BBC has posted a great slideshow of pictures of the two Sudan’s. The people of North and South Sudan, as well as those in North Uganda and Northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, are very dear to me and R.A.U.. Please continue in your prayers that King Jesus would be worshiped and honored by these beautiful people!
Click on title below to see the slideshow:
“Border clashes and rows about oil wealth cloud the relationship between South Sudan and Sudan eight months after the south seceded, with some fearing a new outbreak of open warfare.
One man with a rare insight into the two countries is photographer Tim McKulka. He spent five years traveling to every state in the united Sudan – then Africa’s biggest country – to produce a book We’ll Make Our Homes Here: Sudan at the Referendum, which will soon be available for free on iTunes.
He explains why he decided to undertake such an ambitious project.
Photography by Tim McKulka, interview by James Copnall. Slideshow production by Emma Lynch. Publication date 13 March 2012.”
*My upcoming trip has been delayed but Lord willing I will be able to leave soon. Please continue in your prayers. Thank you!
Dear Praying Friends and Family,
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!” -Psalm 46:10.
I pray that this newsletter update finds you contemplating the greatness of God and praying that He would be exalted among the nations! May His kingdom come and His will be done here on earth as it is being done in heaven!
There have been a number of exciting developments since I have last written. I hope you will hang in there and read this rather long newsletter all the way to the end.
First, a prayer which Carol and I have been praying for 26 years was answered on February 14th. Kenny Danley proposed on Valentine’s Day to our beautiful daughter Anna. He is a godly young man and we are happy to have him in the Lee family. He did it all proper too: on the Saturday before, he asked for my permission and blessing to marry my daughter! The Danley’s and Lee’s had fun planning the surprise event in our home. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Second, R.A.U. has been given an official Land Title document from the federal government of Uganda for our 12 acres on the Ugandan/South Sudan border. We had local and state documents but greatly desired this federal documentation as well. Now, after 13 months, we have it! For those of you who have attempted to work with government bureaucracies you know that receiving this Federal Land Title is God’s grace in action. Third, by God’s grace and the generosity of God’s people, enough funds have come in for us to begin working on the walls of the R.A.U. Guesthouse. More details are below.
Kenny and Anna on their engagement night Feb 14, 2012
Thank you for prayers and support! The R.A.U. team and I believe it is time to take the next step in our building plan. As you know from previous newsletters our first goal after obtaining our 12 acres on the South Sudan/Uganda border is to build a Guesthouse. The Guesthouse is where Carol and I will reside. It will also be the R.A.U. headquarters and a place to host ministry teams. Carol and I would like to make our move there by next Fall. Please pray for Carol and I that we will stay true to our calling to live and work beside our Christian brothers and sisters in Uganda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo as well as other regions in North Africa! African missionary and explorer David Livingston words reverberate in my heart, “If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”
The foundation was completed in October ’11. Through the faithful gifts of God’s people we have about a fourth of the funds necessary to complete the Guesthouse. I say “about a fourth” because inflation is close to 30% in Uganda and over 70% in South Sudan. The dollar has also been declining in value. Last Fall we were getting 2,800 Ugandan shillings per dollar and now the exchange rate is hovering around 2,300-2,400. As near as we can figure, we have enough money now to get a good start on the exterior and interior walls or as they call it in Africa-“the super structure”. One climbs over a mountain not by leaping over it but by taking one careful step at a time. By faith we are taking this next step!
“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God” (MissionaryWilliam Carey)
“Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible.” (Missionary C.T. Studd)
All the walls will be made with locally formed clay bricks. We should be able to purchase the steel and cement in Moyo for the concrete pillars and support beams. Like with the slab, we will employ locals to help with the labor. Working with 20 +- laborers each day gives many opportunities to share the love of Jesus in word and deed. We pay a fair wage and provide lunch for the workers. Lord willing, sometime in the latter part of March I am planning a trip there to help oversee the building. We would also like to see a well drilled near the Guesthouse.
Gathering of Nile River sand for the building of the R.A.U. Guesthouse walls. The foundation of the Guesthouse is in the rear of the picture.
Unloading Bricks…looking North. South Sudan hills in the background.
Unloading bricks…looking South
The start of the R.A.U. Guesthouse walls
Walls going up!
A second goal in my upcoming trip would be to obtain VAT exclusion paperwork in Kampala. Import taxes are very, very high in Uganda! This paperwork would keep us from paying excessive import taxes on anything we ship into the country for ministry purposes. This will involve seeing government officials and making our appeal to them. R.A.U. is a registered non-profit in Uganda which should be an asset in our obtaining this paperwork. Please pray that we can obtain a VAT exclusion.
Traveling downtown Kampala by motorcycle taxi (Boda-boda)
I had mentioned in earlier newsletters that we would like to purchase the 3-4 acres which are directly between the R.A.U. land and the main road. The owners have now offered to sell it but their price is too high. These acres would be very beneficial as they would give us more road access which would greatly enhance our future ministry. Please pray with us that we can purchase this land for $3,500-4,500. The owners must agree to this price and the money made available. May the Lord’s will be done!
While working we will also make use of every opportunity for ministry in Kampala and the immediate areas around the R.A.U. grounds in South Sudan and North Uganda. I especially look forward to spending some more time with Pastor Edward from First Baptist Church Kajo Kachi South Sudan and his Darfur pastoral students. These young men are preparing to go and serve in their native land of Darfur (North) Sudan as pastors. It will be an honor to spend time with them studying God’s precious Word.
Darfur Pastoral Students training in South Sudan
One of R.A.U.’s theme verses: “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
In addition I am working on the details of spending several days in Khartoum (North) Sudan seeking to bring encouragement to the believers and making some long term contacts for future ministry there. Khartoum is the capital of (North) Sudan.
