A Race to the Finish Line

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can.  As long as you ever can.”                                                                                                                        ~Unknown author~

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Bountiful and delicious mango harvest
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Getting it done! New “Hall of Tyrannus”

The above statement we once attributed John Wesley, which apparently is not his, is nonetheless an inspiring exhortation.  And we seem to be trying awfully hard to do it!  The pressure is on and we (especially Jacob) have been busy on just about every front.  Here are some of the events of the last two weeks as mostly narrated in our Face Book posts and have generally had to do with getting ready for our two back to back teams which will come from the USA for trainings and ministry and our Ag Extension and Mercy Ministry.  Also, Jacob always remains ready for offers from his Yumbe friends, to interact with Sheikhs and Imams who show an interest in discussing religious matters.

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Jacob doing his favorite thing – directing traffic!
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Checking on the building progress

April 10 was a busy day at RAU as Jacob stayed active in overseeing all the building and other activities on our campus.  He is not just a visionary, but a man of great administrative abilities.  I wrote: “Jacob is a wonderful manager/administrator! He not only monitors projects to make sure they stay on schedule and are done properly, but he also encourages the ones doing the projects, sometimes by joining in on the work with them. It is no surprise, then, that in 4 years, RAU has developed into an amazing complex of buildings and Agricultural success. He would be the first to say, though, that he is surrounded by and partners with some amazing people.”

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Samuel touching up the “talking house” writings
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Working together to buy local farmers’ soybeans

As you can see, the new “Hall of Tyrannus” is coming along nicely and while all the finishing work is going on, the solar panels and batteries are already being hooked up and producing light.

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Installing the solar panels on the new “Hall of Tyrannus
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Coming along nicely

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 Emma, our Principal Agricultural Extension Officer (PAEO), spent the day planning and marking out his block design for the new season Ag demo plot at RAU, with help from our co-workers.  Emma has proved himself an invaluable contributor to what RAU is doing in the community of Moyo and well beyond.  The radio program extends his influence to wherever the signal reaches and he is reaching communities with his Ag extension services which have otherwise rarely, if ever, received such expertise.

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Emma marking off the blocks for the demo plot garden
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Stephen helping with the plot demarcation
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Making a compost pit
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Tomato seedlings

Today, Emma and co-worker, Pastor Henry, are up in the Metu Mountains holding another agricultural training session, empowering remote communities to use their land and labor effectively to improve their lives and livelihood.

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Shopping for mangoes off the tree

The grafted banana and mangoes trees are bearing beautiful fruit which we are enjoying ourselves as well as selling to local customers.

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RAU shopping cart for matooke

We have some expert craftsman working on the building as well as carpenters who are doing some renovating in the big house.  The old library will be transformed into another bedroom for guests and the library will be moved to the old “Hall of Tyrannus” where we used to hold the training sessions.

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Nkata and Lawrence – expert carpenters

On April 12th, Jacob had an amazing opportunity to show the “Jesus Film” in the least likely of places:

Many of my Muslim friends are some of the most hospitable men I have known. Case in point: Last month I was invited to speak to a number of Imams and Sheikhs in Aringa County, Yumbe District. For over two hours, they listened intently and politely as I preached and taught from Mark 2:1-12. Aringa County is considered the birth place of Islam in Yumbe District. The Aringa County Khard (Sheikh elected by other Sheikhs and Imams to lead them) has been most gracious and kind.                                                              

We gave each other a number of “Texas hugs” as well as traditional greetings openly and sincerely before the crowd. Last week he invited me to come back to show the “Jesus” video to his Imams and people. Co-worker, Charles, and I arranged a date and that date was last night. In a large soccer field near the Mosque and school buildings (they have a primary school and teacher training school) we showed the “Jesus” film. We had many technical difficulties with the equipment but the Lord was gracious and they were worked out. Many hundreds watched intently…I know many seeds were planted and watered and the Lord will give the increase in His timing.                                                                                                             
After finishing, the Khard and I gave some brief comments and then we packed and headed back to RAU. I left with the Khard over 100 Aringa New Testaments, many booklets in both English and Aringa as well as reading glasses and RAU grown mangoes. He was happy to receive them and give them out from his office.
The Lord granted safety on the road back. Due to the current environment across the border in South Sudan, it is not recommended to travel at night, but some times one must do what needs to be done. I got in bed about 2:30 AM with a tired body and a heart full of joy. Please continue to pray for the Aringa’s that the Lord would reveal Himself fully to them!”

