Mining The Treasures Of Christ

Mining The Treasures Of Christ

By Carol Lee

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“…that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Colossians 2:2-3

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Miners are trying to unearth wealth. They dig. They probe. They poke around. They pick up rocks and turn them over, looking intently. Mining isn’t a leisurely afternoon’s recreation. Mining is a diligent, persistent, and even tedious examination. Hours are spent carefully combing through a small area, because if looking is not done carefully, a gem might be missed….You need the Bible and a desperate desire to find all the treasure that God has buried in the field of his Word (Matthew 13:44).” ~~~Jon Bloom

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When Jacob first came to northern Uganda in 2007,  he took keen note of the lack of  tools and apprenticeship in spiritual mining in ministry and deep treasure-hunting in the Word of God which leads to a discovery of “all the riches of full assurance of understanding“, “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” hidden in Christ. It was this awareness that conceived the vision of coming alongside Pastors and Leaders of the West Nile Region to equip them with the right tools for mining spiritual treasures and which birthed the ministry of Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU).  Eleven years after that first visit and five years after our move to Moyo/Afoji, Uganda, we have had 28 retreats thus far for training and equipping leaders from Uganda, South Sudan, D.R. Congo and now, the Republic of Sudan. In addition, thousands of Bibles and other Christian literature have been distributed far and wide.  The leaders in whom we invest this training are becoming enriched in their understanding and in their experience of the treasure which is Christ.  And we also are enriched by their perspectives, joyful steadfastness, endurance in hard conditions and service for the Lord.  As Ephesians 4: 11-16 states, our gifts and energy are given to us all in order to make this happen:

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.  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.

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It is our particular pleasure and privilege to meet many who share this same purpose and to see the scripture above exemplified through a great many people in a great many ways.  Recently, our friends Heidi and Pertti Soderlund, from Finland (who have been missionaries in Uganda for several decades) brought a team of  Finnish youth along with their pastor.  The hope was that the youth group would have the opportunity to see and be inspired by what ministry looks like in areas that are  difficult to reach.  Thank you, Pertti and Heidi, for bringing Petri (Pastor), Mirjam (Mimoo), Saara, Pauliina, Joonas, Kiese and Miise our way! We pray that God’s light will shine brightly in and through them and that a passion for missions will grip them.

After their departure we enjoyed a different kind of visit from our dear friends, John and Cathie Rutter.  They are missionaries from the UK who are working with the Kajo Keji (South Sudan) Diocese which had to relocate its college to Moyo due to the civil war in South Sudan.  John and Cathie came just for a short retreat away from their work.  What a joy to have their company and to be able to offer them a respite here at RAU.

Short on the heels of the Rutters return home we received the Reaching and Teaching team consisting of High Pointe Baptist team members, Addison Lawrence, Greg Aumann and Samuel Dimas, Scott Engel from Tennessee and Greg Keefer, a photographer on assignment with Reaching and Teaching for Track 1 leaders, Module 5.  The theme for this retreat was Hermeneutics, which is the inspiration for the theme, scriptures and quote in this newsletter.  This group of teachers did an excellent job of helping the participants dig deep into the word of God to find the treasure, Christ.  I don’t think I am exaggerating in saying that the teachings were transformative for many!

We have continued to have visitors surrounding our Agricultural ministry.  RAU hosted a joint meeting of the UNHCR and some of the 18 NGO organazations who are working within the Refugee settlements within our region.  It was their monthly Livelihood Review and Coordination meeting.  Hosting the meeting here gave the members an opportunity to see in person what RAU is doing in the realm of livelihood improvement.  There was a fine representation of the many NGOs in the area who are providing for the urgent needs and the subsequent phase of development of the refugee population in Uganda.

Just this last week we had a few days to interact with Dan Janzen, who works for CTEN (Commission to Every Nation).  Dan has a particular interest in sharing the Gospel within the context of livelihood development.  He and Emma (our Principal Agricultural Extension Officer) spent two pretty intense days interacting and sharing their agriculture knowledge with one another.

Very often we receive visitors who are keen to expand their knowledge and practice of Agriculture as a Business.  Tuesday, we hosted a small group from the Kajo-Keji Diocese, South Sudan, to “come and see” and learn from Apiku Emma, our Principal Agricultural Extension Officer.  They were attentive, had many questions and took a lot of notes.  At the end, they took home with them bananas and sweet potato vines for a fraction of what they could be purchased elsewhere.  They expressed genuine gratitude for the 5 hours in which Emma poured into them an abundance of agricultural wisdom.

One program and ministry of which we are very proud is the weekly, 2-hour Agricultural radio call-in show on a powerful private local radio station which Emma has run now for 2 and 1/2 years. It is similar to “Lawn and Garden” radio programs in America with a gospel emphasis.  He has designed a year-long program based upon a manual which he produced and which covers all manner of crops (vegetables, fruits, legumes, tubers and grains) as well as livestock.  He provides up to date information on the best farming practices and he covers the full gamet of each crop including nutrition, marketing and business elements, spacing, pest and disease control and post-harvest handling.  The feedback we have gotten to date is so positive and highlights the immeasurable capacity building that many communities are receiving from this easily accessible information which is presented in a manner easy to understand and replicate.  We received a rough estimate from those in the know that the listening audience has grown to around 300,000+/- listeners who are benefiting from this program every week.

