“And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them (the shepherds), and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terribly frightened.BUT the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY which WILL COME to ALL THE PEOPLE. For to you is born this day in the town of David a SAVIOR, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord!” (Luke 2:9-11 AV, emphasis mine).
This is my 59th Christmas and will be my 4th to celebrate outside the USA. Christmas has many fond memories for me. As a child I had a wonderful time of celebrating with family. After marriage and children, new joys were added; and, then, there were the joys of celebrating with grandchildren. These memories and times are all precious and I am forever grateful for them.
As joyful as these times have been for me they pale in comparison to the “GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY“ that has come in the person of Jesus Christ. There are so many bound in the chains of fear, as were the shepherds. My favorite word in the Bible and, perhaps, the most important one in the Bible is “BUT”. In the above passage from Luke, “but” is the bridge between fear and joy. Good news of great joy has come to all peoples because Jesus has come to dwell among us and give His life a ransom for all peoples! Oh what rapturous joy that fills my heart! Such news would be unbelievable if we did not have God’s sure Word to tell us so! Who would have dreamed such good news is possible!
Such good news must be published to the “ALL THE PEOPLE! I am reminded afresh, as Christmas approaches, there are many in this world who have never once heard this “GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY“ ! We live in the midst of many such people here in the West Nile. On this coming Friday Sam, Carol, Paul George (from Austin Texas) and I will travel, along with members of Aya Baptist Church, to two such villages (Bari is the name of one) on Metu Mountain. Pastor Tobious and his associate, Geoffrey, just finished a preliminary visit in preparation for our trip together. They were warmly received and it was evident the Lord had been preparing their hearts. Tobious was told that someone had come briefly six years ago preaching in these villages and then left. Since that time they had been hoping someone would come and tell them more. Tobious and Geoffrey shared the gospel then and there and 14 believed upon the Lord!
Our goal is to see a church planted in Bari with a shepherd. I have seen, time after time, where evangelism takes place in a village, whether through open air preaching or the Jesus film, and many believe. Then, either because there are no shepherds willing to relocate or there is no provision for them to do so, the new believers are left like sheep without a shepherd. Geoffrey has agreed to be the shepherd of the church in Bari but has no resources and little biblical training. This is where RAU, through you, can come alongside the local church and assist in the planting of this church. This would be the second church in which RAU is directly involved in planting. The other is Obongi Town Church led by Pastor Godfrey, about whom we have written much. Our focus is to see churches where there is not one single one. Places which have no church ought to take precedence in church planting over places which have one or several churches in them already. The Bari Church, like Obongi Town church, will be made up of almost all new believers who, all the more, need shepherds trained in the Word and walking in the Spirit. Godfrey is doing a fine job in Obongi and we pray that we can assist Geoffrey and others in the same way. Please pray for these new churches and for us as we walk arm in arm with them.
We are also actively working indirectly to see churches planted where there are none. We do this through our pastors/church leaders retreats and by going out to local churches teaching and equipping. RAU’s main purpose is to come alongside pastors and church leaders in order to strengthen and equip them so that they can “equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:12). Many of the pastors in our West Nile region have not had the blessing and benefit of attending Bible College or seminary and they are very eager to receive resources that will aid them in their work. Our model is found in 2 Timothy 2:2 where the Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy to entrust to faithful men (who will also be able to teach others) what he has taught Timothy. Everything is passed along. In this way, the truth of the Gospel does not become a stagnant pond, but a life-giving, outward-flowing river of life.
Paul demonstrated this model in his own life when, as recorded in Acts 19:10 by Luke, he taught daily in the Hall of Tyrannus for two years, “so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.” Paul himself did not reach each resident of Asia, but those who heard Paul told others who told others. This is the ministry fruit we hope for at Reaching Africa’s Unreached. We want the Gospel and all the truths of the Bible to be that life-giving river making its way out to all the West Nile Region and beyond!
Biblical discipleship is key for the church to be able to reach the unreached. J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) has correctly said, “Since Satan cannot destroy the gospel, he has often neutralized its usefulness by addition, subtraction, or substitution.” When you pray and sacrificially help us you are helping to destroy the works of Satan.
When Carol wrote last I was in the midst of another bout of malaria. Thank you all for your sincere prayers. It had laid me low from last Friday -Monday. As per doctor’s orders (Carol) I was allowed to get up and do some work on Tuesday. This past week we have concentrated on creating a fire line around the perimeter of RAU’s 17 acre. We are now in the beginnings of the hot/dry season and you may remember last time we had some close calls from surrounding wildfires. We are also digging around and mulching our young mango trees. We have bagged around 865 kilos of dried soybeans harvested from the RAU land which we will seek to sell. One hundred percent of these proceeds will go directly back into the ministry. The same thing will be true when we begin to harvest the many mangoes from our newly planted trees. When the rains begin again we will plant more. Our perimeter security wall is coming along nicely. We are grateful for a wonderful building crew from whose expertise we will benefit and have benefited.
There were also six pastors who came by this last week for prayer and encouragement. On a weekly basis many stop by RAU. We see these times also as being a part of God’s plan for us living here. We can send them on their way refreshed in the Lord and packed with resources, both for them and their churches.
All these are reasons why we believe it is the Lord’s will to get more resources here via a second container. Already 700 pounds of gospel tracts in English, Madi, and Aringa and 800 pounds of books from The Gospel Coalition International Outreach are on pallets at our home church, Lifegate. Our biggest desire is to pack 5,000 ESV Global Study Bibles into the container. As we have written previously, we can purchase them at a 70% discount and have them shipped to Lifegate for $10 a Bible. We have $3,000 of the $50,000 needed to buy these excellent, pastoral resources. Please pray and believe with us for the remaining funds and give if you can. All the information you need is at our web page here:
Carol and I, as well as the whole RAU team, realize we could not be doing what we are doing without the sacrificial and loving support you give us. You are the Lord’s means of grace for us who labor joyfully in the field the Lord has given us. Thank you and God Bless you!
On a personal note, please pray for Carol and me during this Christmas season that the Lord would minister peace and grace in those times we desperately miss out loving family back in America. Thank you!
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
Tax deductible charitable donations may be made via PayPal. PayPal also has a way to make reoccurring monthly gifts. To do so please click the PayPal link. PayPal deducts a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal are now tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501 c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization. If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate Missions, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155