History Lessons

On numerous occasions since arriving I have had opportunity to be given first hand history lessons of the area. Recently a pastor stopped by, and, during the visit, shared personal accounts of some difficult things he had witnessed.  I am a firm believer that one cannot really understand a people without understanding their history so I count these times as precious for building lasting and deep relationships with the people of Northwestern Uganda or as it is called here the “The West Nile Region”. I hope that sharing just a little bit of what I have learned will help you as you intercede for this region of the world. I have also compiled at the RAU blog some articles on the history of North Uganda, South Sudan, and Northeastern D.R. Congo.

West Nile Region of Uganda
West Nile Region of Uganda

Most of the west knows of Idi Amin and the horrible things he did in Uganda. I have heard many a personal story about him. However, most people in the West do not know or understand the terrible repercussions  the West Nile Region (Idi Amin’s homeland; in fact he grew up not far from where we are located) experienced after he was chased out of Uganda.  The retaliation against the people of the West Nile was great because it was Amin’s homeland.

Some of the victims of the Idi Amin regime recovered by local farmers in the fertile fields of the Luwero Triangle region
Some of the victims of the Idi Amin regime recovered by local farmers in the fertile fields of the Luwero Triangle region

After Amin’s removal, the next President sent Tanzanian mercenaries  to the West Nile and they committed many atrocities. Other military groups also came into this region and much harm was done.  The death toll among the people of the West Nile region was great. As a result of the persecution, many fled to Sudan for refuge. This pastor shared (he was a boy at the time) that so many were killed near his home in Moyo that there was no room to bury them. He said, “Things were very,very bad! ” Only God knows how people still suffer from such memories! The horrors of this time were followed by the atrocities of Joseph Kony and the LRA and the equally atrocious acts of Sudan’s Bashir in southern Sudan which spilled over into Uganda. The wounds and pock marks of that war still remain.

RI-KWAMBA, SUDAN:  Armed fighters of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) stand guard 12 November 2006 during a meeting between the rebel group's leadership and United Nations Emergency Relief coordinator Jan Egeland in Ri-Kwamba, southern Sudan. The LRA is currently holding peace talks with the Ugandan government, which are being mediated by South Sudanese President Riek Machar in the capital Juba and are hoped to bring an end to 20 years of conflict. AFP PHOTO / STUART PRICE.  (Photo credit should read STUART PRICE/AFP/Getty Images)
Armed fighters of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)  STUART PRICE/AFP/Getty Images)

There is light in all this darkness. The pastor with whom I was visiting also said , “When the gospel came here things began to change!” Ultimately the only way a person changes is through the transforming work of God’s grace. And when many are changed by that same sovereign grace, regions and even countries change. One just has to do a quick study of revivals to see this truth.  There is now peace in  our area and we have been warmly received by the beautiful people of the land.

Our nearby border crossing
Our nearby border crossing. I am grateful for the many friends who help keep the peace.

Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU) and you, our prayer partners in this mission, have been placed in this region at a pivotal time. God’s grace is abounding and many are coming to faith in Christ Jesus! We are allowed to be a part of God’s mission here to strengthen believers through discipleship and show Christ’s love by caring for the lost, traumatized, sick and suffering, and by bringing Christ-centered education to the youth of the area. We also get to be a part a bringing the gospel to people who have no opportunity to hear the gospel unless someone physically goes to them. Wow, what a privilege we all have in spreading the fame of King Jesus! Let us press on with this glorious calling!

This past Saturday, Sam and I had an interesting afternoon at a nearby church function. We sat with the local MP (Member of Parliament), local political leaders, and a number of pastors during the gathering. At one point we all joined in (it is not as if we really had a choice) a traditional Ma’di dance and song. Throughout the afternoon  I felt feel very welcomed! The various speakers called me such things as a “White Ma’di” and “our relative”. We also had a very good traditional meal. No utensils were provided. I am glad I learned to eat with my hands in my days in India.

They even gave me the last spot (unknown to me ahead of time) in the program to speak and there were many speeches. One definitely has to be ready “in season and out of season” here. I sought as best I could to give glory to God and show appreciation for all the hospitality which has graciously been given to us since our arrival. This providential occasion was God given to build rapport with our community!

Many,many beautiful Ma’di children were running around all afternoon. Seeing them helps take the sting away from my heart when thinking of our beautiful grandchildren whom I miss very,very much!

Since my last writing I have had good, one-on-one conversations with a number of pastors. The more I talk with them the more assurance I have that the Lord has us right where He wants us. Bonds of friendship are being made which will endure throughout our lives and which will be key in Kingdom building in this region.

Along with having our discipleship retreats here for pastors, church leaders,church planters and evangelists, we are planning to bring here for discipleship, those who are called to leave their homes and be pastors in church plants among unreached villages and tribal groups. These individuals would stay here at RAU for a period of time for one-on-one discipleship and would then be sent out from their local churches to plant churches. In addition to support from their churches they would receive support and encouragement from us until the church plant could stand on its own. We interviewed one young man this afternoon. Pray for us and him that we both might walk in the wisdom of the Lord!

All of us at RAU covet your continual prayers and support. Thank you very much!

