The Kind Hand Of Providence

By Jacob Lee

Carol and I appreciate your prayers and support. Carol’s and my first ministry trip to Uganda was in 2006 and my first ministry trip to the Moyo area was in 2007. Our permanent move to RAU in Fodia/Afoji was in 2013.  We are so grateful to those who have stood with us from the beginning and those who have joined us along the way. Thank you!  The Lord has been providentially leading and guiding. It is easier to see this when looking back. Most often, we do not not see God’s providence in the present but there are times that God does grant us that privilege. That is the case currently and I want to share these “providential moments” with you so you, too, can rejoice with us and pray together with us.

Michael Marindi, the man in the blue T-shirt: he and I providentially met in an airport December 2006 and the contact he gave led us to Moyo!

“From Genesis to Revelation, the providence of God directs the entire course of redemptive history. Providence is “God’s purposeful sovereignty.” Its extent reaches down to the flight of electrons, up to the movements of galaxies, and into the heart of man. Its nature is wise and just and good. And its goal is the Christ-exalting glorification of God through the gladness of a redeemed people in a new world.”

John Piper in his book “Providence

In our last newsletter entitled “The Welcome Hope of Spring” Carol reviewed God’s beautiful hand of providence. She wrote of training pastors in the Hall of Tyrannus, the launching 9 more books of the Bible into Aringa, and the delivery of the rest of 600,000 dual language tracts and the arrival of thousands of theological books for church leaders. After sending out “The Welcome Hope of Spring” newsletter, we are continuing to see the hand of God’s providence at work in various ways.

                   1 Chronicles 29:11 says, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.”

With Michael Gwartney and son, Joel, with “Radio South Sudan”

A fellow missionary who lives in Moyo sent us a message that she had met an interesting team passing through Moyo and had given them a ride across the border into South Sudan. She told us that their mission was to put in gospel radio stations. I have shared with some of you in the past that establishing a gospel radio station at RAU has always been on my missionary “bucket list“. Nearly everyone all day long listens to the radio on their phones. The next day, I was thinking more about it. Carol and I prayed about it in our morning devotions: “Lord, it would be wonderful to have a gospel radio station here at RAU…we could do so much with it, advancing the gospel…would you provide a way to meet these people?”  Almost immediately after our prayer, our missionary friend called and said the team wanted to come to RAU and visit. Michael Gwartney, who heads “Radio South Sudan,” and his team came to RAU and we had a wonderful visit. Shortly after their arrival I told Michael about always desiring a radio station here at RAU. Michael, a fellow Texan, said “Jacob, if you get a radio license from Uganda and promise to run and care for it we will put up the radio tower, give you the equipment and teach your team how to use it.” Truthfully, I was taken aback at such a generous offer. He did also say that it is not easy to get a license and it is costly. Then, he looked at our water tower and said that the antenna could be attached to the tower and brought up higher and he looked at the covered lean-to next to the container and told me that it could be made into a perfect studio. We continued talking while touring around the RAU campus. Before he left I told him I would look into getting that license. The next day I contacted Thomas, RAU’s CFO. He immediately wrote a letter to Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) and began assessing costs of getting a license. Thomas has shared what he had heard from the UCC accounting section. The first time costs/taxes/consultations, as well as one-year license (which has to be renewed yearly) is right at $13,000. My estimate to get the studio built and ready is around $5000, making the total on RAU’s side to be $18,000 (give or take). Michael and team, with Radio South Sudan, would set up the station and give the equipment and train the staff. RAU’s goal would be to use the station for gospel preaching, biblical teaching, gospel and Christ-centered music and community development such as agricultural teaching and health training! Does this sound like an act of God’s Providence? If you think this might be a good investment, would you be a part of God’s provision for the $18,000?

