Busy With What Matters – Part 2

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Trekking to Oyo Village

BUSY WITH WHAT MATTERS – PART 2

By Carol Lee

Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget. (Unknown)

Our beloved and “truly great friend” and co-laborer in Christ, John Howarton, has come and gone.   We are thankful to John’s wife, Angela, for “loaning” him to us for a season!  During this season we also had the GREAT joy of having Nurse Sam and Muhtar back home with us from university,  adding to Samuel and Emma who stay here.  Believe me, it was beautiful to have our table full – of people, laughter and conversation!  Jacob and I have often mused about the struggle we feel after our friends come and go.  It’s such an encouragement and a boost to us all.  Their absence feels like a wide and deep chasm.  However, as Samuel reminds me often, “that’s missionary life!”

Let’s just say that when John got here we pretty much hit the ground running.  Jacob likes to schedule as many ministry opportunities as possible to squeeze the maximum blessing out of our guests – so much so that, I’m sure, they have to return home to recuperate!

Sunday, January 1st, was spent with our brothers and sisters at Ayaa Baptist Church.  We have grown to love these people – their fervor for the Lord and their commitment to making disciples of Christ in all the surrounding villages is amazing to see.  Pastor Tobious and his wife graciously hosted us for lunch afterward.

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Ayaa Baptist Church….this church and its leaders has been a key partner with RAU in planting new churches in the Metu Mountains.

On Monday we headed to Gbari with Tobious and a couple of other men.  We dropped off our Principle Ag Extension Officer, Emma, and John there to do a drip irrigation training for Pastor Geoffrey and a few other folks.  The rest of us continued the drive towards Duku and Oyo where John Howarton gave some words of encouragement.  As most of the adults were at a funeral, John had to do some quick thinking to adjust his message towards young children.  He did a wonderful job of sharing the life lessons of a young shepherd boy – from a small, insignificant village in Israel from the tribe of Judah – David!

The story that John shared reminds us that God does significant things with “insignificant” people in “insignificant” places.  We experienced our own such moment when we reached the vehicle after spending some time at Oyo.  A gentlemen was guarding our vehicle.  He was armed with a bow and arrows and a panga (machete).  After a few photo ops, Jacob engaged this man in a conversation about serving Christ, “being a soldier for the Lord.”  The man queried, “When can I do that?”  Jacob happily answered, “You can do it right now!”  At this point, Jacob explained the saving work of Christ more thoroughly and what it meant to “follow or serve Christ.”  And, at this point, the gentleman prayed a prayer to submit himself to the saving work that Christ did on his behalf!

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Jacob with a new “soldier of the Lord”.

Please pray for him – that the Lord would protect him in the faith and that this man would receive helpful discipleship from Pastor Sam who has been faithfully walking to Oyo each weekend to care for the believers in there. (On this trip we brought bamboo poles on top the Land Cruiser for Pastor Sam to use to finish the tukalus where he can stay when he comes on the weekends.)

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On the way to Oyo with bamboo for Pastor Sam’s tukalu. The Land Cruiser is unable to make it all the way to Oyo Community Church. The last two miles we walk and “carry”.

On the way back we checked on the little girl who had burned her foot and for whom we had brought antibiotic ointment.  The mother was absolutely rejoicing as she showed us the beautiful healing which had occurred.  (Our initial concern was that they were using a traditional method of smearing goat dung over the burn.)  Back at Gbari we saw the plot which had been set up with drip irrigation and then enjoyed a small meal before returning to RAU.

Unexpectedly, we received some deeply sad news on Monday evening – that good friend and co-worker, Mundrugo, had passed away very suddenly.  This meant a definite change in plans from heading back to the Metu Mountains to visit the folks in Oku and Lea to hanging around and being available to those who were making the funeral arrangements for our friend.  Both Tuesday and Wednesday were devoted to honoring Mundrugo and supporting the family through their devastating loss.  He was the breadwinner for his family and even extending beyond his immediate family.  We still think of him often and are reminded of the blessing he was to RAU when we walk around the compound.  Some lovely friends provided the funds so that we can support the widow and four youngest children for a year.  RAU is also helping two more of his children attend Covenant Junior School run by First Presbyterian Church in Kampala where our brother, Patrick, is a pastor.