Web Site: www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.com
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Small packages and letters may safely be sent to:

Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa

Our “wish lists” may be found at Amazon


Below are the start-up projects we are hoping to finish so that we may move ahead in the desired aim of training.  Please pray for their completion and consider giving to help finish them. The money for the tile work has been provided by some dear friends.
Thank you!
1.  Finishing up the refurbishing of our four existing tukaloos on the land. The four have now been roofed with new grass. The the doors and windows are finished. To plaster them and do some repairs on their foundations will require an additional $400.
2. $1000 to dig a  new double stall pit latrine for the tukaloo quarters with an outdoor bathing facility. The existing pit latrine is about to cave in and there is no place to bath.
3. $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 and is some distance from the Guesthouse. As stated in an earlier newsletters 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.
4. The pouring of a slab to set the container on when it arrives in November: $300+-
5. Upfront furnishings to host groups (beds,mattress,mosquito nets etc): $600+- and $1000 for remaining shelving/furniture in Guesthouse.
6. Tile on our wrap-around veranda to create an extra barrier between the Guesthouse and snakes! It would also make it easier to clean. We would have to bring the tile up from Kampala. The estimation to do this is $3000+-.$3000 has been provided! PTL!!
7. The building of 4-5 more tukaloos 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 tukaloo is around $500.
“Sympathy is no substitute for action.”
David Livingstone (1813-1873) Missionary to Africa.

Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal.  PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly gifts. To do so  please click their link below. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal are now tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501 c3 tax exempt status.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate Missions, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155.

*If you have questions on donations please email me at JacobLeeRAU@gmail.com

Tim Keller in his book Ministries of Mercy states:

“Often books and speakers tell Christians that they should help the needy because they have so much. That is, of course, quite true. Common sense tells us that, if human beings are to live together on the planet, there should be a constant sharing of resources. So when the statistics are brought out to show Americans how much of the world’s resources we use, it creates (rightly) a sense of concern for those with less than ourselves.
But this approach is very limited in its motivating power. Ultimately it produces guilt. It says, “How selfish you are to eat steak and drive two cars when the rest of the world is starving!” This creates great emotional conflicts in the hearts of Christians who hear such arguing. We feel guilty, but all sorts of defense mechanisms are engaged. “Can I help it if I was born in this country? How will it really help anyone if I stop driving two cars? Don’t I have a right to enjoy the fruits of my labor?” Soon, with an anxious weariness, we turn away from books or speakers who simply make us feel guilty about the needy.
The Bible does not use the guilt-producing motivation, yet it powerfully argues for the ministry of mercy. In 2 Corinthians 8:2-3, Paul tells us that the Macedonian Christians gave generously to the Jerusalem famine victims. He notes that “out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (v. 2). The Macedonians were not of a higher social class than the needy in Jerusalem. They apparently were going through terrible trials of their own. What, then, was the dynamic that moved them to give? “Their overflowing joy . . .”  (v. 2)  and “they gave themselves first to the Lord” (v. 5). It was the Macedonian’s response to the self-emptying Lord. Their gifts were a response, not to a ratio of income levels, but to the gift of Christ!”

6 thoughts on “History Lessons

  1. Jacob,
    You and I met a very long time ago in Seguin. During my last visit with Bob O he shared with me your ministry in Uganda and I have been following you ever since. I am curious, how far are you from Arua and Yei? I ask because presently I am providing on-going agricultural assistance to the YWAM bases in both of those cities. No, I do not live in Africa for our ministry calls us to provide assistance to field missionaries in multiple countries which means living in the US is more strategic for traveling. Anyway enough about myself. Just wanted to write you a short reply to say that I pray for your continued strength and courage as you serve in those countries. — Douglas Neel

    1. Hi Doug! Praise God for your ministry! By miles we are not too far from either of those cities. We are north and west of Arua and south and west of Yei about 5-6 hours in the dry season. In fact it is in Arua where I have to get our gas as it is the closest place we can find it. When traveling to Kampala I haven’t been going that way as it is longer but we may start as the road to Gulu has been in real bad shape. When you are in the area Carol and I would love to have you for visit …maybe you could include RAU along with YWAM in your ministry of the area. Blessings Brother!!

      1. Douglas Neel

        Jacob, thanks for the reply and great to hear that there is the opportunity to meet. Normally, my schedule allows me to get to Uganda and South Sudan once a year. For 2013 that was in April. In 2014 it looks like the early fall is the soonest we can make it there. Still working on our 2014 calendar. Now, as far as providing agricultural assistance to RAU that’s a done deal and what Becky and I do – provide agricultural assistance to field missionaries and mission orgs. Plus, we do not have to be on-sight for that process to begin to happen. So, tell us your needs, plans, hopes, dreams, etc with regards to agricultural and let’s see if there is a way we can begin to serve you even from our home base in Alexandria, LA. Strength and Courage — DN

  2. Thank you Doug! We would love to have you here any time you are in northwestern Uganda/South Sudan!

    A tractor is coming in the RAU container which is due in November. I will have to look for a disk and seed drill in Kampala.

    Once we get the land cleared (and that will be a big job!) my thinking is that we can get two soybean crops a year in on 10-12 acres. They grow great here, not many grow them, and there is a strong cash market for them. I was informed of this by a Ugandan ag man in the area who represented a company looking to buy soybeans. The money raised could be for the ministry efforts and also some brothers could be trained to help sustain the ministry after I am gone or for whatever reason funds stop or are less from America.

    Also, in about 6 years the 200 plus hybrid mango trees we have planted will also be bearing and I think a juice plant could be set up to sell the juice.There is a good market for it just across the border into South Sudan. I am trying to think of ways to make RAU more and more self sufficient.

    Any ideas from you would be welcomed! You can email me at JacobLeeRAU@gmail.com

    Thank you!

    1. Sounds like you have a plan and great ideas. Will add where I can, but must admit that you being in-country will always have a better handle on what’s going on. However, as I wrote earlier, we are ready to serve. At the YWAM Yei base, one of the leaders has started a program/project called “Kick Hunger Out”. More on that if you would like to here. Also, if you are interested and have a need, we could assist in some info and materials for small-scale irrigation. Finally, is this the best place for us to chat and exchange info? Or, do you have another email address you prefer to use?– DN

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