Ready – Set – Go!!!
By Carol Lee
Jacob and I are warming up our muscles – physically AND spiritually – for a flurry of happy ministry activity. (Really and truly…I am doing exercises – safely- to try and strengthen this old body for the rigors of the Metu Mountains.)
First, Preston and Laurel Sink are on their way and we will be picking them up shortly! We love this couple and their desire to serve and love the people of the West Nile Region. They are from Seagrove Baptist Church in Florida. How blessed we were on our last visit to the States to finally meet, in person, our beautiful family in Christ from Seagrove Baptist who have been amazing partners of Christ’s work in this region. We have quite an itinerary prepared for Preston and Laurel in the triangle zone of our ministry efforts – Metu Mountains, Obongi and Yumbe. May the Lord strengthen us all for the plans he has laid on our hearts and may the Lord bring Preston and Laurel safely here and return them safely to their home in Florida. (They will be with us for close to two weeks.)
Second, this coming Saturday, on the 4th of July, Jacob will be heading to Yumbe for a second meeting with the Sheikhs and Imams with whom he met previously. He hopes to continue a friendly dialogue with them. Please be praying for that meeting. The goal is to win people and not an argument. Pray that Christ’s love for them would be the overarching message and that it would be displayed to them in Jacob’s life and in the lives of those who live and work there. Also, pray over the outline which is below and which he will be using during his part of the dialog. Jacob’s topic is “Who Is Jesus?” answering a specific question which they, themselves, asked of Jacob the last time they met.
Third, the land issue in Obongi is taking some positive moves forward as negotiations have happened for a different piece of land nearby the other one, but which is more agreeable to some who were opposed to the first plot of land being sold and developed. Thank you to everyone who prayed! Please continue to pray because it’s not a “done deal” yet! The tentative agreement with all the appropriate signatures is being reviewed and discussed today.
Fourthly, not long after the Sinks return to the States, our dear friend, Ron Zeiner, will be returning (for the 3rd time) to help us in ministry. During his stay we will have 2 Leadership retreats and some outreaches to outlying areas. One of the retreat groups will be from the D.R. of Congo. Now that Lydia’s House is completed we will also be able to host women along with the men. This was previously not possible because the facilities were not conducive to mixed groups.
In anticipation of this flurry of activity Jacob has been very busy getting things ready on the campus. His brain has a file somewhere which keeps a running “to-do” list of projects. As you can see from the photos, it is a very effective list and the results could not be more beautiful!
I have been doing a few “nurse-y” things in addition to being the Photographer/bookkeeper/manager and Jacob’s chief encourager. I am restricted from doing hands-on nursing care, but I am seeing how important a part education plays in helping people understand the cause and therefore the cure and prevention of many common problems. Just today, I met with a beautiful woman who had just lost her husband, a pastor, and who was suffering from severe back pain which was induced by the heavy lifting she had to do while her husband was ill. Praying for her, caring for her personally and spending time teaching her about the things that worsen AND help back problems seemed to her more of a benefit than I had imagined. It was a mutually encouraging encounter.
I also,as you can see, am overcoming my own resistance to a beautiful cultural practice which displays the humility of Christ. As is evidenced by the smiles in the photo, it was a highly entertaining moment.
Once again, Jacob and I are immensely thankful to the Lord for this calling and for your partnering with us! We are all tangled up in this together! Thank you for loving, giving, praying and sending – and, in some cases, going! Please let us know how we can work in a time for you to personally “come and see!”
Carol (Jacob) Lee
Who is Jesus? What True Followers of Jesus Believe and Preach
By Jacob Lee
Below are my notes for my Yumbe Sheiks and Imam Friends for our upcoming meeting. One of your questions to me when we last met was “Who Is Jesus?”
Thank you for your hospitality! Salaam Alekum!
Mark 4:35-41 “And they (the disciples) were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?” (Verse 41). This same story can also be found in Luke 8:22-27.