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Showing the “Jesus Film” outside a mosque in Yumbe District

April 13th brought some visitors from Canada who had heard about us through a mutual friend, Charles Ullibari, who works with Action, International in Gulu.  It was a mutually encouraging visit with some great new friendships and contacts.

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New Friends from Canada and well know friends, too

April 14, 2017 was an unexpectedly busy day, but encouraging nonetheless.  I posted this on Face Book:

“What we have been thinking and planning for sometime is becoming a reality. Having heard and read and seen more about the famine and malnutrition in the midst of this refugee crisis which covers three districts (Moyo, Adjumani and Yumbe) and beyond, our hearts have been stirred to play a part in mitigating the crisis by growing soybeans and by inspiring the community to join in this venture.

Last night, on our Ag radio call-in show, Emma put the call out to the community that RAU would pay “top dollar” for anyone who brought in good quality, clean soybean. He also highlighted important information about soybean crop management and nutrition among many other facts.

So, today, this is what happened! People with soybean kept appearing and we were able to stockpile close to 900kgs just on the first day. I am sure that, as word gets out, more people will be coming by with soybean to sell. Our coworkers, as they saw people benefitting from their labors with cold, hard cash, were inspired to plant soybean as a cash crop.

This encourages us in several ways:
1) it is proof positive that our radio program has a listening and responsive audience and the timely, thorough and inspiring info which Emma disseminates is impacting our community through socioeconomic empowerment, and
2) we are that much closer to realizing our plans of providing a good nutritional supplement for host and refugee populations who are suffering from malnutrition!

We invite you all to participate in this life changing venture by donating to RAU. This will allow us to buy more soybean to make a corn-soya blend to supply local Health Centers with Nutritional Therapy for their clients (children and nursing mothers of host and refugee populations). It will also inspire and empower the local farming community to see value for their effort and inspire them for their futures!

Thank you, especially, to M.A.R.S. (Missionary Agricultural Resource Services) for your continued partnership and encouragement. Without you, our Ag program would not have had liftoff! We thank Emma for his expertise and passion which inspires and builds up!

Thank you to those who provided funds for a grinding mill and funds to purchase soybeans and maize from the local community. We ask that you also give to this effort through earnest prayers for rain. After a few good soakers, we planted soybean over most of our 17 acres. Then…the rains stopped. We are at a crucial juncture where rain will determine the output for our soybean crop. Help, Lord! So many people are in desperate need of what we are hoping to grow! Thank you all in advance.”

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Examining the soy for impurities – ensuring quality
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Cleaning up the soybean which was brought for sale
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John keeping track of the sales
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Paying
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Being paid! Cash in hand!

April 15th: Jacob took another trip to Yumbe to visit a friend.  Here is his narration of the events from Face Book:

Mindra and I traveled to Yumbe today where we had lunch and discussions with co-worker Charles and Aringa County Khard, (Muslim leader of leaders) Ayile. Ayile is the Sheikh who helped arrange the “Jesus” film showing this last Tuesday in a football (soccer) field near the leading Mosque in the County, as well last month’s meeting with the Imams he leads. He is a most gracious and kind man. I have known him for almost two years now. He has become a good friend. We had discussions covering a number of topics which include my sharing why Resurrection Sunday is loved by Christians.

He has given an open invitation to me to come as often as I can to “teach the Bible” to the Imams he is over. He also has been faithfully giving out the Bibles and books he has received from RAU. At the end of our time, I had opportunity to pour my heart out in prayer for him and all the Muslims in Aringa County. Please keep this friend and those he leads in your prayers…may he and they behold the beauty of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ!!”

