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!
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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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