North Sudan Arrives to RAU

 

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RAU Leaders’ Retreat Number 25

 

Dear Friends and Family,

We recently had a wonderful four days with our brothers from three different countries. Twenty were from North Sudan, three from South Sudan, and one from Uganda. The Christian brothers were from eleven different tribes . Eight of the tribes were from North Sudan (the regions of Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Upper Blue Nile), two tribes from South Sudan, and one tribe from Uganda. Ten of the eleven tribes are listed as “Unreached People Groups” by the Joshua Project.

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People groups which were represented at RAU’s latest retreat.

From beginning to the end, Carol cared for and served our guests in a Christ-like fashion.

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Carol cared for our guests well during their stay with us. She  certainly has the gift of hospitality!

My sessions on Monday were on discipleship, centering around RAU’s vision verse of 2 Timothy 2:2. Tuesday morning and afternoon I taught on the biblical view of suffering. In the evening we had a video teaching on Christology in Arabic. Third Millennium  put this video together using a number of teachers, with one of them being a favorite of mine, Dr. Al Mohler.

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RAU’s Hall of Tyrannus (see Acts 19:9-10)

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Dr. Al Mohler’s (and the other teacher’s) message was dubbed in Arabic. Praise God for Third Millennium  

On Wednesday, Emma spent the whole day teaching on good business practices, highlighting agriculture as a business. Time was also spent in the field with hands on training.  The participants eagerly soaked this up and have since given Emma great feedback.

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Emma giving hands on training in RAU’s upland rice. banana, and grafted mango demonstration fields.

Thursday, resource materials were gathered. Each guest received a “mini library” to equip them. One of my greatest joys is knowing these Bibles/resources are being placed in the hands of leaders who will, in the future, reach back to their homes among unreached tribes in North Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda. It is RAU’s priority to apportion resources to leaders who work in strategic places.

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Each man received a bag full of ministry tools.

With new contacts being made, a good number of ESV Global Study Bibles and many gospel tracts are headed to the Nuba Mountains.  Our brothers’ heart cry is for Arabic Study Bibles and books (including Arabic-English dictionaries). My prayer is that a number of ASB Arabic Study Bibles could come with the teams from America for ministry.

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This Study Bible could be an excellent resource for the Sudanese Church in study and preparation for planting churches. Also, at The Scripture Shop they have an amazing micro chip packed full of fantastic resources in Arabic. Check it out here.

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Full of Arabic material such as the Arabic Bible in 2 different translations (Vandyke and NIV), NT in Audio, 150 Audio Sermons, Audio hymns, more than 100 books, and 6 videos including the Jesus Film.

Not all have the ability to use the micro chip but many do(i.e. their phones which most have). It would be a grand blessing to get many of both these resources. They would all be passed on to our North Sudanese brethren or other Arabic speaking leaders.  If you are interested in helping get some of these Bibles and micro chips to North Sudanese young men, there is a way you can do so. After Christmas, Pastor Jason Van Bemmel is coming to RAU along with two men from his church for ministry. Go to the ASB Arabic Study Bible  and/or The Scripture Shop websites to order them. Have them sent to :

Jason Van Bemmel
Or Forest Hill Presbyterian Church

 He would need to receive them before Christmas.These faithful brothers will then carry them  in their bags to RAU. I will in turn make sure they are placed in the hands of Arabic reading church leaders. Thank you for your help in equipping these leaders seeking to reach their own tribes  which have little to no witness of Christ.

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Four cases of ESV Global Study Bibles and 8600 gospel tracts headed to the Nuba Mountain area inside North Sudan through a new contact.

I am very grateful for Joshua Abraham who was our RAU man on the ground, facilitating/organizing the transportation of these men here from four separate refugee camps. He is an excellent representative of the Lord and RAU in the camps. Our guests were delayed in leaving as the roads have gotten very bad with all the rain, but they all eventually made it safely back to their respective refugee settlements. Transportation is a major logistical challenge for our leadership retreats. I heard no complaints from our guests! A common statement I did hear throughout their time at RAU was, “God sent us to Uganda so that we could receive training like this to take back to our tribe” – Praise the Lord!  I greatly respect each of these young men and know the Lord has great plans for them! Thank you for your prayers and support which help make these events happen!

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This is one of the main roads just outside Moyo.  Traffic was stopped for most of the day that our guest were to leave.

Thank you to all who prayed for this, our 25th, retreat. By God’s grace we will have these young men back to RAU as many times as possible before the Lord sends them back to their tribe mates. Through your prayers and support you are helping raise up faithful leaders who are being equipped in sound doctrine and encouraged in passionate obedience.  Along with their biblical training they have received excellent capacity building training so that they can become self-sustaining through Agribusiness or other entrepreneurial activities. In this way we are walking out 2 Timothy 2:2!

