On my! Time is passing quickly! We blink and realize that it’s time to write again!
This has been a season of building, planting and sowing spiritual seed (“to everything there is a season…”)
Renovations on the tukalus are coming along nicely and nearing completion. Once they are done, we hope to start putting retreats back on the calendar. There are many church leaders who are eager to bring groups of fellow leaders in for teaching, encouragement and capacity building. As you see in the photos, metal roofs on the tukalus have been added and raised higher, and larger, sturdier windows and doors have been added for safety and ventilation. We are blessed to have an expert builder, Saalongo, who does a wonderful job of converting Jacob’s ideas into reality! I think you will notice that Jacob has developed the trademark “RAU style” in terms of the uniformity of decor.
As we mentioned in previous letters, we have planted our crops (Soybean, Upland Rice, and Beans, as well as Watermelon) and are now working on vegetables. Seeds (onions, cabbage, carrots, peppers and tomatoes) have been planted in nursery beds and, when ready, will be transplanted in spaces which have been made ready for the seedlings. The soybeans and rice have started germinating, but we are badly in need of more rain. We have gotten a little, but if we want all of the seeds to germinate well we need it to rain more!! Yet more banana suckers and mango seedlings are being planted. In a few years we will be able to disseminate the fruit into the marketplace. Planting crops will be a thing of the past and we will have ourselves a large fruit orchard. The crops and fruits are means to garner funds which can,in turn, be put into the ministry.
Just yesterday, Jacob, Emma and a couple of our men went to Lefori and picked up a FREE rice threshing machine which operates by man-power (pedaling). [We now have another aspect of our miracle weight-loss program in place for anyone who wants an exotic weight-loss getaway package!] Jacob has the gears of his brain whirling to come up with a way to attach it to the tractor PTO in order to mechanize the process. [So hurry, while opportunities last, for your exotic exercise and diet getaway deal!]
Through experience we have seen the need and upcoming demand for grafted mango seedlings, not only for ourselves, but the community at large. They are hard to find in this area. Emma has envisioned this as a great opportunity for RAU to become a supplier of grafted mango seedlings as he has the know-how to graft the seedlings himself. In order to facilitate this process we would need to build a screen house which could house the seedlings. We would like to put the idea out there and request your financial help to make this project happen. Not long ago, Emma put on a short, one day in-service on grafting mango seedling for some friends from South Sudan. He has had many requests for seedlings from folks in the community who have heard him on the radio.
Our partnership with TBS (Transnile Broadcasting Service), a powerful, privately-owned local radio station, has been a blessing. Not only does Jacob have the opportunity to preach every other Wednesday evening for an hour, but the weekly Friday night call-in Agricultural radio program has taken off like gangbusters! It is a widely and wildly popular show. Through Emma, people in the community and even the radio managers themselves we have found out how much the program is loved and appreciated. Calls are coming in from as far away as Gulu, Yumbe and Arua! TBS has been gracious in doing cost-sharing with us for the two-hour radio program. It has been gratifying to see the fruit of encouragement and capacity building so quickly.
Spiritually speaking, Jacob is continuing to sow seed, especially into the hearts and lives of Muslims in our area of Moyo and Obongi, but especially, in Yumbe District (Aringa Tribe), Koboko District (Kakwa Tribe) and, now, Arua. He has now met five times with groups of Imams/Sheikhs from Yumbe town (four times in Yumbe and once at RAU), once with a group from Kuru, and this coming Saturday (the 16th) with a new group from Lodonga. Both Kuru and Lodonga are within Yumbe District. The topic in each meeting has been and will continue to be “Who Is Jesus?”.
The materials Jacob has compiled and written or printed off the internet (specifically targeted to sharing the Good News among Muslim Sheikhs and Imams) have been reproduced in large numbers and are being given out freely in many places. They are warmly being received and read and, in some cases, kept in Mosque libraries. Just a few days ago, a young man from Arua, who had heard about what Jacob has been doing among the Muslim leaders of Yumbe District and about the materials which he has made available, stopped by to obtain some of these materials to aid him in the work he is doing among Muslims in Arua.
Just recently, Jacob verified with the Joshua Project (experts on identifying unreached people groups around the world) that the Aringa tribe,which is primarily within Yumbe District, is listed as having less than a 2% “Christian” population, which includes both Catholics and Protestants. This places the Aringa in the category of “unreached.” Please pray for the seed that has been sown among the Aringa; pray for the “rain” of the Spirit on the hearts of Muslims who are reading the word of God and the other materials which they have received. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) Please also consider giving towards the cost of printing more of the materials to give away and the purchasing of more Arabic Bibles as well apologetic books/booklets. Printing is an especially expensive endeavor here.
A week ago, we entertained some very special guests at RAU…4 Sheikhs (a respected leader, well trained in Arabic and the Qur’an/ Hadiths) from Yumbe district! Two are County Khards. Khards are elected leaders among their fellow Imams and Sheikhs. Jacob’s friendship with Yumbe Imams and Sheikhs has grown over our last four dialogs in Yumbe town. In the various meetings there have been 20-30 Imams. These four Sheikhs came for lunch, but also had a tour of the premises, receiving some agricultural information along the way. After lunch, Jacob spent time getting to know each one more personally, learning about their families and history. When Jacob asked me to play the keyboard for them, they each, in turn, requested an opportunity to play it as well. That was a lot of fun! We sent them off with some of our local mangoes as well as some watermelon and hot pepper seeds for their gardens. We enjoyed an up close and personal time with them and they also expressed gratitude for the invitation and opportunity.
Jacob and I are very grateful for you who partner with us through your prayers, words of encouragement, and financial gifts. We pray that you never grow weary this gift of well doing.
Here are continuing prayer requests and opportunities for giving. If you have any questions feel free to write and ask. Thank you!
*Establishment of Bible School for the strengthening of pastors in the area and the raising up of new ones.
*God’s work in the hearts of the Imams and Sheikhs who have heard the gospel, are reading the Bible and the Christian literature given to them. Pray also that the gifts of love, reading glasses, medicines, and other physical items, are used of the Lord to help bring them to salvation in Jesus. Continuing funds are needed for the printing and buying of literature and Arabic Bibles. [We have friends visiting us in the first part June and could bring some literature along with them. If you are interested in sending some with them, write and I will get back to you with information. We also have some suitcases of literature we had to leave behind on our last US visit as we had exceeded the limit of baggage if you want to be instrumental in shipping those to our friends who are coming at the beginning of June].
*Finishing of tukalu renovation and resumption of leadership retreats here at RAU
*Good growing seasons for the RAU crops and fruit trees.
*God’s blessing in our agricultural training on the ground and through the radio air waves .
*Continual protection and health for all the RAU team ( (Jacob and I were last sick when we came to states with malaria). Health-wise, especially pray for Pastor Godfrey who leads our church plant in Obongi. Conditions there make it easy to be sick. He is coming to RAU today for some rest and recovery from something which has made him very sick this last week.
*Growth and strengthening of all the new churches in Metu Mountains and for Pastor Tobious who leads the charge there.
For those who have asked,small packages and letters may safely be sent to:
Jacob & Carol Lee, PO. 55, Moyo Uganda, East Africa
The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it. (Jacob Lee)
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