Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above!

We have been clearing and planting a native grass around the Guesthouse. In the foreground is one of our many newly planted mango and we have a trellis for passion fruit
We have been clearing and planting a native grass around the Guesthouse. In the foreground is one of our many newly planted mango seedlings and we have a trellis in the background for passion fruit

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

James 1:17

Carol, I, and the RAU team praise God from whom all blessings flow! To be here serving the Lord and His people is such a privileged and honor. I also know we could not be here without your prayers,support, and  Lifegate which has sent us out. We are grateful for you and by God’s grace will be here a long time serving Christ Jesus. Lord willing we will be able to  partner with you for many years in spreading the fame of King Jesus across Africa!

Before going to some updates let me open with a couple of questions which you may have thought about from time to time, What do missionaries do? and What is the fundamental purpose of “Missions”? These are important questions and ones I have pondered many times ever since  my discussions on the topic with Leonard Ravenhill back in 1977. I have noticed a trend over the years and that being the answers to these two questions have been broadened greatly. I appreciate and am grateful for everything good which has done for the glory of Christ in the name of missions but I don’t think that the broadening of definitions of “missionary” and “missions” has been particularly helpful to the churches call to “make disciples of all nations (people groups)”. To keep this newsletter from becoming to long may I point you to  an article  which Kevin DeYoung wrote. I re-posted it at the RAU blog. The article is entitled “The Goal of Missions and the Work of Missionaries”. The article is well written and bibilcally answers the before mentioned questions the the way I think they should be answered.There may be those who disagree with DeYoung’s conclusions. I do agree with DeYoung. I think it is helpful for you our partners to understand my heart as well as RAU’s primary mission and calling. I hope that you will take the time to read the article.

Since Reaching Africa’s Unreached founding in 2010 we have been working  towards hosting groups for discipleship.  Our goal has always been to bring to RAU groups of pastors, evangelists,church leaders, and church planters for times of refreshing and teaching in the fundamentals of the faith, especially the gospel. The primary work which we have been doing the past years  along with Carol’s and my first days here has been for this purpose. Since Carol’s and my arrival at RAU  six days a week from sunrise into the evenings we and  others have been laboring  to get the facilities ready for what we have called Phase I. Sunday mornings and early afternoons are reserved for worship/preaching in local churches and Sunday evenings for outdoor evangelism in the mode of George Whitefield and John Wesley.

Open air preaching in the Afoji market. I preached in English then it was translated into Madi and KuKu.
Open air preaching in the Afoji market. I preached in English then it was translated into Madi and KuKu.

Along with helping out on the physical work I have also been working on teaching lessons. Currently I am making up questions and a study guide for Paul Washer’s book The Gospel’s Power and Message in his Recovering the Gospel Series. I am hoping to make it one my my main text books. Getting solid literature to pastors continues to  be one of our longstanding goals.I have a post  at the RAU blog about our partnering with “Study To be Approvedin placing Kindles loaded with godly literature into pastor’s hands. Please take a few minutes to read it at some point.

As the Lord provides resources and called/equipped personal  we will also seek to show Christ’s love through medical work, education, and care for orphans. However, RAU’s primary calling is to discipleship and helping to spread the gospel through church planting in unengaged villages  and people groups of the area.

We are purposing to host our first retreats for groups of pastors, evangelists,church leaders, and church planters sometime in September. Our goal is to bring small groups of them in for one on one Bible study  from Tuesdays through Fridays. We will put them up, feed them, and help in some of their transport cost. As near as we can now figure  it will cost around $500  to do this per group. However, we still have a number of upfront costs for things like beds,mattress,mosquito nets etc.  as well as the other things I have mentioned in past newsletters. From the last week of October to the first week of December we will be hosting three American teams and one from Kampala. They are coming to share their God given gifts. We look forward to hosting them and many in the future as well.

Please continue to pray for the RAU container on its way to us. It is probably somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean. Please also pray for Gabby Bukenya, Patrick’s and Vickie’s 4 yr. old daughter, who is having heart surgery in California. Carol escorted her there and currently is enjoying family in Stephenville Texas. Carol will fly out of Dallas on Monday. Please pray for her safe journey back to RAU. The most difficult part of the journey is from Gulu to here. We had a truckload of building supplies which left Kampala for us three days ago and it is still not here because of a combination of the roads north of Gulu and a break down while trying to go up the steep hills from the Nile River to Moyo.

