I remember…

Quest for Joy
Quest for Joy

Carol’s and my departure date of July 6th is fast approaching. When one gets older ( I turn 58 in September) there is not only more to think back upon, but it also seems, at least in my case, that one spends more time looking back and remembering God’s grace and mercy!. I remember my childhood days, being raised on an Iowa farm by a loving, God-fearing family and relatives and learning the importance of a good work ethic. I remember at age 20 that dusty road outside St. Olaf, Iowa, after midnight, having to stop my ’69 Dodge Charger. I stepped out of the car and, under deep conviction, wept over my sin, placing my full trust in Jesus: His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. By God’s grace  I said, “I am yours Lord…I will do anything and go anywhere you want”. I remember  several weeks later as I was in one of our farm’s corn fields sensing God’s call to missions and saying “Yes“.

I remember leaving Iowa for Seguin Texas. A big step for a farm boy who had never been far from home. I remember almost turning around in Kansas City. I remember being taken in by several loving families in Seguin who loved Jesus deeply. I remember being under the fiery preaching/teaching of Leonard Ravenhill (LR). His love for Jesus was exemplified in his devotion to prayer and missions. He  made an indelible mark upon me! I remember being in L.R.’s office when he pointed to a large world map behind him and after quoting Romans 15:20 said,  “Jacob, there are people who have never heard of Jesus! What are you going to do about it? I remember at that time receiving the conviction to go to those who had no opportunity to hear about Jesus.

North Uganda
North Uganda

I remember going through New Tribes Mission training program where I was taught by many missionaries who loved Jesus and His mission deeply. I remember returning back to Seguin and, shortly thereafter, going on a three-week mission trip to India. On that trip I saw first hand the work of the gospel to the unreached. After returning to Seguin I remember when my heart was drawn to Carol Mayer, daughter and granddaughter of missionaries to India. I remember 6 months later on July 10, 1981 when I was married to Carol, the love of my life. I remember, a few months after our marriage, selling everything and moving to Aurangabad, India,  to proclaim Jesus. I remember the birth of our firstborn,Joshua, in a small mission hospital in Kodiakanal India. I remember having to leave India 6 months after our arrival because we could not renew our visa’s. I remember learning there in India the difference between “presumption” and “faith”, as well as the importance of being sent out by and being under the covering of a strong, gospel-centered, local church.

Day before wedding
Day before our wedding

I remember , after returning to Seguin in 1982, becoming a part of Lifegate, a church  family which has taught my family and me what it means to be a disciple of Christ. I remember my many dear friends.   I remember becoming a teaching elder at Lifegate in 1984. I remember going back to India in 1985 and proclaiming Jesus to the Koya in the the remote regions of the eastern Ghats.   I remember the births of Josiah and Anna, our second and third-born. I remember the precious times of our children growing up and how fast that went by. I remember their graduating from college. I remember receiving a beautiful new daughter in-law and son in law. I remember our precious grand children.

Early Family Days
Early Family Days

I remember both Carol and I continuing our education. I remember my Bible classes at Hill Country Bible School, getting my Bachelors degree at Texas Lutheran and my Master’s degree at Covenant College. I remember Carol becoming a Registered Nurse. I remember my many years  teaching at Lifegate Christian School and my times as a Principal there. I remember my teaching years at Nixon-Smiley High School. I remember the great joy of being in the classroom with so many wonderful students.

I remember traveling to Uganda with a group from Lifegate on a short term mission trip. I remember returning to Uganda in ’07 and ministering in and around Moyo, North Uganda and into South Sudan. I remember the seeds of Reaching Africa’s Unreached being planted in my heart as well as co-workers. I remember the many other trips there as well as to northeastern D.R. of Congo. I remember my D.A.R.T. training with SWI and my enduring friendship with Kevin Turner. I remember my two trips to Pakistan in ’09 and coming to the realization that there are no closed doors to the gospel, just more risky ones.

Pakistan '09
Pakistan ’09

I remember the establishment of Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU) in 2010 and its receiving NGO status. I remember in 2011, RAU’s purchase of 17  acres in Uganda, just a mile south of the South Sudan border. I remember “Nurse” Sam joining the RAU Leadership team. I remember breaking ground for the RAU Guesthouse/Hall of Tyrannus in 2011. I remember God’s help in building such a structure in the African bush.  I remember  2 Timothy 2:2 and Acts 19:9-10 becoming core verses for RAU.

RAU Guesthouse/Hall of Tyrannus - June 2013
RAU Guesthouse/Hall of Tyrannus – June 2013
I remember you and the many others who have stood with us with prayers and financial gifts preparing the way for our lives to bepoured out for Jesus in Africa. Soon “July 6th” and many other memories will be “I remember“!  I know by God’s grace Carol and I will continue to have your prayers and support! Thank You!
R.A.U. Grounds Layout
R.A.U. Grounds Layout
The Lord bless you and keep you and may His face shine upon you!
Thank You!
Thank You!

It is in the darkest places which Christ shines the brightest!