*This account of Jesus calming the sea sets the context for the following three gospel stories in Mark 5 (Also found in Luke 8:26-56)
1. Demon possessed man-Mark 5:1-20
2. Woman with the flow of blood- Mark 5:25-34
3. Raising Jairus daughter from the dead- Mark 5:21-24 & 5:35-43
A very important principle when one reads and studies the Bible is “context”. One cannot understand or interpret the Bible if one does not follow this fundamental principle. Bible Verses and Bible stories fit and work together like the different parts of our bodies fit and work together.
I. Today I would like us to look at the common themes God is teaching in the three gospel stories found in Mark 5
A. Theme 1 – Jesus is at the center of each of these stories
B. Theme 2 – The hopeless situation of the people and how Jesus is the answer out of utter hopelessness
C. Let us read together Mark 5
II. Look at individual accounts
A. Demon possessed man
*Man with many demons (“legion” = 6,000 Roman soldiers)
*Long time without clothes
*Lived among the tombs – wanted to be in the place of death
*He would be bound with chains but would break them to go into desert
*Slave – demons “drove” him
*Crying out, cutting himself with stones
*Outcast in society; separated from family and friends; abandoned
*John 10:10 – “The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come to give abundant life.”
*Unclean – physically and spiritually – lived among pigs and death; demons “unclean spirits”
*Picture of torment, despair
*Truly without hope
*Religious leader and respected in Jesus’ day and time – “ruler of the synagogue”; comparable to a Pastor or Imam
*Desperate – “little daughter” dying
*Imploring – fell at Jesus’ feet; begging for help; knew about Jesus’ healings
*Loved his daughter – clearly seen
*Feeling of hopeless – he knew death was near
*Death comes to us all, but especially painful to see a child die (“little girl”)
*Death is the result of sin in the world and no one is able to stop it
*It is the ultimate display of our helplessness
*We are unable to contain or control death – I will die…you will die!
*On the way to Jairus’ house we meet the third person in the story – another picture of hopelessness
C. Woman with the flow of blood
*we are told she suffered for 12 years without relief–12 YEARS. (The same age of Jairus’ daughter)
*spent all her money on doctors (doctors’ abilities are limited, even in America)
* “Unclean” – in Jesus’ day such a flow of blood made a person unclean; such a person was unable to attend prayers and was NOT suppose to associate with others in public
*Separated and in a situation of great shame for her and her family
D. We can all relate to each story: evil, uncleanness, and death
1. Evil spirits – they are here to kill, steal and destroy and to torment us all
*What has been destroyed in your life? How have you been stolen from?
How has death come into your life?
*Jesus says, “BUT, I have come to give life and life more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)
*How many burials have you been in the last year? Six months? Weeks?
*The Old Testament prophets talk of life as a “puff of smoke” or like a flower which is here today and gone tomorrow
*Death will grab and squeeze you! And ME!!!
*What is our hope/confidence after death????????
*On Judgment Day do you know if your sins will be paid off? Pardoned?
3. Uncleanness: all sin makes us filthy/unclean before a HOLY God.
*Outward filth is only a representative of inward filth
*We have ways to clean the body, BUT what can cleanse the heart and remove the inward shame? What proceeds from one’s mouth reveals the contents of one’s heart. This is the corruption that makes one defiled/unclean in God’s sight – SEE: Matthew 12: 34-35)
*Jesus says that what flows out of the mouth is what makes us unclean
*Matthew 15:11 “And he (Jesus) called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” Jesus answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.”And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” (See also: Mark 7:14-23)
*Every single American, African. Person in the world is in a state of hopelessness and is defiled by sin.
*We ALL need divine rescuing and deliverance from: evil oppression; from uncleanness; from death. We cannot rescue, deliver, and cleanses our inward heart ourselves. We ourselves cannot remove of our shame before a holy God and live honorably before a HOLY God.
III. Jesus is at the center of each of these stories
A. The demon-possessed man (with many or “legion” demons)
*Demons fear and recognize Jesus’ authority and power
*The demons recognize who Jesus is
*Just earlier – the boat was in a raging sea; Jesus says, “Peace! Be still!”