In the videos below I interview several of the brothers from North Sudan. I know that you will be stirred to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ from the Republic of Sudan.

In other news, we are continuing to clear the three acres we bought which is directly across the road from RAU. Through a brother’s generous donation we were able to make this purchase, do the clearing work, and build a perimeter fence.

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The school land is being cleared.
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On the right is Reaching Africa’s Unreached main campus and, on the left, the land for Reaching Africa’s Unreached Christian School. Pray for its development!

Thank you for standing with us. Your intercession and sacrificial giving are means by which we are able to walk out RAU’s 2 Timothy 2:2 vision in this beautiful land to which  God has called us! May God richly bless you!

Jacob (Carol) Lee

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http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

For those who have asked, small packages and letters may safely be sent to:

Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it!
———–
When at least 35% of the world, “the unoccupied fields”, have no access to the gospel, we (believers) must all do all we can to reach them. We who are saved owe the gospel to every lost person, most especially the 2.4 billion who will not hear unless someone breaks into their “unoccupied field” with no thought of their own life!
—————-
Sowing seeds of love and kindness should not be separated from preaching the gospel of sovereign grace but completely intertwined with it!
Jacob Lee

Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal or check.  PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly gifts. Reoccurring monthly gifts are very helpful to the ministry. To do so, please click on the PayPal link below. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal and by check are tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate Missions, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155.

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

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North Sudan coming to RAU

 

Leonard Ravenhill
Dining in 1977 with Leonard Ravenhill, his wife, and friends.

Dear RAU Friends and Family,

It has been said that we do not remember years,weeks, or even days, but moments. Those special moments are forever written into our minds and hearts. One such “moment” for me was back in 1977. I was in the office of Leonard Ravenhill. Behind him, set in the middle of his many books, was a very large world map. I remember that somewhere in the midst of our conversation he looked directly into my eyes and said, “...many in the world have never heard of Jesus…“; then he turned around and pointed at the map and, turning back around, quoted Romans 15:20 where Paul says, “I make it my ambition to preach Christ where he is not known…” Then, looking deeply into my eyes, he said “Jacob, what are you going to do about that?”

Since that time, no matter what I have been doing or where I am, those words continue to stir me. Long story short, by God’s grace the Lord set us in here in Afoji/Moyo of the West Nile in Uganda, just mile off the South Sudan border. At 62, I look back  gratefully upon all the people, especially Carol, that God has put in my life. Without question, Carol has been the greatest blessing I have received here on this earth. Carol’s role in the ministry of RAU is immeasurable! At the end of our multi-day training sessions, Carol rightfully points out to our guests that there were many people who were “behind the scenes” which made the training a success and blessing. Without Carol, the “engine” of RAU would come to grinding halt. She is a grand blessing not only to me but also to the ministry of RAU. In your prayers please lift her up as she carries many burdens of the ministry unnoticed all the while dearly missing family and local church.

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My beautiful Carol

Our local church and providential experiences have prepared both Carol and me to live out our sunset years seeking to ensure that the unreached are reached and discipled with local churches in their midst. Where we are located gives us the logistics to do just that. Also by God’s grace, He has called those who sacrificially give to and pray for our ministry which gives us the means to walk out the vision!

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RAU is at the tip of the pen

In the last newsletter Carol beautifully shared about the six young men from North Sudan who spent a couple days at RAU. Their testimonies of God’s grace in bringing them to faith and their desire to return to their homeland to preach the gospel and plant churches stirred my soul greatly. The young men are from four North Sudan “unreached tribes”: the Fur,  Nuba,  Ingassina, and Tungur.  Their tribes are listed as 100% Muslim by the “Joshua Project”with the exception of the Ingassina which is listed at 99.5% Muslim. 

This coming Monday through Thursday (Nov. 6-9th) these same brothers along with others, totaling 24 (from North Sudan), will be here for training. I look forward to the interaction and teaching time I will have with them. We will be transporting them here from four different refugee camps in Uganda. This is added cost but the trade off is worth it. These  young men first had to leave North Sudan and stay in camps in South Sudan. And now, again, they recently had to leave South Sudan to come to camps in Uganda. Also joining us for the training will be Omar from the Aringa tribe.  The entire group will be men from five “unreached” people groups who have a desire to establish churches in their “unreached” tribes. “Unreached” in missions language refers to a group of people with less than 2% evangelical Christians in their midst.

Ravenhill’s words echo in my heart and mind! “What are you going to do about it?” I bounce that question right to you as well…“What are you going to do about it?”.

