I received an email late last night updating me on the status of the RAU container. From my previous reports you know the container has been held by Ugandan Revenue authorities since mid November. Because of fraudulent practices by a large Ugandan NGO which was abusing its tax exempt status other law abiding, tax exempt NGO’s containers have been held while the government reviews its policies.
RAU received its tax exemption last January and our container was shipped believing the government would honor the exemption they themselves gave. Even though the RAU container was sent before the fraud was discovered they are refusing to release it without paying taxes on its content and the on the container itself.The assessed taxes are in the neighborhood of $25,000.
After many personal and written appeals directly to government officials in charge they have repeatedly refused to release the container. The Ugandan President’s Representative for Moyo District (District in Northwestern Uganda where we are located), other brothers I work with, and I have had direct, face to face meetings with the undersecretary with no results.
Thomas, the faithful brother, who has been working tirelessly with us on this reported to me last night that it looks as if the government will release the container for $8000 (I have learned that nothing is certain). This does not include assessed storage fees and other “charges” which will likely be around $4000. Thomas will have a more exact number for me on Thursday.
This situation, along with the delayed delivery of 1999 Land Cruiser from Japan, has revealed a lot of sinful pride in my heart. I am struggling to overcome anger and to believe the very thing I teach so passionately – the Sovereignty of God in this particular turn of events. The Lord knows I am, in so many ways, a very prideful man…my life time of work ethic and willful determination in completing tasks combined with my sinful and deceitful heart make a very bad potion that can only be killed by a stronger potion—the cross.
The remedy of the cross is brokenness and utter dependence. I have to let go…I must let go….and lay hold of Jesus who has hold of me. His grip cannot be broken. His mission cannot and will not fail. To belong to Him and to His mission is more than I could ever have dreamed and by His grace and through the means of that grace I want to press on knowing that the joy set before me is greater than anything this world has to offer and anything Satan and evil men can muster. The container and its precious cargo, which also includes all of our personal treasures and belongings, first and foremost, belongs to the King of kings. I know that many of you, too, have sacrificed of your time and money to get this container to Uganda for the spread of Christ’s fame. He is the Sovereign of the universe and His will will be done!
While committing the container into the Lord’s hands and praying for the Lord to turn the hearts of the officials, we will continue with the means God has given us to place God’s things into the hands of His people and for His purpose…spreading the fame of His Name among His people and those unreached/unengaged peoples whom He calls to worship Him! May the Lord grant such grace and mercy! Please stand with us interceding before the throne of grace in our time of need!
At this point I see with my finite eyesight the possibility of three scenarios:
1. God chooses to soften the hardened hearts of government officials and they honor the tax exemption they gave us and the container is released with only the storage fees etc. This is what I continue pray for and what we are working for.
2. God provides the necessary $12,000+- needed for its release.
3. The government confiscates the container for lack of payment.
In closing, I would like to share some words sent to me by my good friend Kevin Turner who has spent much time in Africa. (He was recently visited us in Africa, along with Ron Day; Kevin will be coming back again with a team for most of February.) Kevin granted me permission share some of his words written to me early this morning which have encouraged and exhorted me:
… I don’t have the answers for you after my short sojourn and I don’t know what it all looks like. I just, like you, know what He looks like! That He is called faithful and true and as I mentioned before; From the cross pertaining to warfare and redemption and salvation and justification, Jesus did not say, “It has started”! Nope, He said, “It is finished”!
Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support!
Jacob (for the both of us)
For those who have asked, 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
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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