When will Jesus return?

And this gospel of the kingdom
will be proclaimed
throughout the whole world
as a testimony to all nations,
and then the end will come.
Matthew 24:14

New Testament scholar George Eldon Ladd, writing in the 1950s, comments:

The subject of this chapter is, When will the Kingdom come? I am not setting any dates. I do not know when the end will come.

And yet I do know this: When the Church has finished its task of evangelizing the world, Christ will come again. The Word of God says it.

Why did He not come in A.D. 1oo? Because the Church had not evangelized the world.

Why did He not return in a.d. 1000? Because the Church had not finished its task of world-wide evangelization.

Is He coming soon? He is—if we, God’s people, are obedient to the command of the Lord to take the Gospel into all the world.

. . .  “How are we to know when the mission is completed? How close are we to the accomplishment of the task? Which countries have been evangelized and which have not? How close are we to the end? Does this not lead to date-setting?”

I answer, I do not know. God alone knows the definition of terms. I cannot precisely define who “all the nations” are. Only God knows exactly the meaning of “evangelize.” He alone, who has told us that this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations, will know when that objective has been accomplished.

But I do not need to know. I know only one thing: Christ has not yet returned; therefore the task is not yet done. When it is done, Christ will come. Our responsibility is not to insist on defining the terms of our task; our responsibility is to complete it. So long as Christ does not return, our work is undone. Let us get busy and complete our mission.

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. . .  Here is the motive of our mission: the final victory awaits the completion of our task. “And then the end will come.” There is no other verse in the Word of God which says, “And then the end will come.”

When is Christ coming again? When the Church has finished its task.

When will This Age end? When the world has been evangelized.

“What will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” (Matt. 24: 3). “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations; and then, and then, the end will come.” When? Then; when the Church has fulfilled its divinely appointed mission.

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Do you love the Lord’s appearing? Then you will bend every effort to take the Gospel into all the world. It troubles me in the light of the clear teaching of God’s Word, in the light of our Lord’s explicit definition of our task in the Great Commission (Matt. 28: 18-20) that we take it so lightly. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” This is the Good News of the Kingdom. . . .  All authority is His. “Go ye therefore.” Wherefore? Because all authority, all power is His, and because He is waiting until we have finished our task. His is the Kingdom; He reigns in heaven, and He manifests His reign on earth in and through His Church. When we have accomplished our mission, He will return and establish His Kingdom in glory. To us it is given not only to wait for but also to hasten the coming of the day of God (II Pet. 3:12). This is the mission of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and this is our mission.

George Eldon Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in the Kingdom of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1959), ch. 9, “When Will the Kingdom Come?”

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“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer….”

Romans 12 12

There is not day that passes that both Carol and I don’t think about all the friends we have supporting and praying for us. It is not just a platitude to say “we could not be here or do the things we are doing without you”. Thank you for all your prayers and support! Certainly, the Great Commission is not a calling for a few in the church. It is calling and mandate for all followers of Jesus. We each are to play the role the Lord has given us and it is together that we best spread the fame of our King, Lord and Savior. May we be driven with a Pauline passion and eagerness for our Savior which compels us to preach the gospel to all.  We are under a joyful “obligation” to proclaim the same gospel which has saved and set us free (Romans 1:14-16). It is a privilege to link arms with you, to lift Jesus up among groups of people where there are very few worshipers of our Lord.

May we have  “….a vision that sees every market woman, every religious teacher, every child in Qur’anic school, every old man sitting in the village square playing dominoes having a chance to hear Jesus calling to them. And to hear not just from the mouths of foreigners, who garble their words and use strange ideas that don’t quite connect, but to hear from their brothers and sisters, their mothers and fathers, from their neighbor who has been set free from an evil spirit. A vision that sees new believers unable to keep the good news to themselves, uncowed by threats of beatings or prison, of losing their jobs or being thrown out of their homes. A vision that dares us to do more, and dares us to pray for the impossible!” (Amy *****) Let us press on together for such worshipers!

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Here are some updates since our last newsletter. We are continuing to enjoy Pastor Ron Zeiner’s time with us. I first met Ron in 1978 and he has been a great friend in the many years since then. The 50 church leaders we hosted here at the past two RAU retreats and others who were served in various outreaches have been greatly blessed through his teaching. Sadly for us he is leaving us for Texas on the 30th. He promises to come back again!