Uganda is now hosting over one million refugees with most of them residing in our immediate area. While RAU continues to focus on our host community of Ma’di and Aringa we cannot ignore those who have been thrust into the area through the devastating circumstance of war in South Sudan. Next week’s training is one of the divine opportunities we have to minister the love and grace of Jesus. We also are focusing on bringing Bibles and other written resources to pastors in the camps.  By God’s grace we now have given out (to leaders who had to flee with their congregations with only what they could carry) over  700 ESV Global Study Bibles , many books , 50 Kindle Fires loaded with books and with the “Jesus” film in their native tongues (via “Study To Be Approved” ).  Many of you remember several years ago when we prayed and believed for 5,000 ESV Global Study Bibles and instead were able to get 6,586 for the same price. Those are the very Bibles that have been going into the hands of church leaders from Uganda, D.R. Congo, South Sudan, and now, also, North Sudan. Praise God for His favor and grace and for those faithful servants who have given and prayed!!

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In the nearby Morobi refugee settlement where I recently had opportunity to preach twice and be a part of placing resources into pastors hands. Praise God for all those who help get these resources into containers which then made their way to RAU.

Along with Biblical training provided for refugees, RAU, through our faithful, brilliant agricultural man, Emma, is providing agricultural training to men, women and families. Both Carol and I are thrilled to have Emma as part of the RAU team. Carol aptly writes in one of her Facebook posts about this opportunity…

“For the next two weeks, Prince Apiku Emma has the opportunity to extend his experience and expertise beyond his current target population to include Bidi Bidi Refugee camp, Zone 5. In partnership with DCA (Danish Church Aid) who has contracted Genex Agribusiness Agency, RAU’s point man, Emma, will have a part in training select leaders in Bidi Bidi camp in business planning, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

This will be a blessing for the attendees in their current plight. It also opens doors for positive ripple effects into future generations as the participants put 2 Timothy 2:2 into practice and entrust to faithful people what has been entrusted to them.

It was truly a “no-brainer” to encourage Emma’s participation in this project. It is an extension of RAU’s desire to serve the refugee population whenever possible.”

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Emma conducting training in the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement. It is now the world’s largest camp.

Emma sent this report today. He really has a heart for the people and for the Lord,

“My third day of the training took place in Yangani zone 5, Bidi Bidi refugees settlement camp. We covered Modules on profitability analysis and product/service marketing.

“What hope can a mere human like me give to a socially and economically traumatized man whose only capital is not the the business capital I train him about, but his life that was bent to a 30 x 30m piece of land and it escaped narrowly from bloody gun fire?

“That hope is not livelihood through increased revenue base.

“That hope is not money or free basic needs like food, shelter, water, school and security”

“That hope is not the training I conduct for DCA.

“That Hope is Someone divine, immortal, everlasting and omnipresent called, “Jesus Christ.”

“And since God used me through RAU to make this known to my participants we always start our day with prayers….”

We had a great time last night (Nov. 1st) on the Moyo TBS radio station. I gave Omar my hour long spot and he shared a heartfelt, passionate message on how he came to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. He preached, this his first message, in Aringa and co-worker Pastor Henry translated it into Ma’di. From reports, many Christians as well as Muslims were tuned into the station for the message and were touched by the message. Omar, a former long-time Sheikh and Imam, had spent 17 years in Saudi Arabia. He is an expert in Arabic and the Qur’an. He was saved two years ago after one of my dialog meetings with Sheikhs and Imams. For these two years he has been diligently studying the Scriptures. Brothers in the Lord, as well as myself, have been discipling him…seeking to walk out 2 Timothy 2:2 with him. Pray with me that the Lord will continue to use Omar to spread the fame of King Jesus! Pray also that God’s shield of protection will cover him.

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Omar preaching on the radio.

In closing, we have begun to clear the newly purchased land for a RAU school.  Praise God for His provision. The money given has enabled us to purchase the land (which is not a easy thing to do here), clear, and fence it. We move forward slowly by slowly, step by step in faith.

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Land for a future RAU Christian School.
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Clearing has begun.

We are grateful for all our supporters. God is using you and we are grateful to be a part of your sacrificial giving. We commit to be good stewards of God’s grace through you. Carol’s and my prayer is that you will not grow weary this act of grace….”giving”.

With gratefulness,

Jacob (Carol) Lee

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http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

For those who have asked, small packages and letters may safely be sent to:

Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it!
———–
When at least 35% of the world; “the unoccupied fields”, have no access to the gospel, we (believers) must all do all we can to reach them. We who are saved owe the gospel to every lost person, most especially the 2.4 billion who will not hear unless someone breaks into their “unoccupied field” with no thought of their own life!
—————-
Sowing seeds of love and kindness should not be separated from preaching the gospel of sovereign grace but completely intertwined with it!
Jacob Lee

Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal.  PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly gifts. To do so  please click their link below. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal are now tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501 c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate Missions, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155.

