I just had a couple great days in Obongi studying God’s Word with a large crowd, most of whom are new believers. I traveled with brothers Abraham, Asili, Dennis, and Sam on Saturday (29th) for discipleship training in the morning and early afternoon. Later in the day, 22 people made an open proclamation of their faith in Christ Jesus through baptism in the nearby Nile River. On Sunday Sam and I returned to bring more teaching and encouragement.
While the participants all expressed gratefulness, I have been the one to be frequently encouraged and exhorted, as well as convicted, by the Christians here in the West Nile region of Uganda. Case in point: when Sam and I traveled back to Obongi on Sunday the believers wanted to make sure that we would be there the whole day so that they could receive their fill of teaching. After we left Saturday, they stayed up until 1AM studying God’s Word, praying, and worshiping. They slept at the church and were up at 5AM to pray again. When Sam and I and arrived Sunday morning we found them in the midst of vibrant worship. Most of these believers are very new in their faith and love of Jesus.
They want so much to be together to worship, pray, and receive the Word. If we had had our own vehicle (we hired a vehicle on Sunday), no doubt, we would have started teaching in the morning and gone late into the night, soaking in God’s Word together. Each time I would finish a lesson, we’d sing a song and Pastor Godfrey would say,“We are now ready for your next teaching.” These new believers in Christ, in the midst of persecution, are teaching me much about what it really means to love the Lord! My Christian friends, be encouraged by these Obongi believers to spend your Sundays with the same heart and love for Jesus!
Pray for Obongi Town Church. Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU), together with its partners here and in the USA,helped start this church last November. Pastor Godfrey, who was mentored at RAU, is doing a wonderful job leading and feeding this new flock. We have secured a place of worship which we are renting. Tarps which came from Texas via the container gave us good shade and a nice covering for the ground for people to sit on…thank you Danny Hoffman. We are continuing to look for a plot within the town to build a simple structure along with a Hall of Tyrannus Obongi Branch.
The Obongi Town Church is the only evangelical church within this town of 20,000+. There was big crowd for the 22 baptisms on the 29th and I am told that there is a “stir” in this Muslim dominated town about this “new” thing that is happening there. During the the baptism, several women came to a co-worker and told him they want to follow Christ but are afraid of what their husbands (Muslims) will do to them. Standing in the Nile waist-deep in water, co-worker Abraham preached a powerful gospel message right before the first baptism.
After one of my teachings on Saturday, a Muslim man came to one of the brethren and said he wanted to follow Jesus too and was added to the family of faith! This converted Muslim man then brought a friend on Sunday who, in turn, also believed upon the Lord. In total 7 people people trusted in Christ in the two days of teaching while listening in on or attending the discipleship times. PTL!
I never would have imagined that teaching from the parables would be used of the Lord to bring people to Christ. My messages were directed to the believers for their encouragement. It was through teaching on the Parable of the Mustard Seed and Leaven that the Muslim man was saved and then on Sunday, after the message on the 10 Talents another trusted in Christ. Even another, after the message on the Parable of the Two Foundations, trusted in the Lord. It is not known exactly when the other four put their faith in Christ, but each of these seven who trusted in Christ confided in one of the church members who then in turn pointed them to Christ Jesus. What joy it is to be in the middle of what the Lord is doing!
God is adding people to His church in Obongi and there is much rejoicing, not only in heaven, (Luke 15) but also in Obongi. This new church along with Pastor Godfrey have received continual opposition since it’s start. The persecution will no doubt continue but the Lord will sustain His people and cause them to “GROW IN GRACE“. Pray for this church in Obongi and all the believers in the nearby regions. Pray also for RAU as we seek to strengthen Christ’s bride in the West Nile Uganda, especially in the unreached areas of Obongi and Yumbe.
Please pray for the upcoming pastors’ discipleship retreats here at RAU. They are scheduled for April 8-11, April 29-May1, May 20-23, June 10-13, and June 26-28. These times are expressly meant for teaching and strengthening pastors/church leaders in the faith. Lessons begin in the morning and go until bedtime. The pastors are provided for while here. Because most of them have no means of transport, we also arrange for bringing them here and transporting them back to their homes. RAU’s first and primary calling is summed up in 2 Timothy 2:2, “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” I do covet your prayers for these retreat times that the Lord would give refreshing to the church leaders so that they may go back to their congregations empowered to feed their sheep and help their churches become multiplying churches!
Below are listed the things I would ask you to pray for and consider helping us with if you are willing and able to so:
*Prayer for the pastoral retreats and funds needed for them. It costs about $1500 to host each pastors’ retreat. We are limiting the number to 18 for these retreats as we want the the teaching to be more intimate and the dialog to be easier. The world will be reached through multiplication not addition! A little over $80 per person allows pastors to stay with us for these times of encouragement and teaching. Investing in these men will reap untold eternal dividends.
* Pray for the Obongi Town Church. Please also pray for us to find a suitable plot of land where this church could be located along with a Obongi Branch of the Hall of Tyrannus. We currently have $3,000 that has already been given. May more come in! I would like to go there each Monday for discipling the church leaders.
*In my last newsletter I told you about a plot in Yumbe for a Hall of Tyrannus branch office there . At this point, no funds have been given for this purchase. The plot costs $6000 and it will take at least another $6000 to renovate the the structures on the plot and build a protecting perimeter wall. With the $12,000 we could have an operational Yumbe Branch of the Hall of Tyrannus for weekly discipling of pastors and leaders in Yumbe. Please consider helping us proclaim the gospel in Yumbe which has very few believers. We believe that we can best do our part in this by targeting leaders with teaching and encouragement on a weekly basis.
*We are needing to get a disk for the tractor which came in the container. This would greatly aid us in raising crops on RAU’s land. The crops could be sold to help fund the ministry. We are also looking at planting another 100 mango trees for the same purpose.
*The first ever Aringa New Testament is coming out in June. Three dollars will purchase one. We would like to purchase many of these New Testaments for our work in Yumbe District. Also for around $1,500 we can have 20,000 Quest For Joy tracts published in Aringa for distribution in Yumbe.
* Please continue praying that at some point soon we can get the Medical Clinic and Christian School operating. With 17 acres we have the room and there are Ugandan brethren who could help facilitate the Clinic and School’s operation. I have written in the past about these great needs in this area of 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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