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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.”
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!
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)
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
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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