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Ron Zeiner

Our first three weeks with Apiku Emmanuel (Emma), RAU’s Chief Agricultural Extension Officer, is going very well. Words cannot describe how grateful these leaders are for his agricultural expertise and hands on instruction nor how grateful we are to be benefitting from and getting to know him. We are partnering with M.A.R.S. (Missionary Agriculture Resource Services) which is founded by Doug Neel. Emma’s primary goal is teach church leaders to be more effective in their gardens and, in turn, having the leaders instruct their congregations.  Gardens are the main means for most all in the West Nile to provide for their families. The goal of RAU and MARS is to equip the church so that they can be more effective in spreading the fame of King Jesus.

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Apiku Emmanuel (Emma), RAU’s Chief Agricultural Extension Officer

Sunday, the 16th, we all traveled to Obongi to be with Pastor Godfrey and Obongi Town Church. Instead of meeting in our rented location everyone picked up their chairs and we went to the main street of the town where we had our worship service. The vast majority of those that live in Obongi are Muslims. At first, the congregation was a bit timid in their worship because of onlookers but after a great exhortation from Godfrey their worship became very passionate. Godfrey said, “The town people have nicknamed me Ecu opini ni’ (Praise the Lord). Let us not fear to praise the Lord!” With many Muslims joining us, Ron preached from Genesis 12:1-3 and I followed up with Mark 2:1-12. After the service we gave out the booklet Adha in the Injeel which is in both English and Arabic to the Muslims in the crowd. Among them was the head Imam and Sheikh of Obongi. I was able to visit with both them as well. Each successive conversation I have had with them I sense greater openness to the gospel. Pray for them, all the Muslims in Obongi, Pastor Godfrey, and Obongi Town Church.

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Many times, Carol stays here at Reaching Africa’s Unreached while I go out for ministry, but not this last Tuesday and Wednesday. I had to stay to resolve issues with our well and Carol went with the RAU team (Ron Zeiner, Zorah, Emma, Sam, and Joseph) to Aya for conference organized by Pastor Tobias where believers have been added in the Metu Mountains new village church plants. Carol had been pouring over the scriptures for weeks in preparation, primarily targeting the women. The reports I received are that all were blessed and received great encouragement from her as well Ron and Emma who also taught. I have received urgent invitations for Carol to come back again to teach! What a joy, honor, and pleasure to be united to such a woman of God…thank you Jesus!

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Carol teaching in Ayaa

Our solar-powered, submersible water pump quit working at the end of our last retreat. I had hoped it was just a switch problem but it turned to be the submersible pump. A technician came to help and we had to have one sent up from Kampala. It has been an unexpected major expense. Having a steady and good supply of water is important, especially in light of the Leader Retreats and other visitors we frequently host. We ended up fetching water via jerry cans from a government bore hole nearby. Having running water and electricity in this remote bush, all via solar, is a great blessing not only to those we serve but also to us. We were able to pull the old pump and install the new one. Saturday afternoon we, once again, had running water via our gravity flow tanks. Sadly, it caused us to miss ministry Friday and Saturday in the Metu Mountains.

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Lowering the new solar powered submersible pump

On Wednesday Carol, Ron, Zorah and I will travel to Arua to pick up David Jones, and Eric and Kara Williams.  They will arrive Thursday morning and then we will return to RAU by late afternoon. There should be awaiting us at RAU 1,680 Aringa New Testaments! Through the generous gifts of God’s people we were able to purchase these first edition NT’s (Less than 1% of the Aringa are born again).

“The Word of God is like a Lion. You don`t have to defend a Lion. All you have to do is let the Lion loose, and the Lion will defend itself.”

Charles Spurgeon

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Aringa New Testament

On Saturday we will all go to Gbari, Arapi, Duku, and Oyo in the Metu Mountains for ministry. Works continues on the building of the Gbari/Arapi Community Church sponsored by Amazing Grace Baptist Church Seguin Texas. Sunday morning Zora will escort Ron back to Kampala for his flight back home on Monday. The rest of us will travel to Obongi to worship with Obongi Town Church. Then, on Monday through Thursday we will have a group of Moyo church leaders here for a retreat. David and Eric will help with the teaching while Kara will be in step with Carol. Carol is especially thrilled about Kara being here! Then on Friday, the 4th, we take the threesome back to Arua for their flight back to Tennessee.

Lord willing, the RAU container will arrive at Mombasa by August 31st and begin its overland journey to us.  Be in special prayers that the Ugandan Revenue Authority will be kind and send it our way without delay. Please be in prayer for the containers safe arrival to RAU.

