Open Doors of Opportunity
by Carol Lee
“Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
There is so much happening these days that it is hard to recall and record it all! We are grateful for the many open doors of opportunity the Lord has given us through which we are gladly walking.
I am happy to report that the outreaches that were made into the interior of the Metu Mountains are bearing fruit. In the last outreach to Oyo there were 21 professions of faith.
[This is the big difference in planting the seed in this region vs. the Yumbe area, where Islam is deeply rooted. In one area the “harvest sickle” is “bringing in the sheaves,” whereas in the other the seed is being scattered but we do not see yet and may not even see in our life time whether any seeds have taken root and are growing. We press on in both cases.].
It is now our big priority to ensure the discipleship process in the Metu mountains is done thoroughly and that shepherds are set in place to oversee the dear ones the Lord has saved by His sovereign grace. Tobias and Geoffrey are doing a great job. We are developing a strategy together for watching over the flocks that are scattered throughout the various hard-to-reach villages, many of which cannot be reached except by foot. We are working together in training several young men as disciple-makers and overseers. Tobias, Geoffrey, and several others are planning an area wide retreat at Aya Baptist Church for all the new believers to come together, receive teaching and encouragement and to fellowship with one another. Our goal is to come alongside these key leaders and help them to be successful in their goal of being faithful shepherds over God’s flock.
Last week we held our 12th Pastors’ Retreat. Brothers from D.R. of Congo and Arua were in attendance. We never grow tired of seeing the fruit of these retreats: joy and progress in the faith. We want to equip and encourage as many pastors and church leaders as possible. On That Day, we will look around in wonder and celebration at the eternal fruit born by every effort made to reach the unreached with the Gospel. That inspires and energizes us to keep on doing what we are doing!
On Saturday, the 21st, we attended the wedding of Dominic, who runs the New Life Radio Station, and his wife, Gloria. It was a beautiful and encompassing celebration! So many people came to watch the ceremony and enjoy the lavish meal they prepared. Dominic and Gloria managed to feed nearly the whole town of Laropi. I was able to capture some pictures of that happy day, but it was as if I were a part of a large group of paparazzi, trying to squeeze my way to a good shot!
Dominic is doing a lot with what he has. As a result of his radio outreach the Gospel is making headway in the West Nile region. We would love to see his influence spread by an increase in the power of his radio broadcast through more solar panels and battery storage capacity. Let us know if you have an interest in investing into that ministry.
On Sunday, the 22nd, we set out early to Yumbe. Jacob preached at Pilgrim’s C.O.U. (Church of Uganda) on prayer in YUmbe town. Charles, who pastors this flock, is starting a new series on prayer. Jacob preached on “The Persistent Widow.” This church is full of many young people! It gives us great hope that, under the wise and zealous leadership of Charles, this group of believers will have a profound effect on their town of Yumbe and the surrounding villages.
After a lunch break and short rest, some of the youth came back to load up the Land Cruiser with sound equipment and instruments…and many choir members! I just love how folks here make the absolute best use of every square inch of space! Every vehicle here is a HOV (high occupancy vehicle)! After loading, we made our way…slowly…to Kuru for Open Air preaching and person-to-person contact with tracts (John Piper’s “Quest For Joy” in English and Aringa as well as others in English.) After some joyful singing by the choir, Jacob climbed atop the Land Cruiser with Charles where he preached his heart out. Charles is an animated and gifted interpreter and gave his best as well. We are sure that many heard the Good News. We pray that the seeds that were planted fell on good soil and will bear eternal fruit for the joy of the hearers and angels!
Right across from the area where we set up was the Yumbe District hospital. Jacob, Charles, Zorah and some of the members of Pilgrim’s went over to the hospital and were able to hand out tracts and pray with people. One experience, in particular, inspires hope and intercessory prayer.
In one of our recent letters we wrote to you about a young girl who came to faith in Christ out of a Muslim family. She had received harsh physical and emotional treatment and even threats on her life from her family and even her mother. By the grace and heart-softening work of God, this young girl was released by her once-opposed family and was allowed to be sent to a Christian school in Arua where, we trust, she will receive an excellent education academically and spiritually. The first time we met the mother, her heart seemed hard and closed off to us.
Then, this last weekend, we found out that this mother had another daughter who just miscarried twins and was in the very hospital that was across from our open air ministry. Jacob and Charles went to see the mother who was there caring for her daughter. Jacob offered comforting and empathizing words, even with tears (as he thought of his own grandchildren.) Charles and Jacob prayed for her and gave her a gift to help with expenses. This mother was moved visibly, expressing thanks for the compassion and care which she did not experience even from her own family. We are praying that the visible, tangible love of Christ will make an inroad to her heart where Gospel seeds have been planted and that this will bear fruit to salvation.
The young girl we mentioned (that recently came to faith) is doing very well and overjoyed to have the opportunity to attend a school away from the harsh treatment she was receiving. We plan to visit her in March when the school has an official day of visitation.
The eight children who were sponsored to attend First Presbyterian’s Primary school are doing very well, from what we hear. They have adjusted well and are studying hard! When we make our way to Kampala for our trip back to the States we hope to get some photos of these children so you can have more of a personal connection with them.
After a busy season of ministry, we have been so thankful for this week of slower pace – the opportunity to rest as well as take care of things here at home. Jacob pushes really hard. He, especially, has enjoyed the recuperation of slowing down for a bit.
A timely rest it has been because this coming week will be another Pastors’ retreat – another group of men from the D.R. Congo for whom our friend, Joseph, has been the “point man.” The Lord is stretching our reach. However, it makes us realize even more the need for resources that are either in Lingala or French. We need to find and include more of these resources in our next container. The “Quest For Joy” tract has now also been translated into Lugbara and Kakwa. Any help you can give to help publish and print thee tracts would be greatly appreciated.
Please keep in mind the importance of the container and its priceless contents! Our ability to provide resources is at the very center of our ministry. The resources we give out freely ensure an effectiveness that outlasts face-to-face encounters.
Information on what needs to be placed in the container before it ships may be found here: https://reachingafricasunreached.org/fill-the-container-study-bibles-books-and-more/
The need for more pastors for the new churches being planted and the many pleas of pastors for more in-depth training keeps our plan for a pastor’s college in the forefront of our vision. In Northwestern Uganda (West Nile Region) there are very few places where pastors can receive pastoral training. The Pastor’s college would not take the place of the retreats that RAU holds here – both have their place and benefit. The Pastor’s College would hold several months of courses. It is not possible, generally, for folks to be away from their families for much longer than that.
Jacob and I thank you for your never-flagging support, prayer, encouragement and love! May the Lord bless each one of 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
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