“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
Luke 2: 8-10
May your preparations for Christmas be centered in and around Immanuel and may your celebrations be blessed! Carol and I have slowly been making our way back to Texas for Christmas with family and friends. We leave Entebbe on Tuesday. Both Carol and I are very excited to be with our family and to start playing with and holding the grand kids. Our third grandchild Keira was born while we were here and I have not seen her yet.
Our bus trip this last Friday from Moyo to Kampala took 16 hours! From Moyo to Gulu was pretty rough with lots and lots of dust. From Gulu to Kampala it was not too bad, but when we got to Kampala we were held up in traffic for nearly 4 hours. I have had many a dusty, bumpy, African bus rides, but this one was the best because Carol was with me and by my side!
It is good to be with Pastor Patrick Bukenya and his family. On Monday I have a meeting with federal officials who have had our container on hold now for 4 weeks. The reason it is being held centers around a NGO which was abusing its tax exempt status; because of this the Ugandan gov’t is looking at all other tax exempt NGO’s very, very closely! Pray that I can make a good case Monday morning with gov’t officials for RAU’s tax exemption. Our tax exemption was granted to us last January but the exposed fraud has increased the scrutiny on all tax exempt NGO’s. With one signature the container could be on its way to RAU. This container is loaded with ministry supplies and 1100 ESV Global Study Bibles/over 3500 Christ exalting Christian books for pastors. Pray, my friends, for its release!
The latest news on the ’99 Land Cruiser which we purchased from Japan:it is due to arrive in January, according to the broker. He continually has pushed the timeline back. Our getting around has been limited, but we have managed by using boda-bodas,taxi’s,buses and for trips to Obongi and Yumbe the goodness of Abraham in transporting us with his vehicle. The Land Cruiser will be a great asset to RAU’s ministry. Please remember this in your prayers!
I am overjoyed in what has been accomplished by God’s grace since we arrived in July. Your prayers and support are a part of the means of getting the gospel to the unreached. Thank you! When we moved into the Guesthouse/Hall of Tyrannus it was a shell and now it has because a center of ministry and a home. I have great hope for what God is going to do in 2014. As 2013 ends please consider Reaching Africa’s Unreached in your end of the year giving.
Here is a list of ongoing ministry efforts:
1. By God’s grace we will continue to host groups of pastors for teaching retreats at RAU, walking out 2 Timothy 2:2. Most pastors in the area have had little or no Biblical training. We wish to equip them with sound teaching on the fundamentals of the faith and give them tools to strengthen them so that they in turn can strengthen their flocks with the ultimate goal of their congregations planting churches in their neighboring villages with no witness for Christ. To complete the Guesthouse we need to strengthen our solar electrical system and some more functional furnishings:Need$4,000+-
It was hard for our current water system to handle the groups we have had so I would like to harvest water off the roof of the Guesthouse placing an in-ground 80,000 liter tank which could feed the tukalu’s where guest’s stay and provide backup for the Guesthouse itself. We have a bid for for the whole system (tank, gutters, pipes, labor) for $9,000. We would also like to build more guest quarters for pastors as we did not have enough room for them all at our last pastor’s retreat.
2. We have been actively targeting neighboring Yumbe District and Obongi sub county of Moyo District. Workers on the ground there state that less than 1% of their population are evangelicals.With many trips to the regions I have been increasingly burdened for the area. The few churches there and their pastors need the help and encouragement RAU can and is called to give. When we can,we will bring Obongi/Yumbe pastors to RAU for retreats. However, because of the logistics, it is difficult to bring them to RAU as often as needed. That is why I envision, first, a Hall of Tyrannus:Yumbe Branch and then, an Obongi Branch. These branches would facilitate the strengthening of the churches there and the planting of other churches. I and others would go to Branches on a weekly basis. There are plots available for purchase. The estimated cost to purchase a plot on Yumbe’s main street and to build a small structure is $15,000. Renting is not a possibility as all the buildings are owned by Muslims and they will not rent to a ministry like ours.
3. RAU has a new church plant in the center of Obongi town which we are calling Obongi Town Church. We are believing God for many more church plants. We strongly believe that along with our evangelism there must be a discipleship program for new believers. God’s primary means of discipleship is the local church. The vast majority of Obongi Town Church are new believers and few who were believers before the church was established had no church home. In my last newsletter I shared how we sent out Godfrey, who had been training at RAU for two months, to Obongi . We have 5 more young men in the pipeline who are potential shepherds for church plants. Also I have encouraged pastors to be on the look out for men in their congregations who are also potential pastors for church plants which we are willing to train at RAU. Our working plan for these new congregations is to help support them and their pastors in the beginning with the expressed understanding that financial support is not indefinite but will be available until the church is able to stand more surely on its own; however, as long as RAU exists it would be there for teaching and encouragement. RAU is not starting a new denomination. These new congregations could remain independent or join an existing denomination in the area. As you know, all this will cost money. Please pray for us in these efforts and consider helping us. Thank you!
4. We have actively been clearing RAU’s 17 acres with the hope of putting in two crops of soybeans on at least 10 acres. The first planting would be in the beginning of April. The goal is to sell the soybeans and use the money for ministry efforts. We have the tractor but we are still needing a plow/disk. The price for a new disk in Kampala is $5000 but I am on the hunt for a used one which would cost less.
6. Then, there are the day to day expenses. These costs go up and down in relation to how many we are feeding and how many ministry outings we take. Transport costs here are much higher here in Uganda than in the US. Gas is over $6 a gallon and Diesel is just a bit less per gallon.
Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers. There must be both sacrificial giving and going for gospel advancement. We are in a ripe harvest field and the Lord has swung open wide the door for us. “Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story.” (K.P. Yohannan). Let it be said that we are not one of these “mumblers“!
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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