I am continuing be burdened to establish a Bible School to be a part of training faithful shepherds for the new churches being planted. I envision many new churches being planted not only in Metu Mountains, but in Obongi sub-county, and among the Yumbe Aringa’s. Please pray and believe God with us for the construction of two classrooms. We have a bid for $25,000 to complete them. We are especially thankful for you who are our monthly givers. Through PayPal it is easy to give reoccurring monthly donations of any size. Through these gifts we are able to press on with the ministry the Lord has given us….thank you!

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Let me close with something near my heart. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ we must never abdicate our responsibilities to our King with such words/thinking: “My purpose in meeting you is not any sort of conversion. I respect you and your beliefs. You’re not going to change, and I’m not going to change.” (A pastor speaking to an Imam in a small American town). The following statement better reflects the believers commission–“I respect you as a person made in the image of God. I respect your right to hold to any faith that you choose. I would never coerce you or force my religious beliefs upon you, as such a practice would detract from the truth that you, like me, are made in the image of God. And yet, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I am commanded to share the gospel. When the time comes for me to seek to persuade you to follow Jesus, it is not out of a heart of oppression or desire for control, but out of love and concern. Since I truly believe the gospel offers hope for all humanity, I cannot keep it to myself. The gospel is too precious and you are too valuable for me to keep silent.” (Article with quotes here)

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In the last months I have had opportunity to walk out the last quote with over 30 Imams/Sheikhs. While the popular belief is that the first quote is less offensive and more appropriate, I believe the opposite to be true. I have sought to winsomely urge these Imams and Sheikhs (many of them on several occasions) to place their faith in Christ alone. In my desire to understand them I have been studying the Qur’an, Islamic beliefs, and their culture. They respect me for the belief/conviction which has brought me to them. They not only have listened (I did a lot of listening, too) but took Aringa New Testaments and Christian literature to read and they continue to invite me for more discussions. I have not seen any say “yes” to the Jesus of the Bible but I am patient, knowing the Lord’s Word will not return void! In the mean time I cry out to the Lord to open their eyes, as He did mine, so that they too say with Apostle Thomas and all true worshipers of Jesus, “MY LORD AND MY GOD” Please be in prayer that I will boldly proclaim the “mystery of the gospel.

Love and Prayers,

Jacob (Carol) Lee

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Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

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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Fellow Workers For the Truth

Fellow Workers For The Truth

by Carol

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It has been our great pleasure and privilege to welcome our fellow worker, Ron Zeiner, back to RAU for 3 weeks of ministry.  This is his third visit and we love the partnership with Ron that has flourished since Jacob and I made this place our home.  We were also thrilled to have Nurse Sam back for a short visit as he takes a holiday from his studies.

The weeks prior to Ron’s arrival were busy ones for Jacob.  There was harvesting of soybeans and then planting of new crops to be done (g-nuts, upland rice and beans).  It is truly a good thing that Jacob finds some kind of pleasure in farming!  We, through Apiku Emma (our new RAU Agricultural Extension Officer through M.A.R.S. – to be elaborated upon later), are working to find a buyer for the bountiful harvest of soybeans, which is critical to making the farming efforts worth it.  It felt as though we were “under the gun” to try and finish up all the harvesting and planting before a busy season of ministry began, but we got it done in the “nick of time” with the help of our men and about 10 ladies who came specifically for harvesting and planting.

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Beating soybeans out of their stalks
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Shelling peanuts (G-nuts) for planting; This mama has some help.
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Weighing and sacking soybeans

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Weed eating around the tukalus. Preparing for the retreats.
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Zorah and I finished putting bedding on the bunks in the tukalus

Ron also made it “just in the nick of time!”  His flight plans and his suitcases took a few twists and turns but he made it to Entebbe/Kampala and then he and Nurse Sam made it here the morning on which the retreat was to start.  Ron’s suitcases took a few extra days but made it here in time to pass out the resources which we asked him to bring!  You would never have known Ron was a weary traveler because he plunged right into the retreat schedule without missing a beat and with a joyful, servant’s heart.

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Singing the meal blessing
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Self-serve buffet
Rons feet
Can you pick out Ron?
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Always a student

Retreat # 14 brought 24 church leaders from Yumbe District, 17 men and 7 women.  This one was a milestone in that, for the first time, we were able to invite women to the retreat to stay in our newly finished, “Lydia’s House.”  Up to this time our facilities were not able to house both men and women.  The women definitely got the better end of the deal as Lydia’s House has a metal roof, solar power and an en suite bathroom!  Unfortunately, the tukalus have thatched roofs (which we hope to eventually convert to metal) and are not reliable cover during strong winds and rain (as one group found out when the roof started leaking during a night of heavy rain.)  The next day we had to buy spear grass to repair the leak.  Sorry guys!  Thankfully, it rained hard only one of the nights.  What a privilege to strengthen and encourage this group of men and women!