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

“And Regions To The North”

And Regions To The North

By Carol Lee

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Two day training with MBBs from refugee Bidi Bidi camp which is the largest in the world

…You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

Matthew 25:21

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Anzo, a “joy” to our hearts; we have enjoyed watching him grow up!

 

Much like the wonderment and mystery of watching your child develop, you can never fully imagine what final form a brainchild will take.  The idea starts small and stretches to become far bigger in scope and more beautiful than you could have ever imagined.  This has been our experience with  Reaching Africa’s Unreached.

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The plan was to settle in a small, under-served region of northern Uganda and bring pastoral and discipleship training 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.  In addition, we see outcroppings of hopeful growth in new areas of ministry.  The initial idea in seed form was to reach beyond our current location in Moyo District and West Nile“to regions to the north” and to expand to meet the broader needs of the community; the idea has “taken on flesh” – to encompass leaders in the West Nile of Uganda to leaders from South Sudan, right across the border, occasionally groups from D.R. Congo and now, to leaders from North Sudan (places such as Darfur, Blue Nile and Nuba States); from discipleship training and pastoral care to agricultural empowerment to education and, hopefully, to meeting medical needs.  What we imagined in general is taking a beautiful, unique form and it spurs us on to expect great things in co-laboring with a great God.  In particular, for Jacob, it is accompanied by great JOY!

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Leaders in the refugee settlements receiving resources

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Several weeks ago, Jacob held a two day retreat for some Muslim Background Believers (MBB) who are from the areas listed above and who had been chased out of North Sudan into South Sudan and then from South Sudan into Uganda to the nearby refugee settlements along the Nile.  These men are young believers, on fire with love for Christ and for people who don’t know Christ. They yearn to know more, to be equipped and to be encouraged to press on. The young men are from four “unreached tribes”, the Fur, Nuba, Ingassina, and Tungur tribes. Their tribes are listed as 100% Muslim by the “Joshua Project” with the exception of the Ingassina which is listed at 99.5% Muslim. Their earnest desire is to return to their homeland preaching the gospel and making new disciples. With the Aringa this makes five  unreached tribes that RAU has the privilege of impacting with the gospel.  For Jacob, this is for sure “entering into the joy of his Master” – to think that the scope of his discipleship efforts could extend to the Republic of Sudan! Pray with us!

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Out of this one small leadership training, the plan has expanded to include more (and larger) leadership development retreats for believers from the Refugee settlements.  Soon Jacob will head to Morobi, one of the settlements, to teach as requested on “forgiveness”.  In the second week of November, as well as January of 2018, larger groups of MBBs from the Republic of Sudan will arrive for 4-day retreats.  We hope to also equip them with Agricultural training so that, in their limited capacity in the settlements, refugees will improve their ability to grow vegetables or other life-sustaining crops.

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There are very few silver-linings to the dark clouds of war and persecution, but if believers who have fled their homeland to find refuge here in northern Uganda can return to their homes one day, they will take with them all that has been entrusted to them in terms of spiritual and physical resources, learning and encouragement.  We praise God for the opportunity to sow and water precious seeds and to pray for an abundant harvest in such a way.

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The blessing of the Kindle Fire, loaded with many resources including the Jesus Film and books.

Earlier, I referred to expanding into new areas of ministry.  Just recently, a faithful partner donated the money necessary to buy an additional plot across the road from our main campus.  It is our desire, as well as that of the donor, to build a quality Christian school to serve this area and it is the expressed yearning of so many of our neighbors.  The plan is to clear, fence and ready the land and cultivate it until such time as the money is provided for building and operating the school.  Purchasing land here is no easy matter.  That land was found AND money given to purchase a piece so close to the main campus is the encouragement needed for the seed of a quality Christian education to germinate.

In the agricultural department, the Lord continues to add His commendation by providing us with visibility in and positive feedback from the community and the joyful blessing of seeing and hearing the success stories of community members.  Emma, our Principle Agricultural Extension Officer, continues to excellently empower the communities through the radio show and field extension and trainings at the demo plots. He has put a good face on RAU to the community at larger and to local and national leaders.  Recently, we held a one day Ag training for a group of leaders/farmers from the Metu Sub County.  In an area that still relies heavily on Agriculture for subsistence and business, this day was one of inspiration and learning.

Whether it is in spiritual or agricultural training, our emphasis is the principle of 2 Timothy 2:2, “entrusting truth to faithful people who will, in turn, teach others.”  We also were privileged to receive a cabinet level government official who, being impressed with the agricultural productivity at RAU, expressed the desire that the Ugandan President “come and see” what is being done here.

With growing opportunities on every side, you can imagine the increasing fervency of our prayers for more “called ones” to come alongside and help.  We trust that the Lord will not only open the way and the means for a team to form, but, as Jacob and I recognize our finite-ness, He will also provide partners with the vision to continue on in the future for grace and growth in the West Nile region…and regions to the north!

