Helping Without Hurting in Africa

By Jacob Lee

On Saturday the 20th we finished a six oofday module using the text, “Helping Without Hurting in Africa”. Jonny Kabiswa Kyazze and Anthony Sytsma with Brian Fickert have put together the training manual which clearly lays out sound biblical principles for the best ways to help those who are materially poor, but defining poverty holistically (in terms of  lack in spiritual intimacy, stewardship, community and self) and helping students learn ways to help, especially contextualized for Africa. Authors Jonny and Anthony did an excellent job in teaching and leading very productive lectures and group discussions. We went through lessons 1-10 and they will return again later for lessons 11-20.

Each leader had a Participant Manual

From an Amazon description: “Bestseller When Helping Hurts: How to alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself has changed the way thousands of church and ministry leaders approach poverty. Designed to equip you to begin effectively helping low-income people, When Helping Hurts articulates a biblical framework for poverty alleviation. Learn how to walk with the materially poor in humble relationships instead of just providing them temporary handouts.Now adapted specifically for African contexts, Helping without Hurting in Africa is a 400-page manual to guide the pastor and lay working alike to meaningful ministry. Helping Without Hurting in Africa is designed to inspire churches, pastors, community leaders, missionaries, development workers, NGOs, government institutions, and donors to foster transformation in their communities. This training teaches a holistic approach, explaining how to preach the gospel through word and deed. It aims at changing people’s mind-set and helping them apply biblical principles to care wisely and compassionately for poor people without unintentionally hurting them. Most Christians have a heart for poor people, but this training seeks to help Christians also have a mind for poor people. Helping without Hurting in Africa provides readers with the foundational concepts and tools in Christ-centered poverty alleviation and doubles as a ready-to-use facilitator manual that helps the reader and participants:

*Grow in their relationships with God, others, self, and the rest of creation.

*Gain a new focus on the kingdom of God in their ministries.

*Renew their love and compassion for the materially poor.

*Obtain knowledge about how to help low-income individuals and communities more wisely.

*Empower churches and ministries to bring lasting change, starting with their own resources.”


Sara Sytsma, Anthony’s wife, had a number of very beneficial breakout sessions as well which included dehydrating fruits and veggies, “No fire” beans, soil nutrition for farming and organic pesticides using locally available plants. Her hands-on training for the leaders was very, very helpful and she was given great appreciation at the end during evaluation!  Of course, it was a recurring theme to have her back for more in-depth training, especially helping communities identify the plants in their locales which can be used for pests and diseases.

Our attending group Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. were leaders from the Metu Mountains, Moyo, Yumbe and Koboko Districts as well as Sudanese (both South and North) from various refugee resettlement camps. Steve and Debbie Nutzmann, missionaries from Jinja, were also with us. It has been a joy to be with the Nutzmann’s, the teaching team, and the church leaders whom Carol and I have come to love much. Our RAU staff  did a stellar job caring for our guests as well as all the church leaders who were sleeping and eating at RAU.

This is from Carol:

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” (Isaac Newton).We are so grateful to stand on the shoulders of many Greats, to be able to see further and to do more and to witness the inspiration of many to do more! This week of “Helping Without Hurting in Africa” has been insightful and inspiring! Jacob and I are so grateful for this team! Thank you, Jonny Kabiswa Kyazze and Anthony Sytsma for teaching faithfully and inspiringly. A special thanks to Sara  Sytsma for the Agricultural and Entrepreneurial expertise that you shared during this week! Thanks, Debbie and Steve Nutzmann for your supportive role and for what you are doing in “your neck of the woods”!

My prayer is that this training could be done throughout Uganda. The principles taught would serve missionaries, NGOs, Aid Organizations and short term ministry teams well. The church at large throughout our beloved Uganda, South Sudan and the Republic of North Sudan would do well to be transformed in their perspectives and mindset also.

Please be in prayer for Ron Zeiner who is traveling our way this week. On the weekend, he will be preaching in Ijujo in the Metu Mountains and from May 29th-June 2nd, teaching an Old Testament Survey module to church leaders in Reaching Africa’s Unreached Hall of Tyrannus. Ron is an Old Testament scholar and long time friend. It is not his first time to RAU. He and his wife Joanna were missionaries in South Africa for around 10 years. Ron currently is the pastor of Bread of Life church in Uvalde Texas. Bread of Life Church is one of RAU’s supporting churches.

Please pray for an increase in those who financially support RAU on a monthly basis. While we are very grateful for those who give to various projects we especially are grateful to those who give monthly. As the Lord has grown the ministry of RAU our monthly supporters are the ones who are carrying RAU’s Mission/Vision along like our 2 Timothy 2:2 modules, evangelism, church planting/discipleship and running the agricultural demo farm. If you are not giving monthly, would you please consider helping us in that way? Please take time to peruse our website and see how we have sought to be faithful stewards of the gifts given. It is our desire that any charitable gifts that are given to R.A.U. would not compromise what you are  ALREADY giving to your local church and/or to other cross-cultural foreign missionaries. At this link you can read about RAU’s philosophy on missionary giving and how to give—>

On going 2 Timothy 2:2  with two groups of Sudanese led by Joshua Abraham in the nearby refugee resettlement camps

Please continue praying for the vision of a FM Christian radio station, dental and eye clinics, and Bible Institute on the campus of RAU. Please pray with us and consider giving your dollars to help make this vision become reality.

Please also continue to pray for the Pryce family and the Langworthy family who are looking to join us long term at RAU.

​Thank you,

Jacob and Carol Lee

Above group photo with visitors: Jonny, Jacob, Carol, Sara, Anthony, Debbie & Steve

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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!

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

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