2 Timothy 2:2 mandate involves hosting the meeting so that what is seen and learned can be replicated in other settings.

Whether in the arena of spiritual/Biblical training or in Agriculture, we know very keenly that the principle of 2 Timothy 2:2 (teaching faithful people who, in turn, will teach others to teach others) must be emphasized and practiced if we are to reach our goal as a ministry.  It’s not enough that information and resources are disseminated to local leaders.  It is imperative that a heart and mindset be imprinted upon them that what God has given by way of teaching and resources must not be buried, but multiplied; not only known, but obeyed and practiced. “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:48)  

And, after all, the implications are not small; the very character and progress of the church depends on the character and progress of the leaders.  The priority to pour into local pastors and leaders is to honor Jesus’  final commission to his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations.

“Never lose heart in the power of the gospel. Do not believe that there exists any man, much less any race of men, for whom the gospel is not fitted.” C.H. Spurgeon

The next few months are full of such activities and we earnestly request your prayers!  This is what is coming up:

  • Module One of Reaching and Teaching for Tier 2 of Leaders (from Republic of Sudan); Jason Van Bemmel and Bob Brown are coming from Forest Hill Presbyterian Church in Maryland.  Their visit will include teaching in the retreat and other outreaches into the surrounding communities.
  • July 25th: RAU will be hosting a joint meeting of the UNHCR and the 18 NGOs who are working within the Refugee settlements within our region.  It is their monthly Livelihood Review and Coordination meeting.  Though RAU has a limited role in outreach to the Refugee population, the community has recognized the contribution that our Agricultural Program has made and is making and has invited Emma to participate and provide important input in the meetings.
  • August 2-4 RAU will host a youth group from Finland (under the leadership of Pertti and Heidi Soderlund).  We will be taking them into the Metu Mountains to experience ministry in remote and difficult places.  They will also go to Bidi Bidi camp to see firsthand the repercussions of the South Sudan civil war.
  • August 9-22:  RAU will host a team from High Pointe Baptist Church for Module 5 in the Reaching and Teaching program. Other ministry events are being planned as well.
  • August 23rd-September 5th:  Kevin Kolb  will be coming from our home church, Lifegate.  Kevin is a member of our American RAU Board of Directors.
  • August 30th:  Maeghan Bell leaves from Arua to head back to the States (much grace will be needed for this event!). We are praying she will be able to come back in 2019 as a full time team member of RAU.
  • September 13-October 1st:  Rocky Point Baptist Church team will be here for Module 2 of Reaching and Teaching program for the leaders from the Republic of Sudan. Other ministry events are being planned as well.
  • Continued discipleship training in the Metu Mountain church plants and on going evangelism in Yumbe District and Metu Mountains.

We long for the support of your prayers and we are grateful for the support of your financial giving that keeps us moving ahead.

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Love and blessings,

Carol (and Jacob)

http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

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:

https://smile.amazon.com/

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 or check.  PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly giftsReoccurring 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.

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

 

 

 

Reproducible Pastoral Training

 

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2 Timothy 2:2 principle and Reaching Africa’s Unreached vision:

“Disciples who are shepherds-in-training should begin at once to train others,passing on what they receive from their trainer.”
Reproducible Pastoral Training: Church Planting Guidelines from the Teachings of George Patterson (p. 60)
Patrick O’Conner

Would you please take some time today and days ahead to pray for 34 young (North) Sudanese men who will be joining us on July 16th – 20 for discipleship training. Their heart is to go back to their own  tribes in the Republic of Sudan to plant and shepherd churches. I just received a report from a young man who is headed back to the Nuba Mountains to proclaim the glorious gospel. Most all of the some 90+ Nubian tribes are without a church. This brother had been with us twice for multi-day teaching retreats…I love his heart for Jesus and His mission! Pray for him as well.

Pray also for Pastor Jason Van Bemmel and Bob Brown of Forest Hill Presbyterian (PCA)  who will be traveling from Maryland to join us in the teaching.

Investing in Muslim-Background Believers in Uganda by Jenny Marcelene  (TGC-International Outreach)

 

Reaching Africa’s Unreached greatly appreciates TGC International Outreach. RAU has received and delivered many resources from them over the years. Thank you Jenny for this story!

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Investing in Muslim-Background Believers in Uganda

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It’s one of the poorest countries on earth, yet Uganda hosts one of the world’s largest refugee camps, Bidi Bidi. Refugees here and in several other camps along the South Sudan border receive extreme generosity. They can work, travel, and own land.