Carol wrote in our last newsletter about receiving another team from ABWE–members of their International Healthcare Ministries (IHM) and leaders within ABWE–with the goal being able to benefit from the collective wisdom gleaned from their decades of combining Evangelism, Discipleship and Healthcare around the world. The team has come and gone. What a wonderful four days we had with them! The fellowship was sweet, and the wise counsel they gave was priceless! We did a ministry survey of our area with the plan of discussing together how RAU can keep ministering to the people of our area with the Gospel and all that goes with it—loving people who are on their way to an eternity without Jesus unless they repent and believe the Gospel and who are suffering in many ways because of their lack of access to services that we take for granted. We came away with the short term plan of trying to provide some much needed dental care and also, potentially, some eye care (ophthalmology/optometry). The Moyo district officials (whom we met with at RAU) said they would be so very happy to see such care given in Moyo District. Caleb Mitchel, our missionary team member and ABWE’s Regional leader who lives in Jinja, told us about a dental clinic there called, “Hope Smiles“, that is doing a wonderful ministry of going to remote places and providing dental clinics and doing oral hygiene teaching. He met them while getting some dental care in their clinic in Jinja…another act of God’s providence. They were excited about coming to RAU! They would plan to come to RAU 3-4 times a year. On our side we would like to see if they are interested in setting up more of a permanent clinic on our property. In their week-long mission, they would bring four dentists, assistants, chairs and all their equipment! Any dental team would be most welcome to join them when they are with us. In our area, the only dental care is basically extraction! Our hope is that between ABWE (our partner organization who is sending us 2 long term missionaries, the Pryce’s and Langworthy’s) and RAU, we can raise the money to do the 3-4 clinics per year. Caleb is working to raise $5000 for each clinic visit. That would cover all costs for Hope Smiles plus give some extra to facilitate getting people to RAU from places too far to walk. If your heart is touched to help us with these dental clinics please consider giving a financial gift to assist us. Thank you!

Let’s continue the story of providence. After leaving RAU, three members of the ABWE leaders’ team traveled to Tanzania to meet with ABWE missionaries in Tanzania. On the plane ride, Caleb sat next to a lady who lives in Kampala and  is program manager for The Fred Hollows Foundation in Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi. Their main focus is eye care. They train high-level Ugandan nurses in eye care. They also do outreaches and major eye surgeries. She was so excited to hear about RAU and the goal of helping people in Moyo. Hmmm…another example of God’s providence? Caleb and I are looking into bringing them to RAU to chat about short term and long term ministry care and if we could interest them (both Hope Smiles and The Fred Hollows Foundation) in setting up a joint base on RAU land. “If we build” the clinic buildings, “they will come“??!! We are going to at least ask. Pray with us please! Perhaps you are one who’s touched to help us build the clinic buildings.Please pray with and for us as we seek to add dental and eye care to the pastoral and agricultural training at RAU. 

Speaking of agriculture….I think this is going to be the best mango season we have had at Reaching Africa’s Unreached!  I jokingly tell people that I preach grafted mangoes second only to the gospel–telling visitors and leaders that if they plant grafted mangoes the market will come to them. And true it is. Someone from Kampala came and wanted all the mangoes we have and now others who are closer are coming as well and seeking to out-bid the others.

In our agricultural training, we want to keep teaching and promoting grafted mangoes as long term income for our local community–an investment that keeps on giving. This last Thursday, we had four of the top political leaders in the district come and see (box gardens and grafted mangoes) and they said this is what the President of Uganda actually spoke about some years ago when he visited Moyo. RAU currently has 640 grafted mangoes at various stages. We have a new 5.6 acres on which we are planting another 270 grafted mangoes. It has been a lot of work. In a couple of the pictures you can see the holes that are dug in this new land along with the current mango grove in the background. We are seeking to empower our local community through these efforts. Looking back, we see how, in God’s providence, our mission organization has been able to purchase the current 25.6 acres. Buying land in Africa is not an easy task. The RAU location is alongside a dirt road which is going to be tarmacked and will become  a major trading route between Uganda and Juba the capital of South Sudan. Being able to purchase this land was surely an act of God’s providence.  Please pray with us in this! We are grateful for M.A.R.S. who has supported RAU for nearly 10 years in the agricultural side of the ministry.