*This man had a legion (a great number) of demons
*No man of God or prophet today or in history has ever done what Jesus had done! What Jesus did was beyond human giftedness.
*Demons say to Jesus through the man (vs. 28) “What have you to do with us, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you do not torment me.”
*Jesus gave the demons permission to leave; this demonstrates Jesus’ power and authority
*What is the result of Jesus’ power? Jesus power is motivated by LOVE.
-It brings deliverance and healing
-The man sits at Jesus’ feet; showing submission to Jesus’ Lordship
-The man was clothed and in his right mind healed of mental disturbance/cleansed/washed; and clothed.
-The people see and FEAR – they do not understand such power motivated by love; they want Jesus to leave (fear and shame keep people from experiencing Jesus’ love)
-delivered man wants to stay with Jesus (a true follower of Jesus always wants to be with Him)
-Jesus sends him on a mission: “Declare how much GOD has done for you!”
-The delivered man obeys immediately and goes about “declaring how much Jesus has done for him.”
-One who follows Jesus obeys what Jesus has commanded: “Go into the entire world and TELL!” (Mathew 28:18-20) These were Jesus’ last words before He bodily ascended into heaven where He is alive today in heaven praying for those He has called to Himself!
B. Jesus and the woman with the flow of blood
*Crowd – people were pushing in all around Jesus, touching Him
*Jesus sensed a different “touch” – a touch made in faith in Jesus’ power
*Jesus KNOWS someone touched him in “faith” and the woman KNOWS she has been healed.
*The woman was in a hopeless situation, unclean and no options left
*She acts in faith – she believes that Jesus is greater than human doctors
*Faith is like an electric wire which connects us to the Power Source
*Both, Jesus and the woman, knew – Jesus knows each person and his need; He knows YOUR need today; He responds in love to those who look to Him in faith
*Jesus does the same to those today who look to Him alone for salvation, deliverance, healing, hope, and a personal relationship with God.
*Jesus is the answer to your hopeless need (it’s no greater than the woman’s)
*Jesus heals her, cleanses her…he will do the same for you! He has for me!
*Our need is deeper than a physical healing and cleansing. We all need inner healing and cleansing. This only Jesus can give!
<What can cleanse the filth in our hearts (our thoughts and attitudes) and release us from our separation/shame before a Holy God????
<Scriptures teach us that a blood sacrifice of an innocent, pure, without defect being was needed to cleanse
-Garden of Eden – God made garments from slain animals
-Cain and Abel – made offerings but only Abel’s blood sacrifice was accepted
-Abraham and Moses – both were told to offer blood sacrifices. David and prophets made blood sacrifices.
-Jesus was announced by John the Baptist (Yahya) as, “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of world.”
-We all need the cleansing power of Jesus’ pure sacrificial blood to cleanse us of our guilt and shame and separation from God
-Those who trust in and follow Jesus receive cleansing from sin and shame
C. Jairus’ 12 year old daughter
-Jesus arrives (messenger gives word) “daughter has died”
-Jesus’ response, “Do not fear, only believe and she will be well.”
-He enters the home; crowd laughs when Jesus says, “She is sleeping.” The crowd knew she was dead
-But Jesus knew He would impart life back into her – something only God can do
* As followers of Jesus our hope is in Jesus to overcome death. Jesus said “I am the Resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25)
*What is your hope and assurance of heaven?
*My old bones are at rest and I am peace with God! My faith and confidence are in Jesus’ merit, His forgiveness and resurrection
*I do not have confidence in my good works to bring me to heaven
*I trust in Jesus who loves me, washed me clean from my sins through His sacrificial death. His cleansing blood has wiped my shame away and brought me into the presence of a Holy, righteous and just God
*Judgment Day is coming for us all.
*Place your trust in Jesus for your salvation
*Ask Him to reveal Himself to you – He will! Put your trust in Jesus alone for salvation
*I love you
*I will continue to pray for you!
Thank you for your hospitality! Salaam Alekum!
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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