Building up the Body of Christ in Northern Africa
By By Patti Richter
This is the mission of God: Missionary martyrs going, financial martyrs sending; and all of us praying and working together for the gospel and the glory of God to be known and enjoyed by all peoples.—David Sitton
That quote is a favorite of Jacob Lee—a very missions-minded South Texan. Since 2007 his organization, Reaching Africa’s Unreached (R.A.U.), has connected him to pastors in Northern Africa who work among the people of North Uganda, South Sudan and Northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Jacob has seen many people in Northern Africa come to the Lord in villages without a church. He says, “The constant literal cry of pastors to me over and over is: ‘We want biblical instruction!’”
One Ugandan pastor explained to him that when they find a new convert who is mature, they “try to help him, and assign him to be the pastor.” Their discipleship method based on 2 Timothy 2:2 became a theme scripture for R.A.U. in its mission to plant churches and “strengthen local leaders through careful exposition of the Scriptures . . . .”
Jacob recently wrote a letter of appreciation to The Gospel Coalition-International Outreach (TGC-IO). He expressed gratitude for resources that have strengthened the body of Christ through distribution in the three Northern African countries. He estimates that he’s given out more than 2000 John Piper books to pastors, evangelists and church leaders. R.A.U. has also distributed hundreds of copies of books written by R.C. Sproul, C.J. Mahaney, J.I. Packer and others.
Most of the books provided to him through International Outreach have been in English, which is spoken in African nations with past British influence. He’s also received French-language books to give to Congolese leaders and Arabic books for Nubian pastors—refugees in the area.
Jacob described the IO resources as “gospel-soaked, Christ-exalting, and a great encouragement to the church . . . The joy on the faces of those who receive books is indescribable!”
Jacob and Carol Lee plan to make a permanent move to Africa in 2013. R.A.U. now has a large facility under construction on 17 acres located in North Uganda, only one mile south of the border of South Sudan (a new country as of July, 2011). The strategic location will allow R.A.U. to bring in pastors and church leaders for retreats, conferences and Bible training.
Jacob says that he and his wife hope to pack as many IO materials as possible in their shipping container. Those who support TGC-International Outreach will enable them to do that.
The Holy Spirit will move them (the lost) by first moving you. –C.H. Spurgeon
Patti Richter is a freelance Christian journalist—a writer of news, essays, and profile stories for several publications. She and her husband, Jim, live near Dallas, Texas.