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Mundrugo is on the far right

On Thursday, we (minus Emma and Samuel, who were staying behind because of the evening Ag radio program) headed to Yumbe for Pilgrim Church’s annual Youth Conference.  We were there for the next two days as well.  While there, we met up with Perrti and Heidi Soderlund, from Finland, who are also longtime missionaries in Uganda.

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John teaching at the Youth Conference

John and Jacob both shared inspiring messages with the youth.  On Thursday evening, Jacob and Charles did open air preaching in the downtown Yumbe taxi park. It’s a great place to draw a crowd and for people of this primarily Muslim town to also listen to the message at a “safe” distance.

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Open air preaching in the Yumbe town taxi park

 Our young people also served in various capacities:  Nurse Sam, Samuel and Muhtar shared Bible lessons with a younger group and Emma took a couple of sessions to teach Agriculture as a business. It never ceases to amaze me how eagerly people soak up the agricultural information. It is so key to their lives and livelihood.

Thank you, Charles and all your people at Pilgrim Church, for the incredible amount of work you did to make this conference happen!  We pray that the Lord would bless all those who attended with godly, knowledgeable zeal which will impact all the communities from which they came.

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Pilgrim Youth Yumbe District

On Sunday we made it to Obongi, where our brother, Godfrey, pastors Obongi Town Church.  He is faithful in a difficult place and situation.  Thankfully, he has a small band of faithful brothers who encourage and help him in the work.  It’s always amazing, too, how many young children from the neighborhood gather and Pastor Godfrey is always welcoming of them and looks for ways to encourage them.  This time, John Howarton brought a soccer ball from a student of his who raised money to buy them.  Godfrey shared the miracle of receiving that ball as he had been wanting to clear a place for the children to play.

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Monday was preparation day – for our 23rd Leadership Retreat!  And Tuesday came around too fast!  Unlike most retreats, our attendees arrived very early, leaving us scrambling a bit to finish up last minute arrangements.  We had a total of 28 attendees  from Adjumani and some unexpected “wee” ones!  As always, we run a tight schedule for the retreats in order to maximize the learning time, so…we hit the ground running!  Normally, the retreats run from Tuesday to Friday.  However, we had to get John to Arua on Friday to catch his flight to Entebbe on Saturday morning, so the retreat was cut one day short.

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Retreat Session

It always seems that just about the time we are getting to know and appreciate the attendees more personally, the time is up and they are gone!  John, Jacob and Emma did a wonderful job of teaching, inspiring and counseling. We thank Samuel, Lucy, Christine and Rosemary for doing their part to make the retreat run smoothly, as well as the men who work with us at RAU who make the compound the beautiful garden that it is!

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23rd RAU Church Leaders’ Retreat

Jacob is enjoying a low key today (Saturday) after the pressures of a full schedule and a ton of driving on rough and very dusty roads.  This hot, dry and dusty season has added its stress to our busy schedule, though some good face masks have made the trips a little more bearable.

Though this hot and dry season is bad in some ways, it does make for a good time to move ahead on the next building project, our Bible Training classroom.  By faith, and with the money we have received, Jacob has begun to have materials (sand, stones and bricks) delivered so that when the funding comes in we can move ahead without delay.  Our hope is to have the classroom ready by the time our Reaching and Teaching Team comes in May for the second session or module of their 3-year program.  The classroom will be larger than the Hall of Tyrannus room which we are currently using and will allow for larger groups to come for community seminars (Agriculture and Bible training), 4-day retreats and the Reaching and Teaching program.

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Taking steps of faith by gathering materials for the new and enlarged “Hall of Tyrannus”.

Once the classroom is ready we will move the library books into the hall of Tyrannus to make the library more accessible to leaders who are here for training.  The room where the library currently is will be made into another bedroom which can be used when we host larger ministry teams.