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Meeting with a Khard

April 16th:  The drillers will soon start their work on a bore hole for Cinyi. In the photos you can see where they have been getting their water. Most of their health issues comes from having to drink this water. We have identified two other spots in villages where we work but we still lack the funds. It cost $7500 for one well. Please help if you can.”

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Water hole for Cinyi – soon there will be a real bore hole for them!

April 18th:  Emma and Pastor Henry drove via boda to Aya area where Emma held another Ag training for the new growing season.  He is a particular encouragement to the people of the remote mountain villages because they rarely, if ever, receive Ag extension services where they are.  One young man, particularly, expressed praise and thanks of Emma’s expertise and willingness to share it by explaining that he gave his life to Christ because of this information shared freely. Apparently, it softened his heart to experience the loving community of Christ through Emma and RAU.

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Emma also traveled the same day to another area of the Metu Mountains, Gbari and Arapi, where he is helping the farmers there in good agronomic practices and where they are clearing land for another RAU demo plot.  All of the clearing has to be done by hand with a panga (machete), so it takes time and energy!  When it is ready he will also do a training there.

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April 18th:  Jacob has taken another trip to Arua to get necessary supplies, including the grinding mill and other agricultural supplies which will be helpful as we move ahead with our plans to bless the host and refugee communities with the CSB (Corn-Soya Blend), a nutritional supplement for those affected by famine and malnutrition. He also took two older Yumbe Sheikhs for assessment and treatment.

“Sowing seeds of love and kindness is not separate from preaching the gospel but completely intertwined with it.” Jacob Lee

We are on a serious countdown to the finish line of having everything ready for the teams that will be arriving in less than two weeks….YIKES!  Lord help us all!

In the midst of all these events we have received wonderful feedback from a young man, Joshua Abraham, who has been delivering many RAU resources into the refugee camps which have been entrusted to RAU to disburse.  These resources include ESV Global Study Bibles and other literature into the hands of South Sudanese leaders as well as some beautiful dresses which were handmade by some lovely ladies in Fort Davis, Texas.

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Pastors and leaders in the refugee settlements receiving ESV Global Study Bibles and other materials
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Young ladies in the camps receiving dresses made by ladies in Fort Davis, Texas

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Please pray for our upcoming events and for all the work that still needs to get done.  There have been some setbacks with machinery breaking down and other events which have slowed down the progress. Pray especially for Jacob upon whose shoulders rests so much weight and responsibility.  Pray that, no matter what, our focus would be on serving people and pointing them to Christ in all things, even stress!

Pray for:

  • The new “Hall of Tyrannus” to get finished
  • The renovations of the bedroom and library to go smoothly and for successful repair of the electric table-saw
  • Safe travel for the teams coming: April 30th and May 6th.
  • More rain for the soybean crop
  • The attendees of the retreats, that they will be blessed, strengthened and inspired to share what they have received.
  • Provision for all three wells we hope to have dug in Cinyi, Alugodu and Ijujo. At this point we only have funds for one well. It cost $7500 to drill a well in the difficult hills of the Metu Mountains.
  • Successful repair of the tractor.

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Carol (and Jacob) Lee

http://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

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it!
———–
When at least 35% of the world; “the unoccupied fields”, have no access to the gospel, we (believers) must all do all we can to reach them. We who are saved owe the gospel to every lost person, most especially the 2.4 billion who will not hear unless someone breaks into their “unoccupied field” with no thought of their own life!
Jacob 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 their link below. 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.

An Eager Hope

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Beautiful Oku Valley Metu Mountains

Dear Family and Friends,

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.”       (Romans 8:25, New English Translation)

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Village of Lea (meaning “elephant”)
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Jacob and Stephen “doing stuff” in the field

Last week, we eagerly received Dr. Stephen McConnell to RAU.  We had been anticipating his visit for months, making plans with local medical personnel, especially Kiiza Frances, a clinical officer, to squeeze as many experiences as possible into Stephen’s fact-finding mission.  Our efforts did not disappoint!