Here are some of the ministry opportunities coming up in which we ask for your intercession:

  • 6-7 men coming to RAU from the Metu Mountains with Pastor Tobious for 2 days of discipleship and encouragement (Wednesday and Thursday, 25th and 26th)
  • Saturday, October 28th: Jacob heads to Morobi Refugee Settlement for one day teaching time (on forgiveness – as requested – and other topics)
  • Hosting a team from Uganda and South Africa which is interested in reaching out to the refugee population
  • November 6-9th: retreat with 25-30 leaders/pastors from (North) Sudan
  • Mid November: Dialog with Imams/Sheikhs in new area of Yumbe District
  • November 26-December 2: possibly the First Presbyterian Youth Group from Kampala
  • December 5-14: friends, Dave Jones and Erik Williams for visit and ministry
  • December 28- January 9: Friend, Jason Van Bemmel and team for retreat and ministry.  Once again, leaders from Refugee Settlement

Ministry needs:

  • Partnership in and funding for the proposed RAU Christian School
  • Safety in ministry
  • Staying healthy
  • God’s wisdom in our evangelism,church planting, discipleship in Moyo, Metu Mountains, and Yumbe District.
  • Funding for permanent church buildings in Aya and Gbari/Arapi

Thank you!

Carol (Jacob) Lee

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http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

For those who have asked, small packages and letters may safely be sent to:

Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it!
———–
When at least 35% of the world; “the unoccupied fields”, have no access to the gospel, we (believers) must all do all we can to reach them. We who are saved owe the gospel to every lost person, most especially the 2.4 billion who will not hear unless someone breaks into their “unoccupied field” with no thought of their own life!
—————-
Sowing seeds of love and kindness should not be separated from preaching the gospel of sovereign grace but completely intertwined with it!
Jacob Lee

Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal.  PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly gifts. To do so  please click their link below. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal are now tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501 c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate Missions, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155.

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

Pressed Down, Shaken Together, Running Over!

Pressed Down, Shaken Together and Running Over

By Carol Lee

Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap.  For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.”

Luke 6:38

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Imams and Sheikhs reading along in their Aringa New Testaments

It has been a while since we last sent out a newsletter due to a tight schedule, so we pray you excuse the length of the report!

These last three weeks of ministry have born witness to the truth of the above verse in Luke as we received two teams from the USA, back to back, during the first 3 weeks of September.  We knew it was going to be a busy season, but we were equally confident that the bounty we and the people of this region would receive was going to be immeasurable.  Whatever we at RAU have given to the mission was given back to us in such an extravagant measure as verse 38 describes!  A good measure. Pressed down. Shaken together. Running overPoured into our laps.  We couldn’t be more grateful!

When the team (Pastor Edward and Jennifer Heinze and their daughter, Kara Beth and Elder Tony and Kourtney Landes and their daughter, Kelci) from Rocky Point Baptist Church arrived here on Saturday, September 2nd, it was “hit the ground running” mode for the next 2 weeks.  With just an evening to get settled and rested, on Sunday we and the team walked to a local church where several of our coworkers attend (Fodia Pentecostal Assemblies of God). Pastor Edward preached and Tony also shared a word of encouragement from the Scriptures.  It was a joyful introduction to the exuberant and energetic way of worship experienced in most churches in Uganda.  The following days of ministry would take place in the Metu Mountains (Gbari/Arapi/Duku/Oyo/Aya/Ijujo/Alugodu/Cinyi/Lea and Oku), Moyo town, along the River Nile (Palorinya and Obongi) and in Yumbe.

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Kelci, Kara Beth, Edward,Jennifer Kourtney, and Tony on their way to R.A.U.!
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The stars represent the places we ministered with the Rocky Point Baptist team.

Jacob and I had requested that the focus of ministry teaching be on marriage, parenting and children’s ministry.  We have seen these topics as vital for growth in church members and it has also been frequently requested by leaders and others here in Uganda.  Without hesitation, I can say that the teachings “hit a nerve” and proved to be a great forum for looking at what scripture says versus what culture says about marriage and family.  Pastor Edward did a wonderful job of laying out scriptural principles and also of fielding very difficult questions relating to cultural scenarios such as polygamy (and implications for people in this situation who become believers), dowry, infertility, divorce and parenting.  We had some VERY interesting round table discussions in the evenings, trying to sort through what the Bible speaks to these issues in black and white and where scriptural prescription is gray! We were all stretched!

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Pastor Edward with Pastor Tobious who interpreted in a session at Gbari/Arapi Community Church.