Please consider a special gift towards this building project so that the other funds received can be used to keep our daily operations and ministries going.

Jacob continues to have amazing doors opening up to him in the Muslim community. Currently, a Muslim background believer has  shown the “Jesus” Film in 9 mosques and has received permission to show it in all 219 mosques in a certain jurisdiction.  Because the method of showing the film is with small computer, there is a possibility that Jacob may be allowed to bring the RAU projector and speakers to show the film on a larger scale in the Mosques.  Please pray for this possible opportunity.  The Lord is at work.  Only He knows the fruit of these efforts at this point.

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A “Jesus” film site…

Thank you all for  your loving support and prayers!

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. (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.

Busy With What Matters

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BUSY WITH WHAT MATTERS

By Carol Lee

The opposite of busy in today’s world is sustained, focused attention. It is deep engagement in activities that really matter to us, or in conversations with those we care about.
Tony Crabbe

Having moved back and forth between the USA and Uganda for several years now, there is something which strikes us.  In the States there is a massive machine of activity which cannot be resisted and draws us in like an object being swirled in to the vortex of a whirlpool.  Coming back to Uganda is like hitting the reset button and being allowed to think about and calculate the activities which will channel our energy and focus.  Though being here has had its challenges (as we have shared in past newsletters), this ability and opportunity to define our busyness has been a blessing.

This past Christmas was sparse in terms of holiday scurrying, but it was celebrated sweetly and simply nonetheless.  There were not many “Christmas activities”, but we enjoyed engaging activities and conversations.

 Jacob was invited to preach at Pilgrim’s Church in Yumbe, so we left early from RAU to make it for their combined Christmas service.  His sermon was a reminder of the centrality of Jesus’ birth in the Gospel: “Emmanuel, God with us; Jesus (‘the only one who CHOSE to be born’)  CAME to die, to bear sin and to rise in conquering power over sin.”  The church service was a wonderful (though long!) opportunity to celebrate this central message.

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Christmas service in Pilgrim Church Yumbe

After the service, we were invited to the home of Jackson (one of the leaders in Pilgrim Church ) where we enjoyed good conversation and food.  It was a special treat to celebrate with Omar who was enjoying his first Christmas.  This Christmas season was a time of expanding our emotional definition of family. It was especially a time to have the light of scripture narrow its illuminating beam onto Jesus so we could see and remember and savor our Savior!

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Lovely meal and fellowship in Jackson’s home. Uganda, D.R. Congo.,  Sudan and U.S.A.  were represented.

On Tuesday, Jacob and Samuel went back to Yumbe to meet with the Yumbe District Khard.  Here is what Jacob wrote about this very encouraging day:

I had a good day in nearby Yumbe. Samuel and Henry rode with me to Yumbe where we met Charles and Omar. We then met with the District Khard, Swahib, and had a blessed time. We met in his office just outside Yumbe town’s very large Mosque. Although I have been doing dialogs with Imams and Sheikhs in Yumbe for 18 months this was my first time to personally meet this leader of leaders in Yumbe.

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Jacob with the District Khard of Yumbe

Upon arriving I presented him with a large bunch of bananas grown at RAU which he joyfully received. He was very cordial,hospitable, and appreciative of the Bibles, literature and medicines he had received a few days earlier. He had begun reading them. In our our discussions I found out he has jurisdiction over 219 mosques and their Imams in Yumbe District. He gave his approval on further dialogs with Imams and Sheikhs in Yumbe District. This is a big praise the Lord!

We also discussed how we can best bring in agricultural training for his leaders. I also brought up the idea of conducting weekly English classes for Imams. Many of them who have received our English reading materials want to learn English better. I will be getting a newsletter out soon with more information on this on how you can pray and support this endeavor. I was clear with him that this would be done with Christian teachers and perspective and he was OK with that.