The plea has gone out that this same program should be also produced in English and Arabic so that members in nearby large refugee settlements can also benefit.  We have a wonderful partnership with M.A.R.S. (Missionary Agriculture Resource Service) who fuels our agriculture ministry and has made it possible to bring Emma on as our Principal Agricultural Extension Officer.  M.A.R.S. funds our current radio program in Ma’di.  What we are praying and asking for is another partner or partners for a one-year commitment of sponsoring another Ag radio call-in show which would be in English and then translated into Arabic.  Adding this program would require an additional $500/month on our Agriculture budget.  Please prayerfully consider partnering with us in this.  It is a strategic time to be targeting the refugee population while they are still able to tune in and benefit from this livelihood improvement program.

On Saturday, Jacob took a trip back into the Metu Mountains to Oyo where the road conditions proved too much for the Land Cruiser (due to excessive rain) and they ended up hiking the rest of the way.  The purpose of the journey was to encourage the new believers through gifts of clothing and medication but also through the vital spiritual food of the word of God.  RAU is working with a couple of men to be spiritual leaders in the community of Oyo.  In remote, resource-poor regions of northern Uganda, every effort made to enrich them and help them become self-sustaining (physically and spiritually) is worth it.  In this case, it means long days of rough riding and walking to display Christ’s love for the people of Oyo and to ensure that they also may mine deeply from the word of God to find their treasure in Christ.

Jacob writes of another ministry opportunity on one of his Facebook posts: “I had a great visit today with brothers from Darfur (North Sudan). Their love for Jesus is even much larger than their physical size. What a privilege to fellowship and partner with men who are actively walking out 2 Timothy 2:2. They bring targeted leaders from Darfur to their Bible School and give them intensive biblical instruction and livelihood training . The men go back to their homes equipped in spreading the gospel. In the picture (below) is a sample of the literature from RAU they are taking back to their students. I was greatly encouraged when they asked if they could start translating my Christian-Muslim Dialog booklets into Arabic. Pray for these men and all those laboring in gospel work in the Republic of Sudan!”

At RAU, our field of riches is broadened as our interaction with others expands.  Each “part” working properly makes the Body grow and build itself up in love. We not only know Christ through His word, but also through those to whom Christ has revealed Himself.  In our vigorous discussions and times of interaction our perspectives are challenged, sometimes changed, but always deepened and broadened.  The more we lay hold of that unifying goal of treasuring Christ, the more we are encouraged and knit together and the more we “reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”  This is a privilege beyond compare!

Personally, I am mining the riches of the Ma’di language through my teacher, Angua Perpetua.  She is a joyful, humble and knowledgeable soul and has made the difficult process of learning Ma’di enjoyable!

We are continuing to make good progress on the Missionary House as we pray for those who will one day be called to fill it!  The next phase is the roofing!

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Please continue to pray for us and partner with us as we press on in this mission described above.  There are more opportunities than we have time for and we need wisdom to know how to say “yes” and “no” so that our focus and energies remain clearly on our priorities as a ministry.  These are some of the events coming up which need your prayerful participation:

  • Almost daily visitors who come with an interest to benefit from our Agricultural ministry and church leaders looking for encouragement.
  • Jacob along with co-worker Charles are meeting Sunday (September 2nd) afternoon with the two top Muslim leaders in Yumbe District. It is our prayer that dialogs with  the Aringa Yumbe Sheikhs and Imams can resume.
  • Rocky Point Baptist Church arrives September 15th for Module Two of Reaching and Teaching of the 2nd tier of leaders (Republic of Sudan).  Topics include:  Prayer, Joy, being honorable, an overview of the New Testament and the character of a Pastor.  In addition to the Reaching and Teaching Module, in their second week with us we will be hosting a short retreat for 21 of the leaders from Metu Mountains, Obongi and Yumbe we are pouring into more specifically.  The ladies on the team and I will have some teaching times within the nearby community.  There will also be outreaches into the Metu Mountains and Yumbe;one-on-one evangelism, open air preaching in a market, and Jesus Film in Aringa.
  • Don Fredricks ( Jacob became good friends with Don in Pakistan) will be here September 5-7 for some Agricultural consultation and demonstration.  Don and his wife, LeeAnn are co-founders and directors of their ministry, Communities of Hope.
  • Greg Lewis, from San Antonio, will come for a few days of ministry on the heels of Don Fredricks.  Greg is with Go and Tell Ministries.
  • We have identified another remote village in the Metu Mountains where a church has been planted in which we would like to sink another much needed bore hole. Because of the remoteness and difficulty of getting the equipment in, it costs $8,000 from start to finish. Please pray about giving towards this project.

Thank you for your love, prayer and support!  We believe the truth written below in the collage and are privileged to have so many of you who stay and send.  We also appreciate those of you who make the difficult journey to come and help!

Carol (and Jacob)

Thank you

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!
—————-
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!
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

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!
———–
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

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!
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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

 

 

 

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.