“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
“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 ever you can.”
This quote is most often attributed to John Wesley, though we have also read statements refuting that authorship. While we may not be sure of who wrote it, we heartily laud and actively seek to follow the exhortation, and “all the more as we see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.“)
Embedded in the vision of Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU) is the value of caring holistically for every person in RAU’s ministry radar. It is not at all off track for us to serve the needs of people in a variety of areas in their lives: spiritual, emotional and physical. The Gospel of grace and sharing that message is not merely one aspect of ministry and mission, it is the core from which all ministry radiates.
“Sowing seeds of love and kindness should not be separated from preaching the gospel of sovereign grace but completely intertwined with it!” Jacob Lee
Since our last newsletter, which included the retreat for church leaders from (North) Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda, things have been busy; however, each season of busyness looks a little different.
“Do all the good you can…” A lot of activity has taken place in the Agricultural arm of RAU ministry. Since finishing his post-graduate course in Project Planning and Management, Emma has been busy in several trainings, one which he helped in conducting in Zone 5 of Bidi Bidi camp on behalf of RAU and in partnership with DCA (Danish Church Aid) and Genex Agribusiness Agency and which covered the topics of Entrepreneurship, Business Planning and Financial Literacy. Needless to say, Emma was greatly appreciated, not only for his knowledge of these topics, but for his inspirational method of teaching. He worked hard to fulfill commitments here while also travelling to Yumbe from where he was taken to the settlement daily to be a part of the training. He represented our Lord Jesus Christ and RAU well!
A couple of weeks later he attended a week-long training in Arua on the topic of Aquaponics, an innovation taught by Don Fredricks ( Jacob became a friend with Don during one of his Pakistan mission trips back in ’09) which displays the symbiotic nature of plants and fish, each one doing for the other what the other needs to survive and both producing for man what he needs to survive. Emma was broadened by this experience in so many ways: knowledge and practical experience, friendship and spiritual mentorship. It has given us another demo idea to think about!
Last week we started harvesting the upland rice which thrived and ripened beautifully. Harvesting is a labor intensive operation when you are operating on a small scale, non-mechanized farm, but we always have more than enough laborers who jump at the chance to work and earn some cash. The yield has been very good (there is still more to harvest which was not initially ready). Our hope is to make the seed (Namuche 5, a drought and weed resistant variety of Upland rice) available for sale at a discounted price for the community. We have successfully demonstrated to the community that Upland rice can be organically grown in this region. In general, our hope is to inspire community members to see that there are cash crops which can do well in our region and which can be exported to local and distant markets, thereby contributing to change in the socioeconomic landscape of the West Nile region.
Besides the extension work in the Metu Mountains and the weekly radio call-in Ag program, Emma is working on a training session and manual which covers Business Planning, Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship which will be used here at RAU in a couple of weeks for around 30 farmers/church leaders from the Metu Mountain region. We continue to target this area because of their need for socioeconomic development and empowerment which has a great deal to do with their remoteness and lack of access to services. We are already seeing changes and over the next few years we hope to see big and lasting economic differences. This tripartite training template Emma also hopes to use with many other groups of local leaders and community members.
“By all the means you can…” Another area of interest has recently come into greater focus for us…a Christian School providing a quality education for local children. Since a friend donated the money, we have purchased and cleared a piece of land (~3 acres) across the road from the main campus. While we are praying and waiting for provision for building and developing a school, we will plant crops there. Jacob has worked hard right alongside our coworkers to clear the land and to level it. It is a venture of faith which, at this point, we are greeting from afar! May it be done as the Lord wills it!
“At all the times you can…” In anticipation of on-going trainings (Reaching and Teaching modules, Retreats/Seminars and Agricultural trainings), two more tukalus have been built to accommodate more attendees. With the additions, it increases our capacity by 12 beds, making a total of 44 beds. There is so much to be done in the many areas of training. It requires being ready in-season and out of season.
“In all the ways you can…” Last week, in now an on-going ministry partnership, youth from several Presbyterian Churches in Kampala,Uganda, came as a team to serve some of the church plants in the Metu Mountains and to have their own vision and hearts broadened by ministering in areas where the needs are greater than their own. Jacob loves to take them to the remote village church plants to open their eyes to the challenges of the people in these hard-to-reach places. The youth group always comes with a spirit of generosity and servanthood. Their visit blesses and encourages us and we have the benefit of seeing that spark of mission set ablaze in their hearts for Christ.
“In all the places you can…” The push to get more accessible and clean water sources in the Metu Mountain villages continues as the drilling has begun again. Our plan was, this time, to search for a spot in Meria as well as in Pamulu. There is no more motivating activity to stir up compassion than going to the distant and difficult places where each of these villages currently retrieve water. Usually, these water holes are open and easily contaminated; the community suffers from many GI distresses. Several attempts have been made to find water but, so far, the efforts have not been successful. Please pray that good water will be found near each of these villages. We have money for the well in Meria. Please consider contributing towards one in Pamulu. There is another village named, “Agugwe” where we would like to see a bore hole.
“To all the people you can…” We are continuing to make a push to get ASB Arabic Study Bibles for the (North) Sudanese church leaders who have taken refuge in Uganda who, one day, hope to return to their country and tribes with the Gospel of grace. Please please consider ordering some of theses Bibles online and having them sent to our friend, Pastor Jason Van Bemmel, who is planning to come with a team at the end of December. Our plan is to have a retreat for a large group of these refugees (both North and South Sudanese) during Jason’s visit. The Bibles would need to at arrive at Jason’s church before Christmas.
Link for ASB Arabic Study Bible: http://www.arabicstudybible.net/#endorsements
Pastor Jason Van Bemmel/ Forest Hill Presbyterian Church
“With all the people you can!..” (That one I added!! Hahaha!) This past week, we were overjoyed to welcome David Jones and Eric Williams back to RAU for ministry. These friends have been an ongoing blessing to the ministry of RAU and they especially displayed the love of Christ to believers in the Metu Mountains and Obongi. Most often we hear expressions from the community of believers here that they feel remembered by the Lord when our friends visit and encourage them. The relationships that we have made are a particular blessing to us and spur us to continue!
“As long as you ever can….” Jacob and I are so grateful for your loving support which allows us to do what we are doing “as long as we ever can.” We continue to be overwhelmed with gratefulness to the Lord for all of you who keep sending, giving, praying, loving and coming! May the Lord bless you abundantly! Our hope is that you will not grow weary in this partnership with us, but that you, also, would experience the joy and reward of seeing the fruit of your investments in terms of prayer, giving, sending, coming, teaching and ministering.
Please pray for upcoming events:
- Our RAU Christmas celebration: pray that our coworkers would feel their worth to us in the ministry.
- An upcoming visit with several Imam/Sheikhs who would like to see RAU firsthand and experience what Christmas means to us. Pray that it would be a meaningful celebration.
- The upcoming visit of Jason Van Bemmel and his team from Forest Hill Presbyterian Church (Maryland). Pray that the leadership training would be a blessing to those attending from the refugee settlements (37 South Sudanese pastors). There will also be ministry in the Metu Mountains.
- John Howarton’s visit in January and all the ministry which will be happening during his 3 weeks here (Youth conference in Yumbe at Pilgrim’s Church among other venues in the Metu Mountains and Obongi).
- The Ag retreat for the Metu Mountain farmers/church leaders for Emma’s teaching on Business Planning, Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy.
RAU was recently registered with Amazon as a non-profit organization to which a percentage may be donated for every dollar you spend there. Here is the link if you are interested:
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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