Changing Times and Seasons
by Carol Lee
“For everything there is a season,, and a time for every matter under heaven”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1
Never before have Jacob and I experienced the reality of this verse more than here on mission in Uganda. Our lives are in a constant state of flux. There are different “branches” of ministry, different groups coming and going and, then, there is our upcoming trip to and from the USA. There is not much “routine” as we knew it in the States. If the adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” were true, Jacob and I would be in serious trouble! Daniel 2:21 also reminds us that: “He changes times and seasons.” That position is exactly where we find ourselves right now. The only routine we know is change!
As you know from our previous newsletter, the months before May were a major push in construction to finish the new “Hall Of Tyrannus” and other building projects. That is a season we are glad to have BEHIND us! The Reaching and Teaching attendees were the first ones to benefit from that new facility. It’s truly beautiful and it’s hard to believe it was built in a matter of a few months – a testament to Jacob’s great administrating and a very good work crew.
On April 30th, our new friends, George and Geraldine Smith, from Jinja, brought a discipleship team of 15 (themselves included), ten of whom were from Mississippi and they were here until May 4th. They packed in mega amounts of ministry in 3 days! On Monday through Wednesday, one group (of two teachers) stayed at RAU for a seminar for 25 local leaders (T4T), George and Geraldine took a group to one of the refugee camps for discipleship training, and Jacob took a third group to the Metu mountains to various villages each day. These teams were rotated so everyone got a taste of different ministry opportunities. The part of the day Jacob and I most enjoyed was the after supper “debriefing” with the whole group together. We all shared our experiences, both the good, the great and the difficult. We encouraged and spurred one another on to love and good deeds. And we prayed for one another. It was beautiful to take part in it.
On May 6th, Jacob went to Arua to pick up the “Reaching and Teaching“ team from High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas while I stayed back to ensure that our campus was ready to receive them and the (what turned out to be) 40 pastors and leaders who showed up for the retreat. We only have 32 beds and so we had to do some creative planning to serve all the ones who came. The church leaders were from Moyo, Metu Mountains, Obongi, Lefori, Yumbe, and Koboko.
It was another packed week of teaching ministry and ensuring that all of our visitors were fed and cared for. The “Reaching and Teaching“ team consisted of four teachers (Otis Fields, Delmar Hager, Jon Kraus, and William Sebree) and one lovely service and administratively gifted sister, Kacey Hanson. Because the men were able to adeptly manage their teaching schedules, Jacob was free to continue administrating over the many other activities which were still happening on and off the campus. Kacey and I handled the meals and snacks “like a boss.” Of course, we didn’t do the cooking! We had 3 lovely ladies (Lucy, Christine and Beatrice) who did that bulky work; Kacey and I just made sure that everything was on schedule.
While the Reaching and Teaching team was here they had the opportunity to do some ministry in the Metu mountain villages, teaching, preaching and praying for God’s beloved people in new church plants in the hard to reach places.
Metu Land Cruiser Adventures: https://youtu.be/HXbG0DFDtxk
A special occasion was the baptism of 97 people from Aya, Alugodu, Cinyi, Lea, Eremi, Oku, and Ijujo. It was just last month that 71 were baptized from other new churches in Gbari,Arapi, Duku, and Oyo. It was a joyful celebration and a long walk for many (or run, for some!) down to an available water source. This kind of event does not happen often so it had great significance and for it to be celebrated with special guests made it a pinnacle event.
God is opening the window of His favor upon the people in the Metu Mountains. This is not only evident in the church growth but also seen in the blessing of funding being provided for bore holes in these remote regions. We now have funding for 2 out of the 3 areas in which we plan to sink bore holes. Each bore hole costs $7500. Praise the Lord for the loving response of our financial partners! The district officials and the local villagers are also doing their part to make the roads more passable for the drilling rigs.
Emma, our Principle Ag Extension Officer, continues to manage the RAU demo plot (which is visited by many) in addition to two other plots in the Metu mountains AND the weekly radio call-in show. The folks in these remote villages are getting free and expert training and opportunities (that are rare and come at a cost beyond their reach) through Emma’s physical presence and training and over the airwaves through the radio program. We will soon be expanding our outreach by building a screen house here at RAU for mango grafting; this will allow us to sell grafted mango seedlings at a greatly discounted price using all our own resources right here on the demo plot (we have both the native root stock as well as the grafted mango stalks or scions). Our goal is to help empower church leaders as well as our local community through the long term benefits of mango and banana production along with vegetables and food grains.
We never get tired of hearing feedback from the community members who are pleading with us to keep up the excellent standard of Ag Extension service which is being provided on site and through the radio program. So many people are voicing hopefulness that the socio-economic status of Moyo District and surrounding areas will continue to improve as long as community members are inspired and well-instructed through the sound Ag information and guidance which Emma is providing.
Another opportunity has developed through a relationship with a young man named Joshua Abraham. He ministers to and disciples pastors in the refugee camps. Through him we have been able to distribute nearly 400 ESV Global Study Bibles as well as many other resources. This networking is helping us to reach a demographic which we did not expect to reach. The ripple effect of that – only God knows!
Now that this season of intense ministry is over, Jacob and I are on a big push to do the next thing – get ready to return to the States for a visit. It’s amazing how much has to be done in order to leave – so MANY details which must be attended to. The next season doesn’t necessarily mean slowing down!!
While we hope to come back to the States for some R&R, we also know that the pace will not slow too much! Our special emphasis this time around is to connect with our growing family and to spend some time with Jacob’s aging parents. Jacob’s mom, especially, has had some setbacks which could be serious. We are looking forward to holding our newest grandchild for the first time. She was born last December.
We will be arriving to Seguin in the last few days of May. After about a week in Seguin we will begin traveling to see various family members and should be back in Seguin in the latter part of June and into July. We hope to see many of you at church on Sundays. We will try to visit as many churches as we can; however, we hope you will understand our limitations in time as well as our need to catch our breath before another busy season starts up when we get back to Uganda mid-July. Jacob and I will be at Lifegate Church our first two Sundays (May 28th and June 4th) and also on our last Sunday in the States (July 9th). We wanted to be in the States for our 36th Wedding Anniversary, July 10th. We return to RAU on July 12th.
We are grateful for each season in which the Lord has us. However, we have to admit, the seasons seem to be changing very frequently. Pray for us to have stamina and a cheerful and grateful heart to face whatever is next up! May we all not grow weary in doing good! May our eyes stay fixed on the prize and may we, for the joy set before us, endure for the glory of God and the good of many!
“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.“
― Fr. Alfred D’Souza
“My business is, with all my might to serve my own generation; in doing so I shall best serve the next generation, should the Lord Jesus tarry… The longer I live, the more I am enabled to realize that I have but one life to live on earth, and that this one life is but a brief life, for sowing, in comparison with eternity, for reaping.“
Carol (and Jacob) 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!———–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!—————-Sowing seeds of love and kindness should not be separated from preaching the gospel of sovereign grace but completely intertwined with it!Jacob Lee
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