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One of the ladies reading the scripture reading in Aringa
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Enjoying the ESV Global Study Bible

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Beneficiary of reading glasses
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14th Retreat with Yumbe leaders
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The first ever guests of Lydia’s House

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A little rain didn’t keep us from moving forward, though!  The first thing we did was to hand out reading glasses to those who had need.  At times like these we so appreciate all the folks who answered our requests for reading glasses.  What a blessing to be able to provide them in order to make reading a pleasure rather than a strain!

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Receiving reading glasses

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Introductions; can’t remember what was so funny
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Zorah, introducing himself
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A familiar face, Nurse Sam. Good to have him back during his holidays.
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Christine, a young lady we are training
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Annet: she is proving herself to be a gem
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Our beloved Lucy

Jacob started off the sessions with opening remarks, introductions, announcements and a teaching on discipleship.  Then it was a marathon run for Ron who took the next 5 sessions, teaching on the basics of hermeneutics, Jonah and 1 Peter. And, lastly, Jacob did a lesson on the Biblical view of suffering.

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Ron Zeiner; took the bulk of the teaching sessions

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Teaching on the Biblical view of suffering

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For the first time, we had a whole session on agriculture.  As I mentioned earlier, RAU, in partnership with M.A.R.S. (Missionary Agriculture Resource Services) which is founded by Doug Neel (who came with Ron and Mark about a year ago), started a pilot program which will benefit the pastors, their families and their congregations.  Apiku Emmanuel (Emma) is the very first RAU Chief Agricultural Extension Officer whose responsibility it will be to not only educate the pastors (and for now we are starting with the pastors in the Metu Mountain region), but to follow up with them and their agricultural projects.  He will help them make the most out of their current crops as well as inspire them for future projects which can become good income generators for both them and members of their congregations.

As we have mentioned in past posts, most pastors here are unable to be supported by the tithes and offerings of their congregations so it is imperative that we help them find ways of self-support.  The retreat attendees were expressively happy to receive this kind of help.  We are hoping that all goes well so we can build upon this new beginning.  The goal is that if we teach the pastors how to make the most of their farming abilities they will be able to teach what they have learned to their congregations as well.

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Apiku Emmanuel (Emma): his first ever session as the RAU Chief Agricultural Extension Officer
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The classroom portion
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Practical session

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The Saturday after the retreat was a wonderful Sabbath from the busy-ness of the week.  It was a beautiful day and all of us were able to enjoy rest and fellowship.

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The beautiful view to our east

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Jacob, Sam and Ron: solving the world’s problems in one fell swoop!

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On Sunday, Jacob, Ron, Sam and Zorah headed to Yumbe District to worship with believers (Church of Uganda – Anglican) in a rural village in Yumbe district.  After the service Sam was able to hold a clinic and hand out much needed medications, including de-worming for all the children.  These people live 6 miles from the nearest clinic and there are no motor vehicles for easy transport.  Emergent care is non-existent.  The ladies did not want to let Sam go.   The remainder of the drugs were left with the pastor who, in conjunction with a local nurse, will disburse the medications as needed.  Zorah did a wonderful job of capturing the events of the day and the people.

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Nurse Sam getting ready for clinic; Charles is interpreting.
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Ron and Jacob, assisting under Nurse Sam’s orders and supervision.

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500 de-worming tablets were handed out.
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Many, many women and children were served by Sam as they presented their problems and received medications

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Church service’s “call to worship

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Monday was a day, not only to prepare the facilities for the next Leader’s Retreat, but also for Ron and Jacob to refresh and prepare to teach again as the 15th Retreat was just around the corner.  Normally, we like to space the retreats so as to allow a week in between for recuperating and catching up on correspondence and other matters of business.  However, this time it could not be helped.

Tuesday came around quickly and our leaders arrived from Koboko bright and early for our 15th Leader’s Retreat!

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Leaders from Koboko arriving in a rented bus
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Warm and joyful greetings all the way around
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And the women, too!

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Registering and receiving resource bags
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The “registration lady“: Me!
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Breaking posho together!

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Passing out reading glasses to those with the need.