Before leaving I presented Swahib with a drip irrigation unit on which Omar will train him how to use, two cases of Bibles (ESV Global Study, Arabic, Swahili, & Aringa NT’s) and a number of books, including my Christian-Muslim Dialog ( https://reachingafricasunreached.org/allahs-korbani-plan-o…/ ). He plans to happily distribute the Bibles and books. The Lord has given me another good Muslim friend and pray that I may be a good witness to him and all those he leads. God is good and He is good all the time!”

Tomorrow we head back THROUGH Yumbe to Arua to pick up good friend, John Howarton.  Jacob has a full and engaging schedule planned for us all!  It makes me tired just thinking about it – though, without doubt, it will all be worth it!  We will have outreaches into the Metu Mountains and Obongi. We have been invited to participate (both in biblical teaching and agriculture) in Pilgrim Church’s Youth Conference (over a 3-day period).  We will also host a leaders’ retreat at RAU while John is here.

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In the Metu Mountains. The Lord is doing a beautiful work in these hills!

Every endeavor in which we have become involved during the last 3 1/2 years has only strengthened the initial hook and line which reeled us in to the West Nile region of Uganda:  “training leaders (with the least available services) well who can also train the ones they lead“.  The scope of the training has broadened to include agriculture for sustainability and economic capacity building among the communities we serve.  We are steadfast in the desire to strengthen church leaders in their faith and ability to lead well, but our understanding of their need has broadened to include ways to help them be self-sustaining.  Agricultural training helps them make better use of the main resource they have: fertile land.

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2 Timothy 2:2

The influence and scope of our training programs is also broadening as we assess the widespread need for communities of the West Nile to improve in their capacity to meet their own needs (and all the more so as refugees from South Sudan flood into our district).  This is best being accomplished through the Ag training provided over the radio by Emma, our Principle Ag Extension Officer, as well as through on the ground training here at RAU or on demo plots in specific nearby communities.  Our training has grown to include Imams and Sheikhs in Yumbe (with drip irrigation) and other key leaders.  Our hope and desire is to express, in tangible ways, the love and care of God the Father and to display AND tell the excellency of Christ to all those who will listen.

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Emma in one of his agricultural training sessions

To these ends we continue push to see our training center built to accommodate more students (adult learners), whether it be for biblical training or Agricultural capacity building.  We have been keeping this goal before you as often as possible for two purposes:

1. We are entering into a partnership with “Reaching and Teaching” to host students through a 3-year Biblical studies program (3 modules per year for 3 years).  The modules are in written form in a book by David Sills called, “Hearts, Heads and Hands”.  We want to have a facility which will accommodate the students well for classes and for studying and living.

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2. We are continuing to expand the scope of our Ag Extension services from church leaders to Imams and Sheiks and, hopefully, key leaders from the Refugee camps.  Having a larger and better lit classroom will be a great advantage for hosting larger groups of adults for Ag training.

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The door is open to proclaim the gospel and share Christ’s love with Muslim leaders. Thank you for all your prayers and financial support!

We strongly plead for your financial burden-bearing partnership with us.  The goal is to start as soon as possible (during the dry season) to build so that the classroom and dining/study quarters will be ready by the time our team comes from “Reaching and Teaching”  as well as for our regular church leader retreats and agricultural training center for the community.  Building this classroom/study /dining hall will allow us to move the Library into the current Hall of Tyrannus and open up another guest bedroom in the house when we have larger groups coming to serve.  We do have enough funding given to start the building but not to complete it. The cost of building materials has increased considerably since our initial estimate.  We are making adjustments in the plans to minimize costs. We are needing $20,000 for completion.  Jacob has spent many years in construction and makes sure every dollar is used wisely.

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The classroom/study hall/dining building would be located just left of the eucalyptus. The tukalus in the rear of the picture have 22 beds for the students. In Lydia’s house we have 10 more beds.

Another need (and opportunity) we would like to put out there is our desire to hire (as mentioned above in Jacob’s post) 4 Christian English teachers to teach Imams and Sheiks in Yumbe.  We will also need to get the curriculum for the teachers to use in helping their students learn English.  We hope to divide Yumbe District into 4 geographical areas that will allow Imams and Sheiks easier travel to the learning centers.