A two-time refugee, Joshua, first fled war in Khartoum, Sudan, to South Sudan. As a Muslim at the time, he discovered an English gospel tract on the ground and held onto it until meeting Christians who explained the message. After later fleeing to Bidi Bidi from war in South Sudan, Joshua became a pastor. He now works in Uganda with Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU) and helps distribute Bibles and Christian resources to refugee camps.

Reaching Africa’s Unreached

Uganda is considered predominantly Christian, but the northern region has little biblical training to offer, according to RAU missionaries Jacob and Carol Lee. The middle-aged couple from south Texas established the mission in 2011 with several Ugandan pastors.

During earlier, short-term trips to northern Uganda, the Lees observed that pastors and leaders needed support. This led to their primary calling, which Jacob says, “is to come alongside what God is already doing here.” The couple built the RAU headquarters on 17 acres in a town only a mile from the South Sudan border. Two years later they moved to the site as full-time workers.

He’d been warned by Islamic religious leaders in Sudan not to touch the Christian Bible. But after watching a mosque full of people destroyed by a rival Islamic group, he fled to South Sudan and began to doubt his Muslim faith.

“The plan was to settle in a small, underserved region and bring pastoral and discipleship training,” Carol explained. “But with each passing year, we have been surprised to see the plan enlarging with new opportunities in biblical training as well as in agricultural empowerment.”

Some of those new opportunities include the refugees—mostly Muslim and Muslim-background believers.

Reaching Refugees

The Joshua Project defines “unreached” as less than 2 percent Christian. The country of Sudan, at 5 percent, is classified as “minimally unreached.” Even so, approximately 80 percent of its people groups are primarily Muslim—and unreached.

Twenty Sudanese pastors attended RAU’s November 2017 training. Many of these, like Joshua, first heard the gospel either in a refugee camp or during war in Sudan. As he explains, “Out of war, we came to meet Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”

One of those who came to Christ is Adam. He’d been warned by Islamic religious leaders in Sudan not to touch the Christian Bible. But after watching a mosque full of people destroyed by a rival Islamic group, he fled to South Sudan and began to doubt his Muslim faith. While in a refugee camp there, he met Christians with Bibles who encouraged him to read it. Adam says he “found out the Bible is the true way.”

Jacob says the North Sudanese pastors all share a general story in coming to Uganda: “They say that God in all his sovereignty brought them to himself and had them here to train and equip them.”

Some of these men desire to return to their home country despite dangers in order to share the Good News. Jacob says RAU’s main goal is discipleship, “to get them ready to go back to plant churches. God is at work even in North Sudan—working and building the church.”

Productive Partnerships

The Lees place quality biblical resources into the hands of Sudanese pastors who have a heart to plant churches in their homeland. RAU has sent materials to various unreached parts of Sudan and to the Ugandan refugee camps. The materials have included free resources supplied by TGC International Outreach: nearly 500 ESV Global Study Bibles. The Lees have also received copies of an IO resource available in Arabic—Knowing God by J. I. Packer. They plan to distribute the book at this summer’s training for Sudanese pastors.

RAU recently partnered with Reaching & Teaching International Ministries, and they now use this organization’s curriculum to prepare African pastors for effective ministry. The curriculum comprises nine training modules taught over five days. National church leaders from around Uganda and various refugee camps come to RAU’s headquarters several times a year until they complete this program.

More Muslim-Outreach Opportunities

In addition to their refugee work, the Lees discovered ways to share the gospel with Ugandan Muslims in their region. In June 2016, they began an outreach to the Aringa people in the Yumbe District about an hour and a half from RAU’s headquarters. While some Christians live there, the area is around 76 percent Muslim, which is a stark contrast to Uganda at more than 80 percent Christian.

Working with a local Ugandan church, Jacob has conducted open-air ministry throughout the Yumbe district, preaching from the roof of a Land Cruiser and showing the Jesus film in the Aringa language. According to Carol, these efforts appealed more to the Muslim women, “who were listening and engaged,” while the men remained in the backdrop. Some of the women later sought out local churches to find out more about Jesus.

However, Jacob and a Ugandan pastor, Charles, dialogued with a group of Muslim religious leaders in Yumbe about who Jesus is according to the Bible. In return, the two men listened to one of the “sheiks” explain what the Qu’ran says about Jesus. Over time, one leader became a Christian, and a small group of others asked Jacob to teach them from the Bible—no dialogue needed.

“The door was open wide but is kind of shut now,” Carol said, explaining the meetings were stopped by other Muslim leaders.