Also, in our discussions with ABWE, the survey team saw that the new 5.6 acres which is attached to the campus would be an ideal place for Bible Institute for long term, in-depth training of church leaders. Pray with us that this vision would receive God’s blessing, direction and provision. It was Providential that RAU was able to get the land. We wonder, is it part of God’s providential purpose to establish a Bible Institute to supply pastors in our Sub-Saharan area where the church is growing fastest in the world?

Please be in prayer for these upcoming events in May:

1)  May 4-6th we are hosting three medical outreaches sponsored by our gospel friends with Pearl Haven Ministries and led by Paul Ortega, a dear friend from Texas. A few years back, they came for the same type of ministry event; many were cared for and a good number of people trusted Christ as Lord and Savior. Medical care as well evangelistic proclamation will be happening one day at RAU, one day at Aya Baptist Church and one day at Arapi/Gbari Community Church . Check out their Uganda ministry page here: The team will lead a worship service at Arapi/Gbari on Sunday the 7th. Nine members of the team will be coming from Texas and around 35 Ugandan health care workers are from Mbale, Uganda. Pearl Haven and Paul Ortega’s ministry have purchased many medicines and are financing the ministry. Praise God for Pearl Haven’s heart for the people of Moyo! Thank you Pearl Haven! We expect to minister the love of Jesus to hundreds. God’s loving providence in action! Please pray for us!  

2) On May 15th-20th we are hosting a Module training using the workbook “Helping Without Hurting in Africa. We have the workbooks printed out for the students. Author and Ugandan economist, Jonny Kabiswa Kyazze, and missionary Anthony Sytsma will be leading the teaching sessions. Anthony’s wife, Sara, will do breakout sessions on a fireless cooker (a way to prepare food like beans using little firewood/charcoal), using plants to protect beans/maize from pests in storage, why it is important to care for the soil and how to do so, different ways to manage pests, using green manure cover crops to improve the soil, and nature ways of dehydrating fruits. How is it that such gifted teachers would be with us? It is part of God’s providential plan for them and our students to be together.

3) We have an Old Testament pastoral module May 29th- June 2nd. Long time friend and Old Testament scholar, Ron Zeiner, will be with us. He also will be in local churches the two weekends he is with us. Carol and I have known Ron and his wife Joanna since the early 1980’s. They served a number of years in South Africa as missionaries. What a blessing and gift Ron will be to those who sit under his exposition of the Old Testament–he has painstakingly distilled each book of the Old Testament to its core message in God’s story. Currently, Ron is the pastor of Bread of Life Church in Uvalde, Texas. Bread of Life Church has been a faithful supporter of Reaching Africa’s Unreached. In God’s providential plan, we met the Zeiners in the early 80’s and now he is soon to arrive back to RAU to teach!

4)  Please be in special prayer for the Republic of (North) Sudan. Geographically, the Republic of Sudan is quite a bit north of us.The country of South Sudan is between us in Moyo, Uganda and the Republic of Sudan.  We have many friends from there who have come to module training’s at RAU over the years. In God’s providence, they have sat in the RAU Hall of Tyrannus and are now back among their tribes which have very very few Christians. These men are what I have called refugees twice removed. First, they fled to South Sudan and then, when the civil war broke out in South Sudan, they had to flee to the refugee settlements near us in Uganda. Many have gone back to tribes which are, in most cases, 99% Muslim. Through these brothers and the contacts we have through them, we have been able to send 100’s of Study Bibles, books, gospel tracts and Kindle Fires loaded with books and Arabic gospel films. Most of the materials have been in Arabic but there have also been some English ESV Global Study Bibles. One brother who is Khartoum has been sending me reports from the ground that the situation is bad. Another brother from Darfur said the situation is continuing to get worse. A.S. Ibrahim has a good article in World magazine on the conflict entitled, “A Civil War in the Making”  If you want to keep up with events related to Islam in the world, in the USA , and on our gospel call to reach Muslims, he is, in my opinion, the key Christian voice to hear. His “Concise Guide” books are great . I have had the privilege of sitting in his office several times and visiting one of his classes at Southern Seminary. Pray, pray and pray!

