“…standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side
for the faith of the Gospel…”
Social media has it pros and cons. Let me tell you about one of the “pros!”
Several months ago, Laurel Sink had posted on Facebook that she was wanting to live more radically for Christ. She had been reading David Platt’s book, “Radical” and it had challenged her. I wrote in the “comment” section, “Come over and help us!” I wrote it sort of flippantly because that kind of invitation rarely has any serious takers.
Guess what?!! Laurel and Preston Sink took us up on it! It has been a grand blessing and joy. Not only did they come loaded with goodies and ministry supplies from their church, Seagrove Baptist Church in Florida, as well as from family and friends, but they came ready to jump in to do whatever we had planned.
They arrived arrived in Kampala on July 17th. All of their 11 bags arrived safely, too! Sam and Pastor Bob Gad were at the airport to pick them up. To the credit of Bob’s Ugandan packing skills, they and their bags were able to fit in the car for the drive to Patrick and Vickie Bukenya’s home where Preston, Laurel and Sam spent the night. Sam took Preston and Laurel around Kampala the next day where they got to experience the joys and the trauma of Kampala traffic. From what we hear, Patrick took them on a harrowing ride to the bus station that evening to catch the night bus to Moyo. Jacob picked them up Saturday morning in Moyo and delivered them to RAU – our Shangrila!
No rest for the weary, though. Sunday morning, we made an early start to Yumbe District to a small village called, “Coro,” (pronounced “Choro.”) We picked up Ben (and his wife, Jackie and son, Jedidiah) and Charles at the Kerila junction and brought along the newly printed Aringa tract which Preston and Laurel were so gracious to stow away in their luggage and bring to us. The look on Charles’ face in seeing the tract for the first time is priceless. He was the one who translated John Piper’s tract, “Quest For Joy,” into Aringa for its printing.
[Ben and Charles have been great friends and brothers in the Lord and a tremendous help to RAU in organizing pastors for retreats at RAU and medical opportunities in the community. They have been key people in helping to unite the Christians in the Yumbe area.]
Preston, ever the energetic and happy “I’m-willing-to-do-whatever-needs-doing” person, partnered with Charles to deliver the good news in the form of Aringa tracts to some of the locals in Kerila…
and along the way….
We experienced all kinds of excitement before we reached our destination. Unfortunately, much rain had fallen overnight and the roads were ALMOST impassible. Just looking at the roads induced stress. Actually driving through the muddy parts and nearly getting stuck had me holding on for dear life, head buried and eyes closed…in prayer…fervent prayer! It was too much excitement for me. I decided we needed to rename our group, “White Knuckle Missions!“
One of the joys of the journey was noticing the surprised and, often, frightened looks on the faces of the children (or adults!) at seeing white faces for, perhaps, the first time. One of the children was overheard saying to another smaller child, “Be careful, they will eat you!” It’s no wonder there was a look of terror! A few of the children overcame their fears to come and shake our hands.
At last we reached Coro (Choro) and were greeted by some sweet…and shy… faces.
Preston and Laurel shared their testimonies and generally endeared themselves to all with whom they came in contact. Jacob preached. At the end of the service we also handed out de-worming medicine to the children and adults.
Before we headed back to Moyo/Afoji we went into Yumbe town to drop off Ben and Charles. Preston, Jacob, Charles and Ben made the most of it by handing out more Aringa tracts to folks on Main Street. Jacob had an interesting interaction with a couple of Imams, one from Pakistan. (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia have a lot of influence in Yumbe.) One of the gentlemen he spoke with wanted Jacob to go to the Mosque to receive something the man had to give him. If we had had more time, Jacob would have done it, but we were in need of heading home before it turned dark.
In spite of the rain and the countless mud puddles and potholes, we made it back safely to RAU. Monday was a little more laid back, but still brought some ministry opportunities. Jacob and Preston “played” on the tractor a little.
In the afternoon we went to Moyo town to get bathing soap which we took to hand out in Moyo Prison. Preston and Jacob shared briefly and had a very good response from the prisoners. There are a total of 73 inmates, including 4-5 women. They have incredible physical, emotional and spiritual needs. It opened up our eyes to their needs and has inspired us to want to be more involved in their lives.
Persistent rains throughout the night gave us pause to wonder if we would make it to Obongi the next day. Our concerns were for naught, though, as the roads were passable and, in fact, much nicer than the ones to Yumbe and we left a little later than planned to allow the roads to dry a bit.
Along the way to Obongi, Jacob enjoyed a little prank at Laurel’s and my expense, pretending to throw a green snake at us which turned out to be only a blade of grass. It yielded the squeals for which he was hoping. His glee is evident in this photo.
We arrived to find that Pastor Godfrey and brother Bosco had not frittered away the time waiting for us, but were, themselves, encouraging the folks that had come. Without wasting any time we dove right into the activities that Godfrey had planned.
Preston and Jacob both taught and Laurel gave her testimony and a word of encouragement. And we worshiped! We all were amazed by the exuberance and endurance with which they sang!
It was incredible how many kids were joining in and we learned that Pastor Godfrey not only welcomes the little children, teaching, feeding and caring for them (like Jesus commanded) but also welcomes “misfits.” It was heartening to see that the town drunk and a mentally ill young man were not chased away, but were allowed to participate and were fed afterward. Godfrey and Bosco are doing a wonderful work in this very unreached area of Obongi.
Part of our visit to Obongi was spent in finding a plan of action to move forward on land that was legally purchased in Obongi for a branch Hall of Tyrannus, but blocked by a local federal leader who is a Muslim and doesn’t want any Christian group to have a stake in the land within the town.
Before we headed home we stopped at a store to get a refreshing, cold soda for the road. As tracts were being handed out, people would actually come to the window and ask for one. Laurel and I were both agreeing that we would never see anything like that in America! It’s a great opportunity as it is rare for people here to have something written in their own language.
We have been back home for several days. Our plans have been waylaid by the need for us to get our 4-wheel drive fixed on the Land Cruiser. The more it rains…and, boy, has it been raining…the more we need to have it! There is no “Auto Zone” here so we actually had to send the mechanic to Kampala to buy the part. He is here right now trying to get our vehicle in working order.
In the meantime, Preston and Laurel were escorted (by foot) to the village of Zaccheo, one of the men who works with us. They received a warm welcome and shared with and talked to them. Yesterday, Jacob and Preston went two separate ways to hand out tracts and share the gospel with people in the community.
While we wait for the vehicle to be fixed we have enjoyed simple and fun times together. We feel like one big, happy family!
Our time with Laurel and Preston has been blessed and joyful and we will be sad to see them leave. Occasionally, a few words slip from their lips that give us great hope: “Next time…” Yes! We certainly hope there is a “next time!”
The mechanic has arrived with the vehicle part and is putting it in place as I write. If all goes well, we hope to head back to Yumbe Sunday for more ministry. Next week we plan to continue visiting churches and doing outreach in various areas of Yumbe District and Obongi. A week from this Sunday we will travel to Ayaa Baptist Church on Metu Mountain. Definitely going to need 4-wheel drive for that one!
That following Monday, Preston and Laurel will head back to the States. That same week will usher in one of two back-to-back pastors’ retreats. We will have two in August and then two in September. At the end of September we will head to Kampala to catch a flight for our much anticipated visit to the States.
Keep us in prayer as we still have a lot of “mudding” to do! During rainy season the roads can be rougher than usual. Pray for our plans, that all that the Lord has for us will be accomplished.
Thank you for all your prayers and support!
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 name or email address)
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 W. Lee
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