Jacob says, in the meantime, “agriculture remains a hook” to get the Aringa to their ministry center. RAU hired a believing Ugandan man who is trained in teaching agriculture. This new staff member, Emma, shows locals how to plant bananas and soybeans, but he also shares Christ with visitors at RAU’s demonstration farm.

The Lees expect 12 pastors from the Yumbe District to begin RAU training soon. They hope the men will catch a vision to reach the Aringa with the gospel. And they pray for more workers to join their expanding ministry among these and other Muslims within their reach.

 

“Together” For The Gospel

Together” For the Gospel

By Carol Lee

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Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”        Hebrews 10:23-25

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”      1 Thessalonians 5:11

A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.”                             William Penn

Scripture so vividly speaks of God’s people in terms of covenant community: we are the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12: 27), members together of one body (Ephesians 3:6). In the first book, chapter two, verse nine, Peter describes us as a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”  In American culture we have idolized individualism; but, for those of us who identify ourselves “in Christ” this should not be.  We are “together for the Gospel” and cannot do it alone, nor should we. As much as possible, it should be a priority to serve the Lord in community with others.  We are invaluable to each other and God has designed it so.  Together, we are a picture of Christ on the earth, representing Him to the world who needs Him desperately.

Maegan

In my last newsletter I was anticipating the soon arrival of Maeghan Bell, an amazing young lady from High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, Texas and looking forward to ways in which we could serve the Lord together.  And now she’s here!  It is a blessing which has been immediately seen and felt in terms of joy and encouragement, friendship and teamwork, made possible by the bonds of love and mission in our hearts.  We thank the Lord for putting in her heart the desire and courage to change her life course to come and stay with us for the next 3 months.  We are hoping that this will be a foretaste of an enduring “togetherness” in our Gospel mission!!

Maeghan has not wasted any time in serving in any capacity possible.  She is eager, energetic and joyful (of course, we haven’t taken her to Oku yet! Hahaha!).  We have enjoyed working together, doing Bible Study, singing (playing guitar and piano), taking Boda rides to town for shopping, and even learning some Ma’di words.  I can tell she will do well with the Ma’di!  I am grateful for the answer to prayer that she is on a personal level and I look forward to seeing how the Lord develops her gifts and calling. But then, she has come – ready to serve – so I am confident that the Lord will use her in a mighty way!

At the same time we picked up Maeghan from Arua we also met up with Samuel , who had spent year and a half with us, and brought him to RAU with us.  We enjoyed his youthful exuberance and some of his “shenanigans” again and having him “on my neck” (as he likes to refer to his teasing me).  Samuel is an unusual young man, totally serious in responding to the call of Jesus to be a disciple-maker in his home country of D.R. Congo.  I love that he is taking on the young men (Boda drivers by trade) to care for their souls by drawing them in with a common interest of “football“, sharing the gospel and then mentoring them in the faith.  Samuel is a true Gospel partner and we are privileged to supply him with resources to help him in his mission in Northern D.R. Congo.

Another surprise visit was from our friend, Omar , a recent MBB who has been attending Bible school.  Omar ,a former Saudi Arabia trained Sheikh, has a fervent desire to learn English and know the Bible well so that he can be effective in sharing his new found faith in Christ with all, especially Muslims.  We have already noticed a marked improvement in his English after just a couple of months.  Omar spent a good number of years of his life studying, so it is no surprise that he is a life-long student who, at age 62, still wants to add to his learning.

Omar, since coming to faith in Christ through the Gospel preached in truth and love, has repeatedly expressed a desire to be baptized.  Since we had planned to have a baptism in Aya for 35  new believers, it seemed right to include Omar in this momentous celebration of his declaration of faith in Christ.  We had a beautiful church service on the new foundation for Aya Baptist Church (though we were all about to pass out from heat stroke) after which we went to a nearby pool (of stagnant, muddy water) for the baptism.  This was, indeed, another distinctive “line in the sand” moment for him. It has been a blessing to call him “brother“, encourage him in the Lord and look ahead to how we may work together with him in making Christ known and loved among his Aringa tribe.

One of Maeghan’s first Gospel “Adventures” happened on Sunday, June 3rd, when Jacob took a team to Ambelecu trading center  in Yumbe District for outreach with Charles and the youth from Yumbe Pilgrim Church.  While the youth were setting up their sound system for the music, many others were doing one on one interactions with people at the trading center and passing out tracts in English and Aringa.  Maeghan was good enough to take some great photos of the event. It is a blessing to have another photographer again!

