2020: Blessings In Review

2020: Blessings In Review

by Carol Lee

Wow! 2020 — what a year! Most of us breathed a deep sigh of relief, I am thinking, and looked to 2021 for a deep, new breath of hope–and some changes. No two experiences have been alike–some have said that 2020 was a really great year for them–but I am pretty sure we can all agree that the chaos of 2020 blindsided us and we don’t want a repeat! In spite of the stress of the CoVID-19 Pandemic, I would also venture to say that some very good things happened. Here is OUR list of 2020 blessings:

  1. A slower pace with time to renew, refresh, breathe, think, read, re-connect. Jacob and I thank God for the unplanned goodness of emotional, spiritual and physical SPACE for us as a couple, and even as a ministry team. We needed it even more than we realized. The Lord taught us so many life-changing truths. Primarily, He taught us to trust Him — and His sovereign goodness even in life’s difficult circumstances. The year 2020 has put us in better shape to serve in humility, passion and hope in the coming years–as many as the Lord will give us.
  2. An opportunity to re-vamp, build, renovate. Jacob’s creative and forward thinking mind has been at full throttle throughout 2020 to bring about some very beautiful renovations to the buildings and other structures that will serve us well for many, many decades to come. When CoVID-19 restrictions ease and life returns to more of its normal pace, we will be ready with our facilities to host Pastors/Leaders and Teachers (finishing up Reaching & Teaching Modules) and Medical personnel (medical team outreaches) and farmers and student groups on the Demo Farm.
  3. The urgency to replenish resources. With continued requests for Bibles and other literature and a dwindling supply, the urgency of raising funds for more ESV TruTone Global Study Bibles (GSB) pressed in upon Jacob. By God’s grace, the response of God’s people and special help in bringing awareness, by year-end all the money needed to purchase a special printing and delivery of 20,000 ESV TruTone Global Study Bibles’ came in! As of now, the Bibles are being printed and we anticipate their delivery in November of this year. RAU will also be receiving 16.5 pallets of books from The Gospel Coalition-International Outreach (TGC-IO) delivered to Uganda on a Christian Book container. This is an exciting gift as we look forward to many more years of Pastoral/leadership training and Kingdom expansion to new regions.
  4. Aringa translation work and printing. Though it has been a long while since Jacob has been able to meet with Imams/Sheikhs in Yumbe, he has had the persistent desire to revamp his Christian-Muslim Dialog booklets (which he did) and combine them into 3 larger booklets (instead of 7). We know that there is a desire among some to continue the dialog. RAU is also partnering with Onduga Charles (our dear friend in Yumbe) to have some excellent tracts translated into Aringa for distribution in Yumbe District. While we eagerly anticipate open doors of evangelism, RAU has had the opportunity to show love to our Muslim neighbors in action and in truth through some medical projects relating to Diabetes education and disease control.
  5. Expanding and refining of the Ag Demo Farm. The ‘down time’ of 2020 allowed us to refine the vision for the Ag Demo Farm, and to streamline the focus of our Agricultural efforts. The construction of more box gardens was one focus area, bringing the total to 18 box gardens. Another focal point was the “live fence” which was planted around the periphery of the campus and around a box garden; this is to demonstrate the sustainable means of crop protection from grazing livestock, which is a huge problem and results in the loss of produce as well money (as livestock owners have to pay for damaged gardens).

For a more detailed description of what happened in 2020, you may click on the links below. The links will route you to posts that were made throughout the year.

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

June 2020

August 2020

October 2020

November 2020

December 2020

The year, 2020, could not have been more unexpected in its impact and direction. However, we have so much to be grateful for. The bedrock truth of God’s sovereign goodness, even in trying circumstances, has been of utmost comfort and encouragement.

“…history is like a giant piece of fabric with very intricate and complex patterns. During the limited span of our lifetimes we see only a tiny fraction of the pattern. Furthermore, as has been observed by others, we see the pattern from the underside. The underside of a weaving usually makes no sense. Even the upper side makes little sense if we view just a tiny piece. Only God sees the upper side, and only He sees the entire fabric with its complete pattern. Therefore, we must trust Him to work out all the details of history to His glory, knowing that His glory and our good are bound up together.”

Bridges, Jerry. Trusting God (pp. 81-82). The Navigators. Kindle Edition.

Jacob and I praise God so much for every person, group and church that faithfully locked arms with us in 2020. The possibility was there for it to be a challenging financial year–BUT GOD! We are all the more encouraged that where God guides He will provide. These sentiments that Paul expressed in prayer for the Philippians is what we pray for all who are joined together in the Gospel in a myriad of ways, both here in Uganda and among supporters in the USA. “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:3-6.

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The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it!

Sowing seeds of love and kindness should not be separated from preaching the gospel of sovereign grace but completely intertwined with 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! 

I am sure that none of us will say when in heaven that we prayed too much, we sacrificed too much, proclaimed the gospel too much, and were too passionate to get the gospel to those who have little to no access to this gospel of grace. Let us together press on to make it our  ambition to preach the gospel where Christ has not been named! 

Our goal in our gospel witness is to take our eyes off the “risk” and place them on the cause for the risk. When God compels us like this he often will not tell us the risks…after all there are no risks for the all-knowing, all-powerful God. So let us be AMBITIOUS (Romans 15:20) to see that ALL are reached with the gospel of grace (Romans 1:16) in ALL places…there are no closed doors to the gospel, just some which are more difficult to go through! 

Jacob Lee

2 thoughts on “2020: Blessings In Review

  1. Michael and Gail Rupprecht

    I noticed a ‘library’ of sorts. How can I get Christian books to you from Bel Air, Md.? Currently, I am sending books and teaching CD’s through “Love Packages” to various countries around the globe. “Love Packages” receives the books in Butler IL. and then ships thousands of pounds of books where they have ‘distributors’. See, lovepackages.org.

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