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Fervent prayers

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Introducing the items in the resource bag

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Relaxing between sessions under the mango tree in front of Lydia’s house
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The guys: hanging out between sessions

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The women always add a lot of color

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We pray the “riches of God’s grace” upon this group, that they can go back to their homes and churches energized, filled again with the fullness of the Spirit and joy and ready to entrust to faithful people who will, in turn, teach others whatever they have learned of the Lord through His word.  “The word of God is living and active…!” (Hebrews 4:12)

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2nd group staying in Lydia’s house
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Leaders from Koboko, August 2015

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many who gave towards the Aringa New Testament Fund!  We have enough right now to purchase 1375 Bibles!  Praise God! We have surpassed Jacob’s initial goal!  Needless to say, Jacob is thrilled.  We still have about 2 weeks before we pick up the Bibles from Kampala, so if we can raise more money to include even more Aringa NT’s that would be great! According to “men of the soil” less than 1% of the Aringa are born again.

Next week, we will be participating in a conference hosted by Aya Baptist Church.  Ron and Jacob will both do some teaching and I am working on something to share with the women (Gazing into the Mirror of God’s Word:  How a Woman Should See Herself). Emma will also be teaching on agriculture while Sam will take care of medical needs.

On the heels of Ron’s departure will be the arrival of some more dear friends who visited once before: David Jones and Eric Williams (this time Eric will be bringing his wife, Kara – much to my happiness!)  While they are here we will be hosting our 16th Retreat and after they leave we will have yet another retreat in September for Congolese church leaders.  Please be praying for the on-going ministry!

Each and every interaction and ministry outreach underscores the need for a condensed Bible training program.  We see how being solidly grounded in the Word of God will increase the scattering of God’s word to areas which have not received it and will anchor, in Christ, the hearts of those who are strengthened by it!   The plan is to build a two-classroom building and then host 10-12 candidates for pastoral training in our current facilities.  These candidates would be brought here for short periods of time to receive some intensive and condensed training in the word of God and pastoral care.  Upon completion they would be sent back to their homes to serve where there is need.  We ask you to consider this need in your prayers and giving.

Thanks for your very vital partnership in prayer and generous giving and in bringing your gifts and abilities here to used among us.

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Blog: www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

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

New Testaments for the Unreached Aringa

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An Aringa New Testament

Here is an update on my efforts to raise funds, specifically for Aringa New Testaments. At the end of August I will send my co-worker Zora to buy as many NT’s as we have money for. As of today, August 2nd, we have funds to purchase 595 Aringa New Testaments (at the current exchange rate). For $2.40 a piece Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU) can purchase them, transport them to RAU from Kampala, and personally take them to Yumbe District and place them into the hands of a seeking Muslim or give them to a believer who does not have the Word of God in their own tongue.

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A portion of John 3 in Aringa

To those who have already given, I say a big, “THANK YOU!” To those who have not, would you prayerfully consider doing so? I know there are many worthy places to give and no doubt you receive many appeals. In the midst of these appeals I unashamedly ask you to help purchase Aringa New Testaments! Why? Consider the following things as you ponder the privilege of being a part of distributing God’s Word in Aringa.

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The most important thing these Imams and Sheikhs received was the Aringa New Testament.


1. On the ground estimates from”people of the soil” are that the Aringa are 99% Muslim fitting them into the category of an “unreached people group”.

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Aringa Women


2. The first ever complete Aringa translation of the New Testament has only been out since June 2014.

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3. The greatest gift and wisest investment is to give God’s Word to people in their own language. This is MOST especially true when they have NEVER had it in their own tongue! These New Testaments, bought and delivered for very little, bring about divine dividends ( Matt. 6:19- 21).

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4. It is evident that the Lord is drawing the Aringa tribe to Himself. Their Imams and Sheikhs as well people on the streets and in the markets are listening to the gospel and ASKING for New Testaments. You can read about these “open doors” in earlier posts below.

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5. I, along with RAU co-workers and fellow Aringa believers, have an open door of access to Imams, Sheikhs and to Muslims in their homes, on the streets/markets in both rural villages and the towns of Yumbe. Recently an Imam ask me for a New Testament and I had to tell him I had no more. I pray this door remains open, but it may not always be. We must work while it is day!

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6. I personally commit before you and the Lord we will do everything in the power the Lord gives us to distribute these New Testaments to Aringa’s. Reaching Africa’s Unreached can be your hands and tongue in the midst of the Aringa.

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I have said my piece and commit your leading into the Lord’s care. I am content in whatever decision you prayerfully make. Thank you and God bless!

Instruction on how to give may be found at our donation page below. Please make a notation with your gift: Aringa New Testaments.
https://reachingafricasunreached.org/donations/

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Blog: www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached

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