This is what Jacob wrote in anticipation of the trip to Yumbe:

A special fishing trip (Matthew 4:19) is in store for today.We are off soon to a big fishing hole in a challenging stream (market day in trading center used mostly by Muslims) . The bait we have is superior to all others and the only one that is effective (Romans 1:16). Our rods and reels are potent means of getting the bait to the fish (one on one witnessing, gospel literature, open air preaching,&”Jesus” film in the native tongue). This ,along with fellow fisher’s (Matthew 4:19) support and encouragement (prayers), the fish will be drawn to the bait (John 6:44,65), their mouths will be opened (Acts 16:14) to bite the bait (John 1:12) and they too will follow their master (Revelation 1:8) and begin to fish in streams where there are very many fish (Matthew 9:35-39) and few who fish for them (Romans 15:20). We go (Matthew 28:18-20) knowing success is guaranteed (Isaiah 55:11) at some point ( 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 ).

And this is what he wrote following the big event:

Thank you for your love, encouragement, and prayers!! We had good evangelism event at Ambelecu Trading Center in rural Yumbe District.  It was market day in Ambelecu . The gospel net was cast. We arrived in Yumbe at 1:PM and back to RAU just before 1 AM Monday morning….very tired right now. While the Pilgrim Choir set up, teams went out one on one with gospel tracts in English and Aringa. As choir sang with their powerful speaker system the crowd continued to grow. At around 6 pm Charles and I climbed up to the Land Cruiser (LC) rack and I preached through John 10:1-18 for about an hour. Charles is a very effective and passionate translator…the sweat poured from us both. We then set up the screen and projector for the “Jesus” film (in Aringa). We again had some sound difficulties like last time but some young men got it worked out. Charles said there were around 3,000 that ended up watching…..the biggest crowd we have had yet. Our new screen system on top of the LC is nearly as long as the LC itself and protrudes around 8 feet above the top of the LC. The sound system used is powerful too. What a beautiful sight to see all these people hearing the Word! I know the Lord was doing his work …seeds were planted! Thank you for praying!!!!!!”

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New screen set up for “Jesus” film.

Our gospel-motivated Agriculture program is in full swing as the rainy season continues – lots of digging, planting and nurturing.  Emma has been innovative in bringing new crops for trial and production.  This season he thought of planting cocoyams.  Below is what I wrote for a FaceBook post:

At the RAU demo plot, an effort is made to introduce new crops, not only for the sake of training but, in this case, for the sake of preserving and multiplying a rare food source in this area.

The cocoyam (or “Colocasia esculenta”, as Prince Apiku Emma would call it!!) is a tropical root, rich in nutrients which grows well in swampy areas. For this reason, the cocoyam should work well in in a specific area of our demo plot where flooding and erosion have proven to be an ongoing issue to be addressed and where the ground stays moist due to an underground stream.  [Jacob and Emma have been pushed to find a solution for the erosion and the demo plot has offered them opportunity to try many different approaches.]

Emma arrived at an ingenious plan to capture and channel the rainwater into pits where the cocoyams are planted. Each of the pits will hold water as well as allow excess water to drain to a lower level. There are four pits that follow the slope of the land, the uppermost pit channeling the overflow of water down to the next level which can be channeled to the lowest level.

It took a lot of back-breaking muscle work to dig the pits and prepare them for planting, but our co-workers and Emma were able to complete the project this week. In the pictures you can see the cocoyams planted in the pits and then sweet potato vines planted in the mounds that surround the pits.

Emma continues his goal of, in addition to providing detailed Ag info on the radio, visiting the leaders and church members in the Metu Mountain church plants to assist them in growing socioeconomically.  Here is an excerpt of that report:

Yesterday, Prince Apiku Emma took Mindra to the RAU demo plot in Gbari/Arapi to follow up on the Cassava crop which had been planted last year. There had not been much feedback about it so Emma felt strongly about stopping by to check on the investment RAU had made in inputs and in Emma’s Ag expertise in guiding them.

Emma was very happy with the growth and health of the Cassava crop. The tubers were already significantly large. Pastor Geoffrey kindly gave a small sampling to Emma to gift to us here at RAU.

The idea of planting Cassava was
1) for multiplication of the stalks for the farmers’ next crop,
2) to be able to share stalks with leaders/pastors in other villages for provision of food and, in this way to promote a culture of sharing and
3) that the churches would have food to contribute to the gatherings when special events take place.

This was Jacob’s initial goal in bringing on the Ag portion of its ministry – to provide a way for leaders to have greater socioeconomic security through farming in addition to being strengthened in the word of God and pastoral caregiving.