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Stephen helping to serve communion at Gbari/Arapi Community Church
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Stephen sharing a message and Pastor Tobious interpreting
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Dr. Stephen holding an impromptu clinic
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Visiting the local Gbari clinic, and one of the nurses who runs the clinic

It’s a good thing Stephen got some rest in Entebbe before he arrived in Moyo/Afoji on Saturday because we did not give him any down time.  On Sunday, we took him to the Gbari/Arapi Community church where, on the previous Sunday, 71 were baptized from this church and a few surrounding churches.  Everywhere we took Stephen, he was able to hold an impromptu clinics to help diagnose various ailments which were brought to him and give advice on treatment. We made a short visit to a local clinic where Stephen was able to see the amazing work that healthcare workers do with limited resources for the communities they serve.  What a blessing to have his expertise and he was tireless and kind in giving his time and attention.

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Visiting in a home in Moyo

On Monday, I took him to see Moyo Hospital and to meet with many of the staff there.  Moyo Hospital has made great strides in upgrading its facilities – it will be such a blessing to see things up and running well for the benefit of the local community as well as the many refugees who are also being referred there for treatment.  It was especially a success to meet and talk with Dr. Joseph, one of the very few physicians, and to get a clear idea from him what the major concerns and needs are.  In addition, Dr. Stephen McConnell was also inspired and encouraged by the possibilities of coming in the future with other physicians and medical personnel to work alongside Dr. Joseph and to do capacity building workshops for healthcare workers as well as to provide community health instruction for disease prevention to community members.

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Under the tree and behind the Land Cruiser Clinic
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Trying white ants (termites)
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Walking to the proposed site for a bore hole at Cinyi
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Under the Mango Tree Clinic
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Heading down into Lea and Oku
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Women carrying heavy loads up the steep mountain climb
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Praying for a new follower of Christ
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Walking to the church under the tree at Oku

Tuesday was a completely different and unique venue:  the Metu Mountains and some of our favorite, hard-to-reach villages.  We stopped at a clinic along the way, near Ijujo, and met with a wonderful woman who runs the clinic under the most bleak of conditions, bearing a load with little help and a deficiency of supplies and medicines that must be very discouraging.  Further down the road we stopped in Cinyi (Chinyi) where we looked at the proposed site for a bore hole and where Stephen held a small clinic for the local village members who would, under normal circumstances, have to walk a day’s journey to get to the nearest .  After Cinyi, we hiked down to Oku, which is the end of the road for that deep valley.  We wanted Stephen to see the difficult circumstances in which these precious people live.  Along the hike down into the valley, we noticed several women, young and old, some with babies on their backs, hauling water up the very steep mountain. These experiences made their mark on us all and inspired us anew to do as much as possible to improve the lives and livelihood of this remote “unreached” (in terms of resources) community of people, especially clean water via bore holes.

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The clinic at Ijujo
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Gathering information from a healthcare worker at a Health Care III across the road from Beramaling 3 Refugee settlement
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Temporary shelters at the refugee settlement

Wednesday took us in a different direction: to Palorinya Processing Camp for Refugees and, then, to a local Health Center III, right across the road from one of the new refugee settlement areas called, “Beramaling 3”.  While Uganda has been gracious and welcoming to the flood of refugees, it has not done it without a cost to its own host populations.  This was evident in the clinic we visited as resources, space and personnel had to be shared and the waiting lines were long.  Fortunately, several NGOs are partnering with the clinic to bring personnel and supplies to this needy area which serves a growing population of refugees fleeing from South Sudan as well as the host community.

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Health center within the Beramaling settlement
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Ever growing camp site
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The schools have had to absorb the refugee population and the students cannot be contained within the classrooms

Jacob and I are particularly grateful for a young man who has proved faithful to minister inside the refugee settlements, disseminating many of the resources which have been given to RAU to distribute.

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Bidi Bidi refugee church leaders receiving ESV Global Study Bibles and other resources, including the Christian-Muslim Dialog booklets written or compiled by Jacob

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Thursday was Stephen’s last day in Moyo.  He was grateful for some time to spend on RAU farm, observing the folks who were hired to dig holes and plant soybeans and also helping cut down banana trees which have finished fruiting and slicing them up as mulch which is then placed at the base of the other trees.  Stephen never missed an opportunity to serve in any way he could while he was with us. He and Jacob enjoyed hanging out together just “doing stuff” around the compound.

