Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I am happy to report to you that we have finished our first Reaching Africa’s Unreached Pastor’s Retreat. Pastors from a number of different denominations and churches started arriving Tuesday morning and left Friday afternoon. We ended up having 32 pastors who attended the sessions.
My heart is bubbling over with joy! So many have been working towards this since RAU’s founding in 2010. This vision has been in my heart since my first trip here in 2007. It has brought tears to my eyes to see these pastors soaking in the Word like sponges and eager to receive solid biblical teaching. When we minister to pastors their congregations are also ministered to as well. Part of RAU’s mission and vision statement says, “…We hold that the primary work of missions is to plant local churches which in turn plant other local churches. Our goals, therefore, are to see new churches planted in unreached areas and to assist operating local churches through Biblical exposition which is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17). As much as possible we will seek to instruct church leaders who can faithfully teach others (See: 2 Timothy 2:2 & Acts 19:8-10)…”
The pastors were appreciative for the teachings and literature given to them. They are going back to congregations encouraged and enriched. A double blessing of the retreat was bringing the pastors together to a place where they could fellowship and encourage each other and commit together to spread of the gospel. I was told that this was the first time in this area where pastors from different denominations came together for the sake of the gospel. We have begun our own “Gospel Coalition” here!
A wonderful, encouraging song was also brought to life by one of the young pastors who composed it based on the Great Commission. Hopefully, soon we will be able to post a clip of that!
Thank you for your part in helping make RAU’s vision and mission more than just a dream!
Ron Zeiner, fellow Texan, pastor and former missionary, taught on proper biblical interpretation, leadership principles from Ezra/Nehemiah, and on the family. His excellent exposition of the scriptures brought much light and had the pastors thirsting and hungering to study Scriptures. Everyone, including myself, is hoping for him to return soon (and Carol hopes he comes with his wife)! There is a special hunger for Old Testament teaching as the Old Testament still has not been translated into Ma’di.
I had the joy of teaching several sessions, encouraging the pastors in the importance of discipleship and reaching out to plant churches in the many unchurched villages of the area. They, too, are eager to see the gospel expand here and to neighboring unreached areas.
During the whole retreat construction work continued. The latrine near the tukalus was finished Wednesday and made usable on Thursday. The tile on the front of the Guesthouse veranda was completed. The cooking for the conference had to be done in the old tukalu kitchen. The new charcoal kitchen next to the Guesthouse should be done in 3-4 days. We were able to get the beds for the tukalus done by Monday evening and put mattress on them Tuesday morning. However, with our numbers, we still did not have enough room to sleep the pastors who wanted to stay. The rains made it difficult for pastors to leave for the night. Abraham who was taxiing pastors back to their homes on one evening got stuck and did not even make it home; he ended up staying with one of the other pastors. Pray with us for the funds to build at least 5 more tukalus. That would give us the ability to sleep 20 more pastors for future retreats. It is very hard for me to turn away pastors who eagerly want biblical teaching! Making these tukalus a bit taller than our original ones would make their cost about $600 each. We are also in need of funds to bring about the completion of on going projects.
On Saturday we went to Obongi where we met for several hours with a small handful of believers. Obongi is one of the areas I told you about in my last newsletter. This Sunday morning Ron preached in Abraham’s church and in the evening we both preached in the Moyo market which had many people in it. Ron leaves Monday and then on next Saturday, three mission minded brothers from Tennessee will be joining us for several days of ministry. A little later in November my good friend Kevin Turner with SWI and, possibly several others, will be coming to share their passion and love for the Savior with the people of this area.
The RAU container’s arrival to Kampala should be any day now. After its arrival in Kampala it takes about a week to clear customs and then its trip here from Kampala will take several days. Please continue in your prayers for its safe arrival. The Land Cruiser is STILL in transit from Japan. Al-Shabab’s activities have apparently put a kink in the ship’s offloading in Mombasa, Kenya. Keep praying my friends!
Jacob (for the both of us)
The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it. May the Lord grant each of us His followers the wherewithal to be obedient disciples!
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