On Monday and Tuesday, we packed into the Land Cruiser, experiencing a good measure of being pressed down, shaken together with lots of laughter running over and headed to Gbari and Arapi (Monday) and then Aya (Tuesday)!  Jacob and I loved giving our team this unique experience of rural “roads” (some, more like paths) where “everything that can be shaken, will be shaken”!  The difficulty of the terrain gave us all a greater appreciation and compassion for the communities who live in these remote villages and for the itinerant pastors who walk to them each weekend for Sunday prayers and discipleship.  I have never seen more grateful recipients of the teaching and children’s ministry than these gathered saints from Gbari, Arapi and Oyo and from Aya and Alugodu (and all of the subsequent church communities we met with over the next two weeks).

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On Wednesday, we remained at RAU, partially to allow the team to catch their breath, but also because Jacob was due to speak on the radio that evening.  He was happy to pass that baton on to Edward to give a special message to the community of Moyo and surrounding areas via TBS station within Moyo town.  The “down day” also gave the team opportunity to prepare for upcoming ministry and to unpack the 28 tubs of ministry supplies  which they had brought along with them that were shipped up from Kampala by bus!!!  Most of the tubs were filled with tracts designed for Muslims which Jacob had had made up in the USA, but there were also many other items which cannot be gotten here that Rocky Point members contributed to.  A special “thank you” to Kourtney Landes for your unbelievable packing and organizing skills and all the energy and love it took to accomplish such a feat.  We are sure you put more into it than any of us realize – and it was an immense blessing and that they all made it safely and intact as well – that is nothing short of a miracle.

On Thursday and Friday we were back up in the Metu Mountains to meet with members of Ijujo and Cinyi (Thursday) and Oku and Lea (Friday), providing the same teachings on marriage, family and children’s ministry.  While Edward and Jennifer were with the adults, during all the teaching sessions, Tony and Kourtney Landes, along with Kelci and Kara Beth, poured their energy into children’s ministry.  They did a spectacular job with the many children in attendance.  It was a joy to see each one of these team members instructing, interacting with and loving on the children who, to a large extent, have never had this kind of special attention paid to them. I was especially proud of Kara Beth and Kelci for stepping up and playing a great part in serving and loving these young ones.  It always helps when there is a soccer ball (“football”) involved!  The soccer balls were special in that they were decorated with colors which represented the Gospel and which could be used as a means of explaining the Gospel to those who have never heard. Each of the churches was given a soccer ball.

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The Gospel Ball

We saved the physically most grueling day – Oku and Lea – for the last of the Metu Mountain ministry days.  As you may remember from previous posts or from Face Book posts,  not only is the RIDE down and back up the mountain a test in endurance for us and the Land Cruiser, but the hike down into Lea and Oku and then back up again presents me with my greatest attitude challenge and physical stress!  Jacob’s great delight to take new groups to the pristine “ends of the earth” in Oku, is pitted against my “I’ve already seen pristine” mindset and lack of physical stamina.  This time, the clock (and possibility of rain) was warning us against taking too long in the valley – and I was its mouthpiece!!!  The clock won out and we had to start our ascent without seeing the far reaches of Oku village. True to form, I, and those nice enough to stick with me were among the last to make it back up to the vehicle, puffing and panting and red-faced! The piece de resistance was squeezing as many additional, hot and sweaty riders into the Land Cruiser as space would allow taking the arduous, jostling ride back up the rocky mountain trail.

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The trail to Lea and Oku

Without a pause, we were back on the road on Saturday, this time to Yumbe and for a very unique experience – a meeting with Imams/Sheikhs and other Muslim community members who have seemed to be very open to hear of Christ and His teachings.  We met at a school in Aringa sub-county (a part of Yumbe district) and were greeted in a very friendly manner by all those gathered.  I was glad to see several women and many children in attendance as well as the men.  After some introductions, Jacob started up the teaching session (which is what the Khard, Ayile, had requested). (Note: a Khard is an elected leader of a geographical area from among other Imams/Sheikhs, very highly respected by the others.)  Jacob spoke from Mark 2:1-12, on how one truly receives forgiveness of sins, and then Edward spoke from John 1, on Jesus, the Word of God who became flesh and lived among us.  Khard Ayile gave us a specific time limit as he said it was market day and people needed to leave by 2pm.  The listeners were all amazed by the precision of our teachers stopping exactly at 2pm (American Standard time)!!  In addition to the teaching, Jacob passed out de-worming tabs, literature and English and Aringa Bibles.  We pray that these gifts may be used in any way the Lord sees fit to draw the Aringa people to Himself.

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Group photo after our meeting with Imams and Sheikhs. Many student also attended the meeting and heard a clear presentation of the gospel

On Sunday we headed back to Yumbe to worship with the lovely people of Pilgrim’s Church in Yumbe.  After the service and a quick lunch, Edward started on his marriage and parenting teaching, while the Landes’ and Kara Beth met with the children outside. The questions and concerns were no different here relating to marriage than in any of the other places we visited – always very lively questions and discussion!  We do not envy leaders here who have to counsel people in these very real and tricky issues.