Does all of this sound overwhelmingly busy? – YES!  However, as the beginning quote states, “ It is deep engagement in activities that really matter to us, [and] in conversations with those we care about.”

Your partnership paves the way for this vision to be realized.  Your prayers are a means of calling down heaven’s resources and grace. Your loving communication with us encourages us to stay busy with things that really matter!

Thanks for that!

In Christ,

Carol (and Jacob)

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Website: http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

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. (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.

Merry Christmas

 

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May the peace,grace and joy of Jesus presence be with you and your family!

” Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory—the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. “

John 1:14

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“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and the regaining of sight to the blind,
to set free those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 4:18-19

Study Bibles given to all who attendant leadership training

“So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. Just as the Father has sent me, I also send you.”

John 20:21

Let us worship Jesus Who Has “saved His people from their sins” !

Jacob and Carol Lee

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Website: http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

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. (Jacob Lee)

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

“The Comprehensive Ocean of Our Business”

“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” 

(From Charles Dickens’, ‘The Christmas Carol’)

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This has been another week of paying heed to this statement.  In so many places around the world people have pressing needs – both temporal and eternal.  The West Nile of Uganda is the region God has given to us to attend.

On Tuesday, Jacob, Emma, John and I took off to Obongi where Pastor Godfrey cares for his “flock”.  Jacob gave a very encouraging message to the gathered church, emphasizing how much God wants to make Himself known and to communicate with us – He wants to be understood by us.  This was a good place to start because, within the greater context of eternity, physical suffering lasts for a while, but eternal suffering is forever.  We strive to never pit one need against the other, because Scripture doesn’t, but we don’t want to minimize or gloss over the eternal needs.

Wshould care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering.

John Piper

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Sharing a word of encouragement
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De-worming tablets for children

Nurse Nyombi Sam gave out de-worming tablets to the children while Emma and John moved over to the garden with the adults to train them in all aspects of drip irrigation during the dry season. During the Ag training, several people gave encouraging testimonies as to how the Ag extension work through RAU and Emma has made a measurable difference in their lives. It was a profitable day and the people of Obongi were holistically cared for.

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Intro to RAU

We had an interesting and unique experience at RAU on Wednesday.  A couple of weeks ago, both Jacob and I had been sick. In response to this, Jacob’s Muslim friends, whom he had met through the many dialogues which have taken place in Yumbe with Imams and Sheikhs, requested to come and personally check up on us.  Wednesday’s visit was the outcome of their request, which also turned into an opportunity to bless them with Agricultural knowledge and a few resources to empower them economically and spiritually.

They arrived close to noon from Yumbe along with Charles and Omar.  We enjoyed a meal together, introduced ourselves and shared ideas with each other. Then, we took a walkabout on RAU demo plot as Emma and Jacob shared Agricultural and other information. John and Emma demonstrated the Drip Irrigation kits we received (complements of M.A.R.S. (Missionary Agricultural Resource Service)).

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Enjoying a meal together
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Enjoying the watermelon which friends from Obongi grew because of their training and resources from RAU
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Imams observing their noon prayers
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Walkabout
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The science of growing bananas
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Drip Irrigation – hands-on learning

Right before they left, our Muslim friends offered prayers for us (which they had kindly requested us to allow them to do).  We jam packed them into the Land Cruiser with all kinds of resources…drip irrigation kits, Matoke bananas, rice seed and soy bean seed, papaya, mangoes and some written resources.Jacob then took them into town to find a ride back to Yumbe.

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Matoke, a gift for our Yumbe friends from our garden
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Filled to capacity
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Amen, Lord!

We are grateful for recent positive interactions with two top Muslim leaders in Yumbe who have received or will receive Bibles and literature which they are eager to read/study.

