“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
(From Charles Dickens’, ‘The Christmas Carol’)
This has been another week of paying heed to this statement. In so many places around the world people have pressing needs – both temporal and eternal. The West Nile of Uganda is the region God has given to us to attend.
On Tuesday, Jacob, Emma, John and I took off to Obongi where Pastor Godfrey cares for his “flock”. Jacob gave a very encouraging message to the gathered church, emphasizing how much God wants to make Himself known and to communicate with us – He wants to be understood by us. This was a good place to start because, within the greater context of eternity, physical suffering lasts for a while, but eternal suffering is forever. We strive to never pit one need against the other, because Scripture doesn’t, but we don’t want to minimize or gloss over the eternal needs.
“We should care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering.“
Nurse Nyombi Sam gave out de-worming tablets to the children while Emma and John moved over to the garden with the adults to train them in all aspects of drip irrigation during the dry season. During the Ag training, several people gave encouraging testimonies as to how the Ag extension work through RAU and Emma has made a measurable difference in their lives. It was a profitable day and the people of Obongi were holistically cared for.
We had an interesting and unique experience at RAU on Wednesday. A couple of weeks ago, both Jacob and I had been sick. In response to this, Jacob’s Muslim friends, whom he had met through the many dialogues which have taken place in Yumbe with Imams and Sheikhs, requested to come and personally check up on us. Wednesday’s visit was the outcome of their request, which also turned into an opportunity to bless them with Agricultural knowledge and a few resources to empower them economically and spiritually.
They arrived close to noon from Yumbe along with Charles and Omar. We enjoyed a meal together, introduced ourselves and shared ideas with each other. Then, we took a walkabout on RAU demo plot as Emma and Jacob shared Agricultural and other information. John and Emma demonstrated the Drip Irrigation kits we received (complements of M.A.R.S. (Missionary Agricultural Resource Service)).
Right before they left, our Muslim friends offered prayers for us (which they had kindly requested us to allow them to do). We jam packed them into the Land Cruiser with all kinds of resources…drip irrigation kits, Matoke bananas, rice seed and soy bean seed, papaya, mangoes and some written resources.Jacob then took them into town to find a ride back to Yumbe.
We are grateful for recent positive interactions with two top Muslim leaders in Yumbe who have received or will receive Bibles and literature which they are eager to read/study.
I love the following excerpt from an article by Denny Burk which Jacob put up on a Facebook post:
“In A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge has a startling conversation with the ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley. Jacob is damned in death for his misdeeds in life, and he appears to warn Scrooge that he is headed for the same fate. Scrooge resists the suggestion that Jacob’s life was damnable. Scrooge understands that if Jacob’s life is damnable, then so is his own. So this exchange ensues:
“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.
“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing his hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
Well done, Mr. Dickens. Well done. Lord, help us to understand what is the comprehensive ocean of our business.”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
( http://www.dennyburk.com/a-drop-of-water-in-the-comprehens…/ )
We are thankful for the opportunities the Lord gives all of us to make people created in His image “the comprehensive ocean of our business.”
*This Sunday, Christmas Day, we will travel to Yumbe to celebrate Christ’s birth with our brothers and sisters at Pilgrim’s Church. Jacob will be preaching.
*Tuesday more drip irrigation training
*John Howarton arrives next Thursday for several weeks and we will be involved in wide scope of ministry opportunities in Yumbe, Obongi, and the Metu Mountains.
Thanks so much to all of you who given to Reaching Africa’s Unreached financially. Every donation is so appreciated , and reminds us of God’s love and care for the people of this region and for us! It encourages us and allows us to experience God’s faithfulness. Because of the beautiful weightiness of sharing Christ here in the West Nile, we have no shame in asking that if you are not already a partner that you would consider partnering with us financially, either in one-time giving or on a monthly basis. This is what keeps us doing what we are doing! Thank you and God bless you!
Here is a link to an article Jacob and I both appreciated as we think about celebrating Christmas away from our family and church community. It is entitled “Why In the World Did I Leave America” == http://haretranslation.blogspot.ug/2016/12/why-in-world-did-i-leave-america.html
Thank you for all for sacrificial love, prayers, and financial support!
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
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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