I am writing to give you an opportunity to share in the joy of the harvest. You have shared in the plowing through prayer. You have participated in the sowing through your generous giving (building,operating expenses, books, Kindles for Pastors, evangelism,church planting etc.) and by your coming and planting seed or watering. Believe me,God is giving the growth!
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.“ I Corinthians 3: 6-9
Since Jacob’s last letter, so many wonderful developments have occurred.
Godfrey, who has been undergoing a mentoring process here at RAU and an intense time of study, is nearly ready to make his move to Obongi. He is truly excited, not only about the Word of God, but also about being able to be a part of the milestone outreach to this unreached area. Jacob has so enjoyed helping to equip Godfrey in different ways and has had great conversations with him. Last night, after having had some time to read in his new Kindle, loaded with over 100 Christian books, Godfrey came inside from the veranda, nearly giddy, and stated, “You know, God gave Adam this beautiful garden with all kinds of fruits for him to enjoy. What God gave Adam in the garden, you have given me in this Kindle!” Awesome! Thank you, Delmar Hager, for your vision and provision of this most excellent tool for pastors! The fruit that the Kindles, as well all the Christ centered books given out, will bear in eternity cannot even be contemplated now! Thank you to all who have been a part of providing Bibles and books to enrich pastors. We look forward to seeing the harvest of wisdom in Godfrey through the resources he has been given and planted within him. Pray for him as he leads a new church in the center of Muslim dominated Obongi. Pray for us as we seek to encourage him and assist this church plant which has only new converts.
Godfrey has been spending more and more time in Obongi, following up with new believers and discipling and encouraging them.The guys have made a number of evangelistic trips there the past 6 weeks. He has been able to locate a Tukalu that we will rent for him. He will be heading back there tomorrow to prepare up to 30 new believers for baptism on Thursday. Jacob and Abraham will follow him early Thursday morning for a day of teaching followed by a baptism of believers in the Nile River by Pastor Bosco (a young man into whom Jacob has been thrilled to pour resources since 2010. There is a video him on this page). Jacob and Abraham will also be delivering a bed and some other essentials to Godfrey for his move to Obongi. If you could see the exuberant joy that Godfrey exhibits as he talks about the people that are expressing thankfulness for his being there to shepherd them, you would “catch it” too! It is contagious!
By the way, the Church at Obongi is meeting under a mango tree.
Yumbe is another area of promise and encouragement. RAU has found a gold mine in Pastor Ben and several other pastors and lay ministers who faithfully serve the Lord in this Muslim region. I would encourage you to read again the history of Yumbe in Jacob’s last newsletter It is a privilege to come alongside them and encourage them, strengthen them through teaching and provide resources for them. The ones that met with Abraham, Sam, Alfred and Jacob have shared how greatly they are blessed by RAU coming to partner with them. They no longer feel forgotten! When we return to Uganda after the Christmas holidays, we will be gearing up for a special retreat just for the Pastors and workers in the Yumbe region. Kevin Turner is planning on bringing a team to help in this retreat at RAU.
As you pray for us and give towards the ministry of RAU, please keep in mind the financial cost of outreaches to these towns and also the funds needed to help the pastors who are called to shepherd the fledgling churches or church plants. They are being sent out by us and need our support until the churches can be a little more self-sustaining. Godfrey, for example, gave up a good paying job and a home in answering the call to move to Obongi. Our commitment is, on a short-term basis, to provide for some of his needs so he can focus on discipling and evangelizing. It will be the same for the other church plants in the works.
One of the markers of RAU has been its commitment to be an interdenominational organization, promoting the forward movement of the Gospel and Kingdom of God among all evangelical churches. This has been appreciated by many pastors here when they see that there is no favoritism, but the emphasis is the glory of God and the going forth of the Gospel. The pastors from Yumbe also have remarked that among the small number of churches of varying evangelical denominations in the region, this is the first time a group has come in to work together with all of them. These pastors are now committed to working with each other in getting the Gospel into the community.Part of their strategy is to identify several young men who would make good pastoral candidates and to have them stay here at RAU on a short-term basis for training and mentoring. It would be hurtful for the Church at large to evangelize and bring in a harvest of souls and not provide them with good under shepherds. This is the very commitment of and basis for RAU!
Alongside the planned trips to Yumbe and Obongi and formal opportunities for teaching, Jacob has also enjoyed some unplanned opportunities lately. From time to time, he feels that he ought to go out and work with the men in the slashing and clearing of the property. (Funny, but I feel no such compulsion!) Among the men are pastors and church leaders. They have had great questions and conversations on spiritual matters. It gives Jacob a springboard to do some teaching. Also, on any given day, a young man or a pastor may pop in for a visit. Jacob has this opportunity to give books and urge them on to study. I remember overhearing Jacob tell Godfrey the other day, “A leading man must be a reading man.” (or something like that!) One young man who dropped by yesterday was asking about the Kindle. Jacob, who had just given him some books, told him, “If you have read what I have given you by the time we come back from the States, I will give you a Kindle.” He is quick to emphasize to them that the resources are limited and he only wants those resources in the hands of those who will actually read and use them.
Please pray for Jacob and all of us here at RAU. We have the opportunity to love on and encourage a couple of young Muslim men who are becoming more open to what we have to say about Jesus. Please pray that nothing about our lives and words will contradict what they are hearing about the Savior. Pray that hearts would be softened, eyes would be opened!
On the operating side of RAU ministry, we are still awaiting the container to be released. The hold up has mainly had to do with the registration plates for the tractor and the motorbike (which we now have, but will cost us $1000) and getting the release from the Minister of Gender. He is the one who signs off on our tax exemption for the container. If we did not have this exemption our import taxes would be over $20,000 for the container so you see why his signing off on our tax exemption is important. This exemption was given to us last January. Apparently, due to past abuses of the tax exempt status through the Red Cross, they are going through release requests with a fine tooth comb to ensure that containers are not going to groups who will turn around and sell the contents for a profit. The RDC, (Resident District Commissioner. See the video of him at RAU here) the local representative of the President here in Moyo (with whom we have become acquainted ), has agreed to meet with the Minister of Gender in Kampala this week to assure him that RAU is a legitimate group and not hawkers. We are grateful for the favor the Lord has given us with the RDC. We have a small window of time in which to receive the container before we return to the States. Please pray it would be released this week! The longer the container stays in Kampala, the more fees will rack up. We have not been given a current price for fees (loading/unloading, various administrative costs,storage while waiting, etc.). It was $2,700 a few weeks ago, so it probably will now be over $3000 with tacked on storage fees. The things which are in the container can be found here. Any help you can give to get the container here would be a great blessing. Jacob wrote in his last newsletters of our other needs so i will not mention them here.
Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support.
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! Jacob Lee
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