I love the following excerpt from an article by Denny Burk which Jacob put up on a Facebook post:

In A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge has a startling conversation with the ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley. Jacob is damned in death for his misdeeds in life, and he appears to warn Scrooge that he is headed for the same fate. Scrooge resists the suggestion that Jacob’s life was damnable. Scrooge understands that if Jacob’s life is damnable, then so is his own. So this exchange ensues:

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing his hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

Well done, Mr. Dickens. Well done. Lord, help us to understand what is the comprehensive ocean of our business.”

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
–Micah 6:8
( http://www.dennyburk.com/a-drop-of-water-in-the-comprehens…/ )

We are thankful for the opportunities the Lord gives all of us to make people created in His image “the comprehensive ocean of our business.”

Upcoming events:

*This Sunday, Christmas Day, we will travel to Yumbe to celebrate Christ’s birth with our brothers and sisters at Pilgrim’s Church.  Jacob will be preaching.

*Tuesday more drip irrigation training

*John Howarton arrives next Thursday for several weeks and we will be involved in wide scope of ministry opportunities in Yumbe, Obongi, and the Metu Mountains.

Thanks so much to all of you who given to Reaching Africa’s Unreached financially.  Every donation is so appreciated , and reminds us of God’s love and care for the people of this region and for us! It encourages us and allows us to experience God’s faithfulness.  Because of the beautiful weightiness of sharing Christ here in the West Nile, we have no shame in asking that if you are not already a partner that you would consider partnering with us financially, either in one-time giving or on a monthly basis.  This is what keeps us doing what we are doing! Thank you and God bless you!

Here is a link to an article Jacob and I both appreciated as we think about celebrating Christmas away from our family and church community. It is entitled “Why In the World Did I Leave America” == http://haretranslation.blogspot.ug/2016/12/why-in-world-did-i-leave-america.html

Thank you for all for sacrificial love, prayers, and financial support!

Jacob (Carol) Lee

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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. (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.

 

A Providence is Shaping our Ends

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“Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid.” E.M. Bounds

Co-workers Samuel,Mindra and I got back very late Friday (16th) night from Kochi (Yumbe District) from our evangelism outreach. First, we shared Christ one on one and gave out many tracts in the market. Friday is market day in Kochi, bringing in many from the surrounding areas. The favorite gospel tract in this predominantly Muslim trading center  was, “My Muslim Friend”.

“A providence is shaping our ends; a plan is developing in our lives; a supreme and loving Being is making all things work together for good.”

F.B. Meyer

Before we started, a Kochi local leader, a Muslim, shared with the crowd that he had invited us and encouraged the people to listen.  Ten days earlier on a trip to Yumbe, the Land Cruiser broke down in Kochi. It was at that time I met and was invited by this leader to come and preach in his community. We have slowly by slowly been working on going  to every trading center in Yumbe District to preach. It is hard to pick out among the many places which have few to no believers which one to choose next. The Lord made it easy for us to choose this time! The primary tribe in Yumbe District is the Aringa and they are categorized by the “Joshua Project” as an unreached people group.

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The Pilgrim Choir

When we had finished setting up the sound equipment the Pilgrim Yumbe church choir sang passionately and I preached my heart out (from John 10:1-18) from a top the Land Cruiser. The Lord was gracious and many trusted in Christ for salvation! We took down 24 names for follow up. Thank you to those who prayed!

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“I am the door….I am the good shepherd…” John 10:1-18
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“and how will they know unless someone preaches to them…”
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Kochi residents who put their trust in Christ alone for salvation

Then, we drove a short distance to a school soccer (football) field and, again, set up the equipment. There in that large open field we showed the “Jesus” film in Aringa and well over a 1000 watched! Watching them “watch and interact” with the film will forever be imprinted in my mind! Thanks again for praying. Only the Lord knows the lasting fruit of our time in Kochi. The hard work of discipleship remains.

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“God has great things in store for His people; they ought to have large expectations.”