Khartoum Sudan-The Blue and White Nile joining together
There are a number of strong and vibrant churches there, especially in and among the large refuge community. Over the years many people fled to Khartoum, e.g. from South Sudan, Eritrea, Chad, Darfur, and the Nuba Mountains.
During my trip last Summer I was able to obtain a (North) Sudanese visa at the Sudan Embassy located in Kampala. Please pray that another Sudanese visa would be granted to me. I have a deep burden for our brethren there. RAU’s vision and mission is to minister in word and deed, in such places as Khartoum. We want to be an encouragement to our brothers and sisters there that they may press on with making Jesus known in a very difficult place. Our ministry with them would include teaching of the Word as well as ministering to the physical needs of the brethren with the love that has been poured into our hearts through Jesus Christ! I hope this trip will be the first of many trips to bring such encouragement to our family in Khartoum.
“Let my heart be broken with the things that break God’s heart” (Bob Pierce, World Vision Founder)
Kevin Turner, President of SWI, has spent time in Khartoum. I received excellent training at SWI’s D.A.R.T. (Disaster Assistance Response Training) Conference. Kevin has traveled extensively around the world on behalf of King Jesus and He is the dear friend and brother who led the two trips to Pakistan of which I had the privilege to be a part. Through Kevin I have received some solid contacts in Khartoum. They will be able to guide us in the best ways that you and I could be a help to our brothers and sisters there.
One of the contacts is ________. _______ grew up in a rich Muslim home in Khartoum. He was tasked by a cleric to target Christian leaders, pastors, and evangelists. He especially targeted those which had converted from Islam and who were actively serving Christ. He asked his cleric for a Bible so that he could read it and be better equipped to win people back to Islam. When reading the Bible he had many questions for the cleric which he could not answer. He began asking the “real God” to reveal Himself to him. Through various means God did reveal Himself to _______. After three years of seeking he repented and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation. I am reminded of what the great preacher D.M. Lloyd-Jones once said, “One can get soaked by staying out in a drizzle all day or in a downpour for a couple minutes …so the Holy Spirit works differently in different people (My paraphrase…see also John 3:5-8).”
After trusting Christ for his salvation he was disowned by his family and lost all his considerable inheritance. Since that time he has been beaten many times for his faith. Nevertheless, he presses on to know Jesus and to make him known among his fellow Sudanese. With his help I will have many opportunities to share the love of Jesus.
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose”
Gravestone in Khartoum….I look forward to meeting this precious sister in Christ!
The two other contacts are brothers. These two young men have a longstanding and dear relationship with Kevin and SWI. Here is what Kevin had to say about them to me, “… _____ and_____ are the sons of our past SWI country director in _______. I have known them since they were small boys. They have both been in Sudan as refugees for some time now and I was able to make a trip into Khartoum a few years ago and visit with them shortly after they were exiled there. _____ is currently leading a group there and his brother is the song leader. These young men are some of the dearest men I could ever introduce you to. ____ and _____ have suffered much from the situation in _____ and have also suffered much for the Word. _____ calls me his father and I believe you will understand how that phrase expresses our mutual affection. Many years ago, while living in _______, the Lord clearly spoke to me about laying on hands, particularly with _____. He is definitely called and is serving in a shepherd role. If you take the time and listen to some of his testimonies you will surely be blessed. I want to clearly articulate that _____ is a true servant and does not play any of the games that we have all experienced with some of the nationals. He is there in Khartoum and is living with his ______, ______ twin brother, who is a medical doctor and is also in exile there in Khartoum…”
It is my hope that R.A.U. can develop a long standing relationship with these brothers so that we can stand with them, the church in Khartoum, and believers throughout Sudan. What an honor it is for us to have the opportunity to strengthen and encourage our Sudanese brothers and sisters in Christ who are spreading the fame of King Jesus in their homeland!
“We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it” (P.F. Bresee)
“…Repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations…” See:Luke 24:44-49
- Below is a list of the most immediate needs/goals for your prayers (See 2 Corinthians 1:11). Please pray about partnering financially with us (See 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15 ). R.A.U. commits to use each dollar faithfully for the Lord’s glory and the spread of His fame! I am a strong believer in the fact that where God leads He provides. Missionary Hudson Taylor put it this way, “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply”
- Pray for wisdom and protection in building the walls of the R.A.U. Guesthouse and the funds needed to complete it. With continued high inflation and the weakening of the dollar our estimate remains at $30,000.00 +-.
- Pray that we can get the needed VAT paperwork in Kampala.
- Pray that in the midst of work we walk faithfully through all the opens doors the Lord gives to proclaim His Word to believers and the lost.
- Pray for the ministry trip to Khartoum and the needed funding for such ministry. The more we have the more we can share.
- Funds for a well/water storage tanks on R.A.U.’s land: $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 HZJ78 (See sample picture here) 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 HZJ78 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. We would like to move between August and October ‘12! Pray for the sale of our properties here in Texas.
Checks may be written to “Lifegate Ministries-R.A.U.” and mailed to:
3063 North Highway 123 Bypass Apt. #415
Seguin, Texas 78155
When moved, Carol and I would love to host you in a short term ministry outreach! I would be honored to speak in your church about our vision if the opportunity presents itself. It is privilege to be Christ’s ambassador among the unreached and to partner with you. Thank you!
Let us spread the fame of King Jesus so that He receives His due worship and praise!
Propelled by God’s Loving and Sovereign Grace,
PS: Please take the time to watch this short YouTube clip of Leonard Ravenhill from many years ago. Leonard Ravenhill was one of my first mentors in the faith. Each time I listen to this exhortation I am greatly encouraged to press on in spreading the fame of King Jesus where He is not known. May it be an encouragement to you as well!