The success of the Gbari/Arapi garden underscores that the vision and mission of RAU is materializing as we had hoped. “Slowly by slowly” healthy changes are occurring. Keep praying that RAU would be able to continue this kind of work in the region.”

“Thanks” goes to Jacob for his far-seeing vision and effort, to Emma for his expertise and hard work and to M.A.R.S. for its financial partnership to see the vision into reality.”

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Cassava in Gbari/Arapi field
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Gbari/Arapi Cassava ready to be cooked

Finally, our desire, as a ministry, is to ensure that what God has commissioned us to do continues inter-generationally for the Lord’s glory and the good of the people that RAU is here to serve.  By faith and with yearning to make that desire come to pass, we are building a “Mission House” on the RAU campus for future missionaries (families and singles).  We believe that the Lord is already working in the hearts of the ones He is calling to come alongside us.

Jacob and I are too well aware of our finiteness and limitations.  And we long for the mutual benefits that will be enjoyed in the community of shared vision, burdens and joys and in mission with others.  Please be praying with us for this expansion (not only in the physical sense, but also in terms of the breadth and depth of gifts and energy). We have already experienced the grace of teamwork in those with whom we work at RAU on a daily basis.  With the addition of Maeghan our expectation of joyful ministry and mutual encouragement is abounding.  As God brings others here also —  “together for the gospel“, we know it will be for mutual edification and for the expansion of God’s grace and truth in the West Nile region and to regions beyond where Christ is not yet known and loved.

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Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.Ephesians 4:15-16

Please be in prayer with us for the following events and needs:

  • My friend, Helen, is coming for a visit. Pray for her safe travels and a blessed time of fellowship
  • A team from High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, Texas (Maeghan’s church family) is coming this week for  Module 4 of Reaching and Teaching’s “Hearts, Heads,&Hands”  We will have 38 returning leaders/pastors at RAU for 5-days from Moyo,Metu Mountains,Obongi,Yumbe, Koboko, and Bidibidi Refugee Encampment. RAU transports,houses, and feeds guests whenever they come for trainings.
  • Three future leader/pastor retreats:
    • July:  Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, R&T Module 1 of 2nd track students from (North) Sudan (Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile States) residing in Ugandan refugee encampments.
    • August:  High Pointe Baptist Church, R&T Module 5 of 1st track students from Moyo,Metu Mountains,Obongi,Yumbe, Koboko, and Bidi bidi Refugee Encampment.
    • September:  Rocky Point Baptist Church, R&T Module 2 of 2nd track students from (North) Sudan (Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile States) residing in Ugandan refugee encampments.

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  • We will attempt some ministry on the weekends before and after the upcoming retreat.  Please pray that the weather and roads will allow us to go.  One area of the road leading to Ijujo,Oku, and Lea has been badly washed out and may prevent our initial plan to take the team there.
  • This Sunday, we will take the team to a church near us.  Pray that the mutual encouragement which Paul talked about will happen.
  • Please pray for the big building project which will require Jacob’s attention and oversight.  Pray that the contractor will prove himself well in this project so that we will be assured of a good, local builder for future projects.
  • For blessings on our continual efforts to place   ESV Global Study Bibles, ASB Arabic Study Bible, Kindle Fires, and books into hands of South and (North) Sudanese church leaders that currently live in Ugandan refugee settlements. Also for continual blessings in getting these same materials to church leaders residing in Darfur,Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile States of (North) Sudan and Chad.
  • Jacob will soon meet with high level Muslim leaders in Yumbe to work out a way forward for continuing dialogs with Imams ,Sheikhs, and Khards.  Pray that God would grant favor for continued open doors for joint discussions on the topic “Who Is Jesus?” See Jacob’s previous dialog messages here.
  • Evangelism outreaches in Yumbe District.
  • Discipleship in church plants.
  • The daughter of a Ugandan friend and RAU co-worker is requiring on-going treatment for post-surgical repair of congenital cataracts.  If you feel moved to help supply for that treatment we would appreciate it greatly.
  • The foundations for both Arapi/Gbari and Aya’s churches are complete. Funds are needed to continue the building work.
  • For continued financial support for the ministry of Reaching Africa’s Unreached

Thank you, dear family and friends for the encouragement of your prayers, financial  partnership, friendship and love as we serve together for Christ’s sake.

Thank you for all your prayers and support,

Carol (Jacob) Lee

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http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

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:

https://smile.amazon.com/

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!
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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!
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Sowing seeds of love and kindness should not be separated from preaching the gospel of sovereign grace but completely intertwined with it!
Jacob Lee

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