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Stephen propping up banana clusters
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Hired day laborers planting soybean

Thursday afternoon, we spent some time visiting a local family and experiencing their love and hospitality.  Thursday evening was an inspiring “think tank” experience where we met with Dr. Joseph and clinical officer, Kiiza at a local restaurant.  Two physicians, Doctors Lynn and Sharon Fogleman, a husband and wife team from the USA who will be living and working within Moyo, joined up with us for what was an exciting sharing of needs and ideas of how those needs could be met through networking and shared resources.  It gave Jacob and me an eager hope of good things to come – a foretaste of the grace which the Lord wants to extend to this under served and underdeveloped area.

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Beautiful Metu Mountains; beyond those ridges is South Sudan

Friday was a bittersweet day.  We took Stephen back to Arua to catch a puddle jumper to Entebbe on Saturday morning.  We enjoyed every bit of time spent with him; his humble and kind spirit  brought refreshment to us and his exuberance and vision for the future fueled us with eager expectation for “what’s next.”  While he was here we half-teasingly, half-seriously pointed out where we could build a house for him and his family for when they “decide to move here” and told him we were going to go way “over his head” (if you know what I mean) and ask for a transfer!  Thank goodness, all those things are in the Hands of a wise and loving God who knows the end from the beginning and everything in between!

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Dr. Stephen McConnell, his wife, Maddie and his lovely family

We want to especially thank Maddie McConnell for not only “allowing” Stephen to come, but for encouraging him to come.  We were blown away by her organizational skills and by the care and thoughtfulness with which she packed the many supplies which were donated for the ministry.  A grand “thank you” to all the loving people who gave requested items, including the suitcases in which everything was safely arrived.  We definitely look forward with eager hope to the next time when Maddie is able to accompany Stephen!

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George Smith
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The Texas guys (pastors) visiting with George: Brian, Doug and Shawn

While we were in Arua, dropping Stephen off, our next group of visitors was arriving at RAU!  Recently, we met George Smith from Mississippi who, along with his wife, Geraldine, have been missionaries in Uganda for 17 years.  When he came through the last time, he was looking for opportunities for short term mission groups and for places for them to stay.  At that time, we made plans for him to bring a team of 3 men to stay with us as they ministered in various places in the West Nile region.

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Getting the grand tour
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Final Goodbyes

It was a particular joy to meet and fellowship with George, Shawn, Doug and Brian.  His three visitors are all from Texas, so you KNOW they had to be good folks!  It never ceases to amaze us that perfect strangers, because of the bond in Christ, can immediately feel like family!  They spent three nights with us but, during the day, they headed out to Itula and other places along the Nile where several of the refugee camps are located.  Their goal was to share the disciple-making strategy of T4T (Training for Trainers) in hopes that, by a multiplication process, the impact of the Gospel will go far and wide.  Our visits in the evening were full of laughter, great conversation, sharing of personal stories and prayer.  Thank you, George for coming our way and giving us the privilege and blessing of knowing you and your guests.

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We look forward to seeing George and his wife, Geraldine, when they bring a larger group (12-13) at the end of this month!

On a personal note, we have found out that the Lord is bringing several American missionary families to this area to serve both the host and refugee communities.  This has meant for me the eager hope of friendships and fellowship and the possibility of being more involved in medical endeavors as time allows.

We have so much to be grateful for.  The Lord is clearly at work in this area and is increasing the opportunities we have to serve Him and the people to whom He has called us to live alongside.  I have told so many people that I am thrilled to see God openning the windows of heaven to pour His blessings out on this particular area of Uganda.  Though the attention and help has come largely on account of the influx of refugees, we see that many resources are being channeled to the West Nile region, both material and human resources.