Please pray for the ongoing work to be ready for groups in September and give if you can to help make it happen. Currently our account is quite low. I hope that in your reading of these needs you do not feel undue pressure to give. Please  give only as you are led of the Lord to do. God has been marvelously providing for us and we  know He will continue to do so. Also it is our desire that any gifts given to R.A.U. would not compromise what you are  ALREADY giving to your local church or to foreign missions . To get the gospel to the unreached will take sacrificial giving on the part of all God’s people. May we all walk faithfully in the spirit of 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 so that our Lord God is worshiped by men and women from every tongue , tribe, people, and nation! Most importantly we ask that you stand with us in prayer!

Here are some of our continuing needs that lay before us for you to pray for and consider helping us complete:

1.  Finishing up the refurbishing of our four existing tukalus on the land. The four have now been roofed with new grass. To repair the doors, windows, and plaster them will require an additional $600. We have purchased the materials for the doors and windows and now are working on them.
 We now have new grass roofs on tukalu's. Currently we are fixing the doors and windows. These tukalu's will house 3-4 each

We now have new grass roofs on existing 4 tukalu’s. Currently we are fixing the doors and windows. These tukalu’s will house 4-5 each

2. The building of 4-5 more tukalu’s to house pastors/evangelists/church planters for discipleship. Each tukalu can take care of 4-5 people and they are inexpensive to build. To build one tukalu is around $500.
3. $1000 to dig a  new double stall pit latrine for the tukalu quarters with an outdoor bathing facility. The existing pit latrine is about to cave in and there is no place to bath. (See our previous newsletters on the reason we are building these tukalu quarters ).

 The current latrine for tukalu's.

The current latrine for tukalu’s.
4. $4,000 for an outdoor kitchen and attached living quarters (one small room and bathroom) for Lucy, our cook/helper. The current one is about to fall down is some distance from the Guesthouse. As stated in an earlier newsletter we need an outdoor kitchen to be able to cook for large groups with wood and charcoal. To get propane gas for our indoor stove is hard to obtain and expensive. It also opens up the room Lucy is now staying in for guests.
Our existing outdoor kitchen.
Our existing outdoor kitchen.
5. The pouring of a slab to set the container on: $800+-
6. Upfront furnishings to host groups (beds,mattress,mosquito nets etc): $600+-
7. In a past newsletter I wrote of my near encounter with a cobra in our kitchen. Since then we have doubled our efforts in clearing around the Guesthouse and  making sure there are no holes or places under doors for them to squeeze in! The main reasons it was easy to kill the cobra while in the kitchen and perhaps why it did not strike my foot which was only an inch away from my bare foot  was because it was on our tile floor. Because of kitchen’s slick tile surface it was difficult for a snake to move.Around the the Guesthouse we have 10  foot veranda on three sides and it is 15 feet in the front. Because of what we have learned about a snake’s ability to move on tile we would like to tile our veranda to create an extra barrier between the Guesthouse and snakes! It would also make it easier to clean. The estimation to do this tile work is $3000+-.
Please continue to pray for everyone’s protection and good health. There is a lot of demonic activity in our area. For example, just recently a businessman from Afoji market  went across the nearby border to South Sudan to do some business.The Afoji market is very close to us and it is where I did open air preaching this last Sunday  night. While the businessman was there a man put his hand on his shoulder and said out loud to him in front of many “If I die tonight it will be your fault”! That very same night the man who placed his hand upon the man’s shoulder died by lightening strike. The next day the people who heard what was said to the businessman the earlier evening  caught the Afoji businessman whom they believed  cause the death by lightning. After catching him they then stoned him and then mutilated him. All this took place just a couple miles from RAU. The devil has come”to steal,kill, and destroy” and “our battle is not with flesh and blood…“. Please be vigilant in your prayers  that Lord break the chains of the evil one and grant us protection from his schemes.  Thank You!
Continuing to Press Onward and Forward for Jesus and His Mission,
Jacob (for the both of us)
“I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.”
Hudson Taylor (Missionary to China in the 1800’s)