C.H. Spurgeon

I was running the projector off the Land Cruiser batteries/inverter. It worked very well; however, when we finished the LC would not start….a group of guys pushed and I popped the clutch and it started and we were off to Reaching Africa’s Unreached.

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With Pastor Godfrey in Obongi

This coming Tuesday we will go to Obongi to be with Godfrey and the church, sharing some words of encouragement and setting up drip irrigation demo plots.  Several Imams have been invited and will also be taught on drip irrigation. From mid-December up to the end of February little to no rain falls in our West Nile region.

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Imams and Sheikhs at a dialog receiving  Arabic Bibles, ESV Global Study Bibles, and  Aringa New Testaments. Aringa is their native tongue. The Aringa NT was first published in June 2014. They do not have the Old Testament in Aringa.

Then on Wednesday we have eight Sheikhs from Yumbe coming here to RAU for drip irrigation training and interaction. By God’s grace I have become friends with these Muslim leaders and through that friendship I am having the opportunity to show Christ’s love both in dialog and physical acts of love.

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A drip irrigation  unit recently set in place

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Church leaders with their drip irrigation units. Thank you M.A.R.S.!

Continue to pray for South Sudan. Two refugee camps have now been added here in our Moyo community in addition to the ones in Yumbe and Adjumani Districts. More refugees have fled South Sudan than any other country in the world in 2016. We see many refugees streaming by since we are only one mile from the South Sudan border and on one of the main routes out of the country. Since money has been given I have been on the hunt for machines to help upgrade the soybeans and rice we grow here at RAU. With these  grains and our bananas (we have around 7,000 banana plants) and 740 grafted mangoes we will be able to tangibly show the love of Christ to those who have had to flee their homes because of this terrible war.

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This refugee camp has just been set up in Moyo District

With Emma, RAU’s expert agricultural officer, we are looking to set up drip irrigation units with refugee leaders. We also hope to work with the Ugandan government, UN, and relief agencies which have arrived in Moyo to train refugee leaders here at RAU in agriculture. Of course, in midst of these physical acts of love, we will always openly and winsomely proclaim the gospel with “words” which are necessary component of “love”. It is faulty thinking and unbiblical to separate our “acts of love” and our “words of love”.

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On a personal level, as we approach Christmas, Carol and I are struggling with having the right attitude about it. I cannot express our struggle any better than the way Carol has done in one of her Facebook posts on the 14th. If we are not friends on Facebook with you please send a friend request.  Through Facebook we are able to quickly put up many pictures and write about ministry events.

Please pray for Carol and me as we seek to find our contentment in Jesus this Christmas season!

“Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him “Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.”

Matthew 1:23

(Carol writes)“A conversation (a simple schedule planning) birthed an epiphany today.

Jacob and I were discussing our plans for Christmas as he had been invited to preach somewhere on Christmas Day. When I began to think about it, I experienced a deep emptiness and sense of loss in contemplating how to celebrate Christmas. After all, how can it even be a celebration when we are thousands of miles away from our children and grandchildren…and our church family…and all the heartwarming traditions and flourish of activities and social gatherings?

This lack of desire to celebrate Christmas was a face-slapping, wake-up moment for both Jacob and me! Stripped of the prospect of enjoying activities and traditions which normally characterize the holiday season and finding no joy in anticipating a Christmas celebration was jarring. It awakened me to just how much all the traditions (though not bad in themselves) had become my reason for the season.

We had a great conversation on that topic over lunch. It turned out that Jacob was planning to talk about this very thing (finding Jesus at the center of our Christmas celebration) on the radio this evening during his one-hour spot every other Wednesday evening on TBS. Apparently, the real Christmas in Uganda tends to become waylaid by commercialism, sensuality and greed as well. Jacob explained how he wanted to prepare everyone to see it differently this year…including us!

I pray that, in a fresh and joyful way, my heart will “prepare Him room” this Christmas and that “Emmanuel, God with us,” will become a precious truth to me again!”

 

Thank you for all for sacrificial love, prayers, and financial support!

Jacob (Carol) Lee

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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. (Jacob Lee)

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