Being so close to the South Sudan border means their civil war has been brought a little closer to us as well.  In Face Book posts we have shared links to many of the events in South Sudan as well as our own experience of seeing and hearing exchange of gunfire right near the border.  Just this week we heard of armed rebels who came across the border into Uganda and were seen at Afoji center, just a quarter of a mile from us, and apparently they were hunting down some of their own people.  However, they threatened our local people not to make any calls out “or else”.  We also heard that some of them were able to sneak into refugee camps and several deaths were even reported.  You can find the story at this Ugandan Newspaper link:

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http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/South-Sudanese-gunmen-sneak-Moyo-District/688334-3880536-13ob5fv/index.html

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The New Hall of Tyrannus making some progress

Jacob never misses an opportunity to meet with Muslim leaders who are willing to interact on matters of religion.  Here is something he posted on Face Book about his latest visit:

I had a very good one on one meeting with a Sheikh yesterday. I was joined by co-workers,Charles (who interpreted), Samuel, and Mindra. I have known him now for almost 2 years and he has attended a number of my dialogs with Imams and Sheikhs and has become a friend. He gladly received Bibles in Aringa,Swahili and Arabic along with other reading materials and RAU-grown fresh mangoes. He is older (my age  ) and teaches Islamic studies in a school. We discussed, civilly, differences on the person of Jesus, salvation, and prayer. He is very ingrained in Islam but, by the end of or three hours together, I sensed him opening more to the message I was sharing with him then and in our past times in group dialogs. Close to the end of our time together he stated, “Jacob, if what you say is true and it is revealed to me I will come to your side and you,Jacob, if it is revealed to you that Islam is right you come to my side “. Before we parted he asked for me to pray for him which I gladly did in, Jesus Name, with my head and arms upward to Jehovah! Sometime, in the next couple weeks, I want to take him to the clinic to be tested for an illness which has been plaguing him for a long time. Thank you all who prayed…may the Lord grant him revelation and eyes to adore the Savior!
Pray also for another one on one meeting next Saturday with another Sheikh who leads other Sheikhs and Imams. Also, we have the opportunity to show the “Jesus” film, in the middle of next week, to a large group of Imams and Sheikhs. Praise God for these open doors!!”
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In Jesus Name!

Here are some of the things we are working towards with EAGER HOPE and for which we ask you to be in fervent prayer:

  • The work on our larger “Hall of Tyrannus” is making great strides.  There is still a bit of pressure as we see the end of the month coming upon us more quickly than we want and in light of the two groups we will be hosting back to back at the end of April and the beginning of May.  Please pray that all will move well and without many obstacles and that the builders will meet that deadline with some time to spare!  We are so grateful for the provision of a large donation to help with its completion!
  • The drilling of 3 bore holes in the remote areas of the Metu Mountains (Alugodu, Cinyi and Ijujo).  In partnership with a local engineer, John, we were able to do a survey and locate a water source in each of these 3 areas which will provide clean water and an improved quality of life and health for these communities.  Currently, we have funding for 1 of the bore holes.  We ask for your help in funding the other two bore holes.  Each one costs $7500.
  • Please be praying for the two groups which will be arriving back to back beginning on April 29th .  Pray that all the preparations would go smoothly and that all the accommodations would be ready to go!
  • Pray for rain in this region.  We have had some rain, but, now that the soybeans and regular beans have been planted, we could use some heavier rains to help them germinate well and grow to produce abundantly.  As we have stated, the soybean yield will be ground with millet and given to a local health center to assist host and refugee community members who are suffering from malnutrition.
  • Pray for South Sudan! The loss of life and livelihood, the displacement of millions of its citizens, the horrific trauma they have experienced and the wanton destruction in terms of infrastructure, food production, resources and progress is beyond understanding.  Please also pray for Uganda who is struggling to keep up with and care for the immense number of refugees.  The influx is stressing the local population.

Thank you for your loving interest and partnership with us!

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Carol (and Jacob) Lee

http://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

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it!
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When at least 35% of the world; “the unoccupied fields”, have no access to the gospel, we (believers) must all do all we can to reach them. We who are saved owe the gospel to every lost person, most especially the 2.4 billion who will not hear unless someone breaks into their “unoccupied field” with no thought of their own life!
Jacob Lee

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