In closing, let me share some of my personal thoughts on our hope for the future for which we have been earnestly seeking the Lord’s mercy, grace, and guidance. In previous posts, we have shared  that we (Carol and I) see our calling to the Sub-Saharan region as being “road builders”, laying down foundations, helping pave the way for future generations of long term missionaries who have the passion of working side by side with our African brothers and sisters, carrying forward RAU’s vision in walking out 2 Timothy 2:2 (teaching faithful ones who will teach others). Though I would like to think we have many years, even decades ( I am ready to be buried here), still ahead of us, we have tried to be realistic and biblical in recognizing that our days are numbered and we must, therefore, prepare for the time when we are not able to serve or are not around to serve! Just as Moses raised up “his Joshua” and Paul “his Timothy“, if lasting and sustainable impact is to be felt, we MUST prepare. It would be a travesty to come to the end and have no one to whom we can pass the baton, no one who will continue the race and fulfill all that God, through RAU’s efforts, has planned for the West Nile region and beyond. In light of that, we have prayed earnestly for ones to whom we can pass the baton. In all our searching, the Lord has providentially seen fit to bring ABWE into view and into our lives in such a way that RAU and ABWE recognize that we are all about the same mission and having the same doctrine. We each love what the other is doing! ABWE has 100 years of experience as a mission organization and cares for around 1000 missionaries. Of most importance to Carol and me is the primacy of the local church in missions. This is also the heart of ABWE. In the context of being a foreign NGO in Uganda, we have often wondered what would happen to RAU if Carol and I were not around since we are the vision-bearing and fund-raising “arm” of the organization–that is, until we met missionaries and leaders within ABWE and experienced their encouraging desire to partner with us and find the right ones to whom we could hand over leadership and vision. We have seen with our eyes the kind, providential, loving hand of God and our hope has been fueled! As we return to the USA for furlough and fundraising/visiting/encouragement in July, one of our first engagements is to attend ABWE’s New Missionary Orientation so that we can become Associate missionaries with this missionary sending agency. Before the orientation Carol and I will have an oral doctrinal examination by ABWE’s Africa director in the presence of our local sending church leaders at Lifegate in Seguin, Texas. It is done with all their incoming missionaries. I see this as a very positive thing!  As Associates, we remain “RAU” and two separate entities but this category allows us to work more closely together and to be invested together in the future of RAU.  Our trust is in the Lord, but also in the means of his providential guidance and we are so grateful. There are still many unknown paths and processes to discover and work through, but at least we KNOW this!–God has providentially seen to it that our “Joshua’s and Timothy’s” are actively working to get here! Praise the Lord!! We covet your prayers in all this! Thank you!

As I was writing the paragraph above, the article below came to my email inbox. Just another gracious glimpse of God’s providence!

Jon Bloom’s article is entitled: “Appointed and Disappointed: Four Lessons for Passing Leadership”

“…for every calling we embrace, there will eventually be a corresponding calling to release…John (the Baptist) was more in love with the God of his calling than his calling from God. What gave him joy was seeing the bride increasingly drawn to the bridegroom. And when his role in helping make that happen began to diminish, it didn’t diminish his joy. He quietly and happily began to step aside. John the Baptist taught me to love the increase of Jesus’s glory more than my role in that increase. And he taught me that the way a leader relinquishes his role for Jesus’s sake might just speak loudest of his love for Jesus…”

A special thank you to all who financially support RAU. We encourage you as you are able to support the Pryce family and the Langworthy family who are joining us long term at RAU.

We welcome and would greatly appreciate any others who would pray and consider financially linking your arms with ours in spreading the fame of King Jesus in our West Nile of Uganda, South Sudan, and the Republic of (North) Sudan.

In His loving and sovereign grip,

Jacob and Carol Lee

PayPal Link for donations:

Donations are tax deductible

Checks may be written to RAU and sent to our secretary Beth and she will deposit them into RAU’s account : Lifegate-RAU, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin, TX. 78155

Go to RAU’s Facebook page for up to date reports, pictures, musings, and exhortations:

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RAU’s Mission and Vision Statements/Statement of Faith:

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 “The Kind Hand Of Providence

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