According to a report done by Failed States Uganda, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo  do not rank well using its 12 indicators.

It is in the darkest places which Christ shines the brightest…let us be about our King’s work!

Please join me in prayer for these three countries which Reaching Africa’s Unreached will primarily be working: Democratic Republic of Congo ranked #2, South Sudan #4, and Uganda #22. Low numbers are not good!

The whole article, stats, and pictures can be found here: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/06/24/postcards_from_hell_2013?page=0,22:

2. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Score: 111.9

Ten years after the conclusion of the Second Congo War — the deadliest conflict since the end of World War II — the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) resembles not so much a failed state as a state that doesn’t exist at all. Tied with Niger for dead last on the U.N. Human Development Index — and with a life expectancy at birth of only 48.7 years — the DRC offers a brutal life to the majority of those who live within its borders. Joseph Kabila, the current president, was democratically elected in 2011, but the elections were marred by allegations of corruption and the federal government exerts practically no authority over massive areas outside of major cities. Multiple armed groups use this lawless land as a hideout, and the country’s eastern region has been repeatedly referred to as the “rape capital of the world.” In a positive development, Bosco Ntaganda, believed to be the leader of the rebel group M23, turned himself in this past March to face charges at the International Criminal Court.

4. South Sudan

Score: 110.6

Barely two years old, South Sudan is the youngest country in the Failed States Index. While its per-capita GDP of $1,859 is fairly respectable for the fourth most-failed state in the world (compared to $115 in Failed State No. 1 Somalia), South Sudan has struggled to establish a functioning government since its 2011 declaration of independence. Hopes that this newfound independence would end decades of fighting between the Muslim north and Christian south proved premature, as sporadic border skirmishes with Sudan continued through much of 2012. The suspension of oil production (due to conflicts with Sudan) further damaged South Sudan’s economy, and rivalries and clashes with rebels threaten the fragile peace between the two neighbors.

22. Uganda

Score: 96.6

Uganda celebrated the 50th anniversary of its independence from British colonial rule last October — but those celebrations were marred by protests and widespread arrests, as the government moved to stop opposition rallies and placed several prominent political figures, including the mayor of Kampala, Erias Lukwago, under house arrest. Uganda remains a very poor country, with a per capita income of just $506. It also suffers from the highest levels of bribery in East Africa.

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Brief histories of these countries may be found here:  https://reachingafricasunreached.org/brief-histories-of-north-uganda-south-sudan-and-d-r-congo/ 

1999 Land Cruiser Found

1999 Landcruiser Update August 1, 2013: The funds have been graciously supplied and this vehicle is on its way to us. Thank you Lord!

Co-worker Patrick’s car man has found this Diesel LX long 4WD 1999 Land Cruiser (Model:KC-HZJ77V) in Japan. Buying a used vehicle in Uganda or South Sudan, unless from a person one knows well and trusts, is not advisable. This Cruiser has 145620km (about 90,000 miles),4200cc, and in very good condition for $15,000 to Mombasa. It would take another $6,000+- to transport it into Uganda, pay taxes, and make it bush ready (snorkel, roof rack, brush guards/bumpers,winch… ). The vehicle would be used for gospel and medical outreaches throughout North Uganda, South Sudan, and Northeastern D.R. Congo. We currently have $11,500 for this vehicle or another one like it. Please pray for the rest and consider helping. You may email me at JacobLeeRAU@gmail.com with any questions. Thank you!

“The Least of These”

Let’s get the right doctrine from the right scripture texts!

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“The Least of These”: An Example of the Right Doctrine from the Wrong Text

 by Justin Taylor

In Matthew 24:35-40, Jesus says: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ’Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

Craig Blomberg comments:

The majority perspective has understand Jesus’ ‘brothers’ in verse 40 to refer to spiritual kin, as the term (adelphoi) does elsewhere in Matthew in every instance in which biological siblings are not in view (see 5:22-24, 47; 7:3-5; 12:48-50; 18:15 twice, 21, 35; 23:8; 28:10).

The term ‘little ones’, of which ‘the least’ (25:40, 45) is the superlative form, also without exception in Matthew refers to disciples (10:42; 18:6, 10, 14; cf. also 5:19 and 11:11).

This makes the point of Jesus’ teaching closely parallel to Matthew 10:42: Jesus’ itinerant followers (today we might call them Christian missionaries) must be cared for by those to whom they minister. Affording material help to those who preach in the name of Jesus demonstrates acceptance of the missionaries’ message at the spiritual level . . . This view is almost certainly correct.

Today, however, the prevailing interpretation is that Jesus is teaching about the need to help the dispossessed whether or not they are Christian. . . .

This is obviously an important biblical theme, but is far less likely to be the focus of this particular passage, given the consistent meaning of the terms and the larger context of parables focusing on the disciples (24:43-25:46).

—Craig L. Blomberg, Neither Poverty nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Material Possessions, New Studies in Biblical Theology, ed. D. A. Carson (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2000), 126; my emphasis.