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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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!”