Learning to Number Our Days
“Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.”
There’s nothing like a good bump on the head to help a person realize that “life as usual” may not always continue as usual. The fact that I (Carol) am writing this is a testament to the fact that the Lord has graciously allowed life to continue “as usual,” with the exception of our going on with it a little more circumspectly as Jacob and I think about how life could have changed drastically after my fall and head injury. I have a small residual of soreness on my head where there is still evidence that it hit the wall, and on my left elbow where I am surmising that a small piece of bone was chipped. I believe my mental faculties are intact, and, most importantly, my sense of humor! We praise God for the mundane (ordinary, but not dull!) – the everyday continuance of the privilege of serving Him here in the West Nile region of northwestern Uganda.
I so much appreciated all the prayers, words of encouragement and suggestions for alternate and safer forms of exercise to use in the future! As I have said before, I have a few residual aches and pains as reminders of God’s grace and kindness in sparing Jacob and me from big adventures of the medical kind!
We were so blessed in welcoming Paul George and having him here over the holidays. As you know, Paul was here with us the few weeks before Christmas and almost to the New Year, proving himself in ministry as well as cassava harvesting – and all the while bearing with an upper respiratory infection that was finally overcome with some antibiotics. It was a joy to have him here with us. He was generous and genuine. We saw his gifting shine in his desire to alleviate suffering and come along side people in their trials. He has a servant-heart.
We spent Christmas Day (Thursday) in Yumbe District at Yi’ba worshiping with the saints at Yi’ba Church of Uganda. Jacob preached from Luke 2: 7-21. It was special to have one of the young boys from St. Paul’s Pilgrim Church quoting the text in Aringa from memory prior to the message. After sharing the Christmas meal with the Reverend, David, and giving the “gift of sight” via handing out reading glasses, we headed back to Afoji – to RAU.
We were to spend that coming Sunday with Godfrey in Obongi, but plans were altered by my (Carol’s) little head-banging mishap (which I obviously survived by the grace of God). Paul and Sam were sent on to Obongi by themselves where Paul shared a message with the members of Obongi Town Church. We were grateful that Paul was willing to take on that task, though it is not where he feels the most gifted. He was “instant in season and out of season.”
In between all these appointments, Sam’s cassava crop needed harvesting. Paul was chomping at the bit to experience this. He surprised everyone with his energy and steadfastness as he tried to keep up with the women! Considering he was struggling with an ear and throat infection at the time, he did a wonderful job!
All this while, construction has been happening on the perimeter security wall. The builders took a break for Christmas and New Year, but a couple of them are back at it to finish what they started. The rest are due back any day now to finish the wall and start on the other project of expanding “Sam’s Tukalu” to include another room. We are hoping to add more bunk beds and power it up with solar so that it will be ready for pastors’ retreats as well as visitors from overseas.
Upcoming events for which we desire your prayers include:
*Opportunity for Jacob to preach at Ambelech Church in Yumbe District on Sunday, the 18th
*Opportunities for Jacob to preach via radio, here in Moyo town at a public radio station, as well as at a local Christian station managed by a new friend, Dominic. Jacob is hoping this might become a regular happening at both stations.
*Our good friend, John Howarton, will visit RAU once again and help Jacob do the teaching at a Pastors’ Retreat for Congolese pastors during the last week of January as well as join in other ministry.
*We will have 3, possibly 4, pastors’ retreats in the next few months, including the one mentioned above
*Since the church planting effort in Gbare, Jacob is continuing to follow up with Pastor Tobious (from Aya) and Pastor Geoffrey who plans to move to this remote area to pastor the fledgling church. We will be working with Aya Baptist Church to support Pastor Geoffrey and his family as they uproot to answer this call. Please pray that the seed of the Word would grow deep there and produce fruit that will last.
Over this last year, the Lord has made a way for Sam to upgrade his medical knowledge and skills by attending University to receive a Bachelors in Nursing. This would put him in a position to oversee and run a clinic. It is a three-year program. This means having to say goodbye to him for a while. We have appreciated his service to RAU so much and he will be missed. Thankfully, he plans to come here during breaks, bringing fellow health workers with him for medical outreaches. We look forward to seeing how the Lord uses his skills in medicine in the future.
As Sam leaves, the Lord has seen fit send another young man our way – Zora. He and his family are originally from the Arua area but moved to Kampala a few years back. Zora has finished a two year program in Theology and is looking for opportunities to serve the Body of Christ. He will be with us for a number of weeks. We are enjoying getting to know him. He is showing a servant’s heart and a lot of wisdom. He is keen to seek the Lord and learn of Him. I am also enjoying giving him some pointers as he learns to play the guitar!
The young boy, Richard, who received surgery to correct bilateral club foot, will be going back to CoRSU Hospital to finish the last surgeries to his feet. Due to the tribal conflict that happened here in September, Richard had to leave the area and return to South Sudan. He has gotten behind on his schooling. There is an opportunity for him to return to school if he is sponsored. First Presbyterian Church in Kampala, where our dear friend and board member, Patrick Bukenya pastors, has a Christian school which also boards children there. For $600 per year (room,board, and tuition), Richard could receive an excellent education and have many other opportunities open up to him. Please let us know if you are interested in sponsoring him.
We have been so encouraged by the response to our pleas for donations towards buying 5,000 more ESV Global Study Bibles to put in another container. So far, we have about $10,400 – one fifth of our goal of $50,000. This is truly one of the best resources we can freely put into pastors’ and other leaders’ hands. Please consider this a priority in praying and giving. Perhaps your Sunday School classes (or other groups to which you belong) might consider making this a project. It is about $10 per Bible. When we have the full amount then we will purchase them all at once at a greatly discounted price.
More information may be found here:
We always love to hear from you all personally and hope you will let us know what is going on in your lives. It makes us feel connected to you, our partners in Christ, just as (we have heard) our letters make you feel connected and acquainted with us!
May the Lord bless you all this New Year! We pray this prayer of the Apostle Paul for each one of you:
“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.”
Love in Christ,
Carol and Jacob (on behalf of RAU)
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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