Jacob and I and the team were all equally grateful to finally have another down day at RAU on Monday.  Four days in a row of travel and ministry was a real stretch for us all.  We were refreshed and enjoyed the fellowship of one another.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we were along the Nile River at two towns – Palorinya (where Edward and his son had had the privilege of being 6 years prior) and Obongi (where Pastor Godfrey lives).  This is where we finished up the marathon of marriage and family teachings and children’s ministry.  The time in Palorinya was especially meaningful for Pastor Edward to revisit and renew old friendships and to bring the rest of his family to a place which held great memories and meaning for him.  Wednesday, after the teaching time in Obongi, heavy rain seemed to be looming and the roads were already nearly impassable prior to rain (with potholes almost as deep as the Land Cruiser is tall), so we made a quick visit to the Nile River for some photo ops and then headed back to Afoji to RAU.

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Kelci, Kara Beth, Tony, and Kourtney ministering to the children in Obongi.

The team’s last full day at RAU, Thursday, was anything but a day of rest for them.  Knowing that we had a 5-day Pastor’s Retreat coming up the next week, they showed us the greatest kindness by helping us to prepare the tukalus and Lydia’s House for the visiting pastors.  It was a kindness which allowed Jacob and me to head into the Reaching and Teaching ministry with the least amount of stress we have ever felt prior to an upcoming retreat.  That was an amazing gift! Once again, we received in extravagant measure – pressed down, shaken together, running over and poured into our laps! Thank you, Rocky Point Team! On Friday morning, as they waited for their ride from Arua, they prepped their own rooms for the next group due in the very next day!

Our friend Eric, from Arua, has been a great help to us now in ferrying teams back and forth who fly in from and out to Entebbe from the airport in Arua.  It relieves Jacob of the pressure of driving back and forth and it saves the Land Cruiser from much wear and tear.  From the reports we have received from the 3 teams we have hosted since coming back, Eric is a perfect gentleman and an excellent, careful driver

It was a blessing to welcome another Reaching and Teaching (R&T) Team, 3 from High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin (Addison, Augi and Maeghan) and 1 from Tennessee (Scott).  The Reaching and Teaching curriculum and partnership is the perfect fit for what RAU has envisioned for church leaders in the West Nile region – an overview of the Bible as well as specific knowledge and study tools which every pastor or leader should have in caring for a flock.  The R&T plan consists of 9 modules from David Sills book Hearts,Heads, and Hands.  Module Three was the focus of study this time. Jacob and I rejoice in the partnership we are developing with the churches that send teams to teach and mentor. We particularly rejoice in the teaching and pastoral gifts that this team brought with them.

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Augie, Scott. Meagan, and Addison have now become life long friends!

Like the team from Rocky Point, the R&T team did not have much down time.  We walked with them the next morning to the PAG church next door where Addison and Scott shared the word.  In the afternoon, while the men were reviewing for the upcoming teaching sessions, Maeghan and I were finishing up prepping the gift and resource bags for the pastors.

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One of sessions.

Monday was like stepping up to the starting line of a race.  We were ready in position, poised to run.  As I stated above, I have never felt more prepared, thanks to the Rocky Point team and to Maeghan who was so helpful with all the details of registration.  The “starting gun” fired and we were off to a slow saunter as the first attendees started trickling in.  Jacob and the men on the team were so good in welcoming the arriving pastors/leaders and helping them get settled in their rooms.  Maeghan and I had the privilege of getting the attendees registered and set up with name tags, bottled water and a resource bag.  It was good to see familiar faces as all of the participants were here for the last R&T Module 2.

Once most of the men had arrived and settled and had had a bit of lunch, it was really “off to the races” as the R&T team took over the sessions and kept on course until Friday noon when, as it happens every retreat, it’s all over before we know it! Addison (an Elder at High Pointe), Augi (a member of High Pointe) and Scott (from Tennessee) did an amazing job of keeping the tight schedule covering various topics.  It was obvious from the interactions both in and out of the classroom that Addison, Augi and Scott cared as much about the people they were serving as in teaching with excellence.  At the end of the evening sessions there was Q&A time which always seems to be greatly appreciated for the biblical wisdom with which each question is answered.

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The 36 pastors were kept and cared for well all week long by the RAU staff.

Maeghan was a particular delight to me – to have female companionship and a servant-hearted person was a gift.  We had many opportunities to get to know one another as we ensured that meals and snacks were served and medical needs were addressed.

