Dear Friends and Family,
Merry Christmas from Carol and me and from my Reaching Africa’s Unreached co-workers Patrick, Abraham, and Sam. May your Christmas be filled with the joy of Immanuel (God with us)!
For followers of Christ, Christmas is the celebration of something that historically took place, is miraculous—God humbling Himself to become man, and opens the way for the salvation of sinners like you and me. It is the day when we remember the birth of our Savior—our Savior, the eternal second member of the Trinity; at the same time He became a man who lived on this earth in complete obedience to the Father, died for sinners on the cross, was raised from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father! Note Jesus words in John 1:1-3 &14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. . . . And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (literally “tabernacled among us”), and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Christmas is time for remembering these truths and rejoicing in our Savior!
God’s blessings have been with us! As many of you know, in 2010 several Ugandan pastors and I established Reaching Africa’s Unreached (R.A.U.)! R.A.U.’s expressed goal is to strengthen local churches and pastors through Biblical exposition in the fundamentals of the Christian faith so that they are better equipped to shepherd their flocks and plant churches in the many unreached villages of North Uganda, South Sudan, and Northeast Democratic Republic of Congo. On many occasions I have heard pleas from pastors for sound biblical instruction and quality Christian literature. We have had opportunity to hosts dozens of conferences, distribute several thousand good Christian books and distribute five hundred Study Bibles to church leaders. Discipleship is paramount in the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:18-20). We hope to do much more of this by God’s grace!
R.A.U. will also continue to seek to show the love of Jesus through various mercy ministries. There have been some very serious conflicts in all three of these countries for many decades. The Bible calls us to be “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14)! The needs remain great and the Lord has positioned us strategically here to be His hands and feet. As my friend Kevin Turner, President of SWI, has aptly said, “We are called to bring a two fisted gospel (to passionately preach the gospel and actively participate in mercy ministries)!” The most important thing we can do during our lifetimes is to ardently and faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed!
I have had the privilege of making numerous relationship building trips to this region since 2006. They have been an extreme blessing in so many ways! Through these trips a rapport as been built with many Christian brethren, pastors, tribal leaders, and local/regional government leaders. The Lord has used these connections to open many doors of ministry for R.A.U.
In January of this year the Lord providentially granted us the opportunity to purchase 12 acres one mile south of the border of South Sudan and five miles north of Moyo North Uganda. South Sudan became the world’s newest country this last July. At our web site you can find the story of how the Lord connected the many “dots” to make this purchase possible. The Lord is to be praised! This land’s strategic location will enhance R.A.U.’s ability to bring in pastors, church leaders, church planters, and evangelists for retreats/conferences and for Biblical encouragement (See 2 Timothy 2:2). The R.A.U. compound will also serve as a base of operations to launch such conferences throughout North Uganda, South Sudan, Northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, and Lord willing further North. Furthermore, the twelve acres gives opportunity to have a Medical/Dental Clinic, Orphan Care Center, Christian Day School for children, and a Vocational Training Center for adults with Micro-Finance opportunities. It now also looks as if we will have an opportunity to purchase 3-4 adjoining acres. Our plan is to plant numerous fruit bearing trees (mainly Mango and Orange trees) on the 12-16 acres which would bring in a future income to help supplement our ministry efforts.
This past summer we began earnest work on the land. The Lord has granted us the means, through the faithful gifts and hard work of His people, to pour a slab for the Guesthouse, build a perimeter fence, and to construct a number of homes on some nearby land for refugee families which had been living on our newly purchased land. We have also have been able to build a traditional African home (tukalo) near the future Guesthouse for co-worker Sam Nyombi. Sam is a Registered Nurse and will live there to help watch over the property and aid in ministry outreaches. Pictures and details of this building work can be found on the “Picture” page on the website.
It is Carol’s and my hope that we will be able to move into the Guesthouse sometime in 2012. For this move to take place, the Guesthouse will need to be completed. This is where we will make our new home and begin to learn the local language, Madi, and to serve and participate in the local church. The Guesthouse will also allow us to host ministry teams and will be the headquarters of R.A.U. Carol and I know the Lord has been preparing us in numerous ways all of our lives for this calling. Please be in prayer for us as we work towards this move. The hardest part for us is leaving our many friends and dear family. With the birth of our first granddaughter this year this has been made even clearer to us. Thank you for your prayers, much grace is needed!
With the inflation rate over 70% in South Sudan, over 30% in Uganda and a bad economy in the USA building has been challenging on this pristine piece of bush land. Nevertheless, the Lord has graciously provided for each step we have taken and I know He will continue to do so. To those of you who have sacrificially given –Thank you!
Below is a list of the most immediate needs/goals for your prayers. Please also pray about partnering financially with us. We commit to use each dollar faithfully for the Lord’s glory! When moved, Carol and I would love to host you in a short term ministry outreach!
- Completion of Guesthouse: $30,000.00 +-
- Drill a well/water storage tanks: $7-10,000.00
- Durable used 4 wheel drive vehicle. This vehicle is a necessity for the type of ministry in which we will be involved. We have been told the best vehicle to get is a Toyota Land Cruiser with a snorkel breather (for crossing streams) and a winch. We will be selling our car and truck here ($15,000+-) to help pay for this vehicle. A used Toyota Land Cruiser runs from $30-40,000 …ouch!
- Fruit Trees (They begin to bear fruit in about six years): $5,000.00+
- Moving Costs: unknown at this time
All gifts are tax deductible. Information on how to give securely through PayPal can be found at our website. Checks may be written to “Lifegate Ministries-R.A.U.” and mailed to:
3063 North Highway 123 Bypass Apt. 415
Seguin, Texas 78155