The Lord continues to bless and open doors for us and enabling us in our pursuit to spread the fame of King Jesus where He is least known. Thank you for your prayers and support. I often think about the truth of 17th Century missionary William Carey’s “rope holder ” example, “Saving souls can be likened to a man drowning in a deep well and a volunteer can do nothing unless there are people who will hold the rope for him to be lowered till he reaches the drowning man, and then pull them up to safety… I will go to India as a volunteer to seek sinners drowning in the well of Sin. But I can’t do it alone. I need rope holders.” We, like Carey, will not nor can we be effective witnesses for Christ here in Northwestern Uganda and the nearby regions without your loving and sacrificial support. I thank you with all my heart!
We have an active, upcoming schedule in which we need your prayers for blessing,wisdom, and support. There are four pastors’ retreats at RAU on the docket and more to be planned. At these retreats we transport 17-20 pastors/church leaders to RAU and provide for them while they are here from a Tuesday to a Friday. We seek to provide an environment which is conducive to teaching, learning, and study of God’s Word. Because of the generosity of God’s people back in America we are able to provide each man with a Global Study Bible and numerous books which came through the Gospel Coalition International Outreach. Each retreat costs RAU around $1,500 making it a very inexpensive way to walk out 2 Timothy 2:2. If the the world is going to be reached it must be through multiplication not addition!
I am also working with local pastors to mentor young men in their congregations for leadership in their churches and for new church plants. This is perhaps the most exciting task I have as a missionary. To work one on one with men who are passionate about our Savior is a grand privileged! These men are not satisfied with just coasting through life. They want to see the church grow and become strong in the Lord and to see churches planted where there are none.
As I have written in the past, the two most unreached areas near us are Obongi and Yumbe. The Lord is blessing the work there. The new church in Obongi and its pastor, Godfrey, who was mentored here, are receiving much persecution in the midst of many coming to faith in Christ Jesus. I told the congregation recently that persecution is not necessarily a bad thing (Philippians 1:29 & 2 Timothy 3:12). They are pressing into a region where the prince of darkness has had his way for a long time.
March 29th and 30th I will be in there with Sam and Abraham for teaching throughout the days and baptisms on the 29th. Godfrey reports there are up to 40 new believers ready for baptism from the Obongi Town Church and several surrounding village churches!
The church is growing and the need for ongoing discipleship is very great. We have pastors/leaders from that region coming here to RAU periodically, but it is too far for them to come often. I feel the increasing need to go there to them as well, and more so when we have a vehicle. Three thousand dollars has already specifically been given to purchase land for a Hall of Tyrannus Obongi Branch. This is a wonderful start! After the Obongi Hall of Tyrannus Branch is built the Obongi Town Church could also meet there until the funds are raised to build a structure of their own. Currently, the new believers there have been meeting under a trees….it has been even hard to find a tree, at times, under which to worship and have teaching because of the opposition. The rains are about to begin which makes a tree a less desirable place for teaching and worship. Nevertheless, the teaching and worship will not stop… no matter what! Please pray with us for Obongi and the growing number of believers there.
In this town of 20,000+, besides the church which Godfrey pastors, there is only one Anglican church with a small group of believers. A piece of property in the town for a Hall of Tyrannus branch and church structure would help in discipleship and lessen the pressure from the unbelievers in the community who are opposing the work. Please lift up Obongi daily in your prayers and especially Godfrey as he faces almost daily, public ridicule and yet without growing bitter, but rather being patient and prayerful. He recently spent a few days with us here to talk over the issues and to have some time to be apart for reading and prayer and loving care. He also frequently suffers from physical ailments, including Malaria and GI troubles.
The Lord has opened doors in Yumbe as well. I have written in the past about Yumbe so I will not repeat myself. Something new in the works is the first ever New Testament in the Aringa language being published. It is being dedicated in June and I have been invited to be an official part of its dedication. Also, pastor Charles from Yumbe has translated John Piper’s tract, Quest for Joy, into Aringa and I just received permission from Desiring God to put it on the web page and publish it for distribution in Yumbe. An Aringa NT costs around $3 to publish. Here is an opportunity for you to help put a first edition Aringa New Testament into the hands of believers in Yumbe. RAU would like to get a good number of Testaments to use in our discipleship. 20,000 Aringa Quest For Joy tracts will cost around $1500+-. Doug Salser with Literature Ministries International has agreed to help us with this like he did with the Ma’di version of Quest For Joy. Lord willing, a short term ministry team will be able to bring them to us from the USA. The gates of hell cannot hold back the advancement of God’s Word!
There is only an Anglican and Roman Catholic church structure in Yumbe town which has some where around 35,000 people. The Muslims are upset that these churches are even there and it has only been by God’s grace these churches have kept their doors open. The Muslims are now even more militant in their position that no other churches or a Christian Organization be established in Yumbe town and will “severely” punish any fellow Muslim who rents or sells anything to a Christian. I have also been told that well over 90% of those who meet in these two churches are not even from Yumbe but are people working in the town from the outside…mostly government jobs. The Ugandan constitution allows the freedom of all religion in the country and the Lord using this to help us and others do Christian work in Yumbe.
In the the midst of this I received information that a Christian brother was willing to sell his plot in Yumbe town which already has two structures on it. There is also room for growth on the plot. There are very,very few Christian brothers who have any land in Yumbe town. He is willing to sell it for $6000 and it would take approximately another $6000 to refurbish the buildings and build a perimeter wall for protection. There are two nearby Mosques. Pastor Charles already rents and lives in one of the building and is watching over the property. He could do the same for us if we can get the property. Sam and I, along with pastors Ben and Charles, looked at it on the 19th and we liked it! RAU Africa board members Patrick and Abraham also think the property is an open door for RAU.
We are actively bringing pastors here from Yumbe and also young men for discipleship. For the work of God to grow in Yumbe there also needs to be active,regular, and ongoing discipleship there in Yumbe itself…training others who teach others is RAU’s main purpose . Pray with us and consider helping us spearhead this gospel work in Yumbe.
With these branch Halls of Tyrannuses in place we can go weekly or biweekly to train pastors and leaders along with also bring them to RAU for retreats. It seems the Lord has opened this door for us in Yumbe. Please pray with us and believe God with us for a Hall of Tyrannus Yumbe Branch where pastors,evangelists, and church planters can receive ongoing teaching in the Faith.
Last week I was in Kampala and personally, along with Patrick and Sam, met with the Ugandan broker who ordered the ’99 Land Cruiser for RAU from Japan last Fall. I urged the broker strongly that we are going to get a lawyer to enforce a refund if he did not repay RAU its money. The Ugandan broker is also a medical doctor and does this on the side. In the past, he has successfully handled over a dozen vehicle transactions with the same Japanese broker/company. I came to the meeting “loaded” and with simmering anger but, after meeting the broker and talking with him, I ended up rather liking him and having to repent of a bad attitude. The Ugandan broker has been working with Interpol and begged we give him one month more and so we agreed in writing that at the end of a month’s time if he has not received the money back from Japan he would have to pay RAUback personally the $15,000 we gave him for the Land Cruiser. We really need a vehicle, especially with our frequent travels to Yumbe and Obongi. Once we have the money back we will try to find a strong vehicle in Kampala this time fit for the rugged travel here. Please be in continue prayer in this matter….thank you!
Lastly, let me leave you with a link which has eight different maps which as the title of page suggest may “Change the Way you look at Africa”
Jacob (and Carol) Lee
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 (Click on the “Wish List” link and type in our names)
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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