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The retreat was over but we could not let the team leave without giving them of “taste” of the Metu Mountains terrain, people and ministry.  On Saturday we took them to Cinyi where believers from several villages had gathered.  It’s safe to say that Addison, Augi, Scott and Maeghan felt they had received blessings “pressed down, shaken together and running over” that day and in all the days preceding. I believe the “West Nile Bug” has bitten them and they will be back one day!

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Reaching and Teaching Module Three group photo outside the Hall of Tyrannus.

The only thing Jacob and I have disliked immensely about these last 3 weeks has been the goodbyes!  Addison expressed amazement that, in such a short time, a group of strangers could become so closely knitted together.  We agree! It’s wonderful, but, at the same time, that connection makes us vulnerable to the pain of parting.

Jacob and I have had a very different week – quieter but not boring!  We have definitely taken time to reflect on and rejoice in the friends we have come to know and love.  At the same time, other opportunities to serve this region are put before us to consider, pray about and work towards.

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Our Agricultural extension service has continued throughout these 3 weeks as Emma has taken his expertise to the rough, hard to reach places in the Metu Mountains as well as over the airwaves on TBS radio station every Thursday evening.  RAU is privileged to play a role in the development of the West Nile communities through Ag development.  The positive feedback we receive encourages us to continue our efforts in Agricultural training in addition to discipleship, evangelism and church planting.

Here are the opportunities before us as we serve the communities in northern Uganda:

  • Please pray as we will be hosting six Muslim background pastors from North Sudan who were forced out their country and are in a nearby refugee camp (Uganda now has passed 1 million refugee mark with most of them staying in our West Nile area). This next Monday and Tuesday they will be at RAU for Bible study. We are hiring a van to bring them. Omar, a former Sheikh who has become a very outspoken believer, and a friend he has been witnessing to will join us too. A young Imam will be with us too. He is a young man to whom we have been witnessing for the past four years…he recently has confessed Christ. Also, another Sheikh who has confessed Christ as Savior will be with us. It should make for a very interesting two days. Jacob is thrilled about this opportunity to study the Word together with them. The men from North Sudan may pave the way for other opportunities to reach a very needy place for the gospel!
  • Jacob hopes to spend much time the next 6 weeks in evangelistic outreaches and continuing discussions with Muslim leaders in Yumbe District and Obongi sub-county.
  • We are targeting 3 unreached villages in the Metu Mountains for church plants as well as bore holes. These villages have no witness of Christ love in them. Pray that these villages will also have living active churches joining the 8 other villages which now have a new churches. Funding has been given for one of the three bore holes already.
  • A recent incident which took place near Aya highlights the medical needs which are always pressing. Here is a recent post which Jacob made on Face Book:

                “Thank you to all who prayed for Opini. He is now back at his home, continuing to recover. Opini was the boy who was bitten by a cobra while grazing his family’s goats in a remote part of the Metu Mountains near Aya. By God’s grace, Pastor Tobious was nearby and quickly took him by motorbike to the Aya clinic. Carrying him by foot would have taken some time, but because of our generous supporters, we have been able to provide a motorcycle for Pastor Tobious to use in all of his overseeing ministries in the Metu Mountains!
The rural and isolated mountain clinics often do not have meds for snakebites or run out of them quickly. Again, by God’s grace, we had delivered injectable hydrocortisone on the previous Saturday to Tobious to give to several clinics. Fortunately, Tobious had some doses remaining with him and brought it with him to the clinic to refurbish their supply. The clinic personnel gave him a dose immediately. He was unconscious most of the night but woke feeling good enough to eat some food and walk to the bathroom. We just received word from Pastor Tobious that, when he went to check on the boy this morning, he found that Opini had already gone off to school! Wow!
The picture below is Opini with his mother in the Aya clinic. In His love God has brought about a remarkable recovery in answer too many who have prayed and through the many who provided funding for medicines…thank you! Since the time we began ministering in these Metu Mountains communities, this is the 4th person we have heard about whose life has been saved by injected hydro-cortisone! Praise the Lord!
This makes Carol and me want, all the more, to help get more of this medicine to Metu Mountain clinics. We receive many requests from clinics for help in stocking helpful item and so, as often as we have funding, we are trying to get de-worming tabs, malaria treatment, anti-fungal creams and others to the clinics and into the remote villages. It is a long walk to the Metu trading center and to Moyo. Through your help we can continue to buy more of these drugs and put them into the hands of trained district medical personnel.” (https://reachingafricasunreached.org/donations/ )

  • Through a generous donation given specifically for the purpose of starting a Christian School, we are able to purchase a piece of land across the road from RAU. The money is enough to purchase it, clear it, fence it and make it ready for school buildings. Pray that this vision will become a reality.

 

Thank you!

Carol (Jacob) Lee

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http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

For those who have asked, small packages and letters may safely be sent to:

Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it!
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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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