Bibles, Books, Boreholes and Obongi: An Update!

Jacob and I are amazed and excited at the recent progress toward the goal of raising $200,000 for 20,000 ESV TruTone Global Study Bibles, a container, and shipping from America to the RAU campus near Moyo, Uganda.

The current status on the fundraiser is….DRUM ROLL PLEASE!…. $121,649! This is a little over 60% of our goal! Many people from all over the USA and the world have joined us in this effort. A very special “Thank you” to Greg and Kilby Helms who have “put it out there” wherever they go and wherever they speak. We thank every single one of you who has taken notice of our request and taken it to heart.

Recently Mangwi Alex in partnership with RAU was able to give out ESV Global Study Bibles to the participants of their leadership training. Stock is low and so we are pressing forward to get the next shipment of ESV Global Study Bibles here!

In addition to the Bibles, RAU has received a generous donation of books in both English and Arabic, from The Gospel Coalition-International Outreach (TGC-IO) which will be hitching a ride with a different container being sent by Christian Book (www.christianbook.com) to various ministries in Uganda. Here is a list of what will be included in the 15,363 (6.5 pallets) Christian resources that have been given:

  • 2,072 COPIES PREACHING THE WHOLE BIBLE AS CHRISTIAN
  • 780 COPIES ARABIC PASTOR SET and 675 COPIES ENGLISH PASTOR SET
  • 1,692 COPIES DIG DEEPER 
  • 1,632 COPIES NEW CITY CATECHISM DEVOTIONAL (ARABIC)
  • 1,624 COPIES NEW CITY CATECHISM DEVOTIONAL (ENGLISH)
  • 288 COPIES THE GOSPEL AS CENTER
  • 420 COPIES THE MESSAGE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT 
  • 2,772 COPIES BIBLE STUDY 
  • 2,496 COPIES WORD-FILLED WOMEN’S MINISTRY 
  • 312 COPIES FILLING UP THE AFFLICTIONS 
  • 600 COPIES TOUCH POINTS: HEAVEN

Also in the Christian Book container will be 350 slightly damaged ESV Study Bibles and almost 200 Arabic Study Bibles! The ESV Study Bibles have been donated by Christian Book and the Arabic Study Bibles were sold at a discount. Thank you, Christian Book and The Gospel Coalition. In the USA and many countries of the world, such resources are in rich supply. Most Christians trade their current Bible for the latest “model” as often as folks upgrade their vehicles! Can you imagine what even one single study Bible and other literature would mean to a young pastor where such resources are scarce or expensive?

Jacob wrote this in a FaceBook post recently: “My heart is overjoyed. This is a great answer to prayer. I mentioned this news to my dear brother from Darfur who has been one of our main contacts for getting bibles, books and Kindles to Khartoum, Darfur, Blue Nile, and Nuba Mountains. He was ecstatic, to say the least! With the door being swung open wider (it has always been open but difficult) there is a greater need, especially for trained leadership….and vital to sound training is a good study bible and written materials.

Above are pictured Christian brothers from twelve different tribes at Reaching Africa’s Unreached for training (2018). This group represented nine tribes from North Sudan (Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile), two tribes from South Sudan, and one tribe from Uganda. Ten of the eleven are listed as “Unreached People Groups’ by the Joshua Project. From 2013-to December 2019 RAU has had 35 such Christian leadership teaching retreats. Men and women from Uganda, D.R. Congo, South Sudan, and the Republic of (North) Sudan have been in attendance. They have been hosted on the RAU campus for 3-10 days. There have been none in 2020 because of COVID-19. Praying this will change sometime in 2021.

Another joyful piece of news is that the LEAM Drilling company based in Moyo was able to “hit target” and find a solid source of clean, accessible water for the Ayaa community, setting in another borehole on the Ayaa Baptist Church property. Jacob also posted about this recently on Facebook:

A generous person will be enriched, and the one who gives a drink of water will receive water.” (Proverbs 11:25 CSB)

Through the blessings of the Lord and the love which is in His people’s hearts for one another, an 11th bore hole (well) is nearly finished (10 in the Metu Mountains and one in our local village of Fodia). This is the second one in Ayaa on the Ayaa Baptist compound. Ayaa is the largest village in the Metu Mountains . “

The first well that Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU) sponsored was back in 2014 and this new one is near the older one. Ayaa has 1400+/- people in it, according to Pastor Tobious. The 2014 well was just not adequate for this number of people, thus the need for this second one. The terrain in the Metu Mountains is rough with poor, sometimes impassible roads. A tractor had to be hired, like in times past, to help pull the equipment up the steep, rough roads. “

RAU’s goal is to bring the gospel and training for church leaders, clean water and agricultural training and to assist local medical personnel to go to areas least reached. Metu Mountain bore holes are in Ayaa (2), Ijujo, Cinyi, Alugodu, Arapi/Gbari, Duku, and Oyo. Each of these villages also represents a newly planted church, except Ayaa and Ijujo which were in existence when RAU began a Gospel-centered partnership. By God’s grace and the support of His people, we will continue to walk out 2 Timothy 2:2 with all the strength God gives us in these endeavors! We want to follow Jesus’ example found in John 9:4: “We must do the works of him who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.””

One Day Agricultural Training. We look forward to the day that such trainings can resume again!
Pastor Godfrey standing near his church building. The flooding from the Nile River came right up to the floor of the building.

This year, flooding has devastated parts of Obongi. Jacob made an appeal for assistance via Facebook and then wrote this: “Many thanks to those who prayed and gave to help Obongi Town Church members as well as Pastor Amani Godfrey and wife Lily with food items, relocation, and replacement of personal things because of the rising waters of the Nile River. Obongi is located right on the Nile.”

In December 2013 Reaching Africa’s Unreached planted the church in the town after evangelism outreaches with Godfrey leading as pastor.The beginning days were very difficult and the church had to relocate several times. Praise God for his grace that the church has grown, leaders are being trained, and gospel outreach is continuing in this primarily Muslim community.”

Pastor Godfrey just sent these last photos with greetings from these Muslim leaders. They sent their appreciation. Pastor Godfrey included them in posho delivery (staple food of the area) several weeks back and now, again, they received support with the recent flooding. God has continued to give us favor with these leaders. I look forward to when I can see them again and continue discussions on the gospel and give them more Christian literature. Please continue to pray for Obongi Town Church, Pastor Godfrey and church leaders as well as the “opening of eyes and hearts” of the Obongi Town Muslims. Thank you!

Photo Credits: Ivans Drale

Recently, after even more flooding, extra support was given for food items. However, the roads and bridges have been washed and so getting the food there has so far been impossible. RAU purchased staple food items hoping to deliver them but no vehicles are passing through to Obongi, so we have the food stored here in one of our containers until such a time as it can be delivered. Here is a link from Ugandan NTV news which shows the severity of the flooding.

In this most unusual year of 2020, we are grateful that technology, specifically the internet, has allowed us to remain connected and in touch with what is happening around the world and to be a part of Kingdom activities and answers to prayers. Please continue to pray that:

  • Our Father’s Kingdom would come and His will be done on earth as it is being done in heaven
  • BIBLES: hearts would be moved to give towards the Fundraising goal for ESV Global Study Bibles
  • BOOKS: all the precious resources that are given and earmarked for resource-scarce areas would reach safely
  • BOREHOLE: the borehole would serve many by providing clean, accessible water and that it would also lead them to the Living Water, Jesus
  • OBONGI: the flood waters would recede and that the food set apart for those devastated by the flood would reach there soon.
  • that Jacob and I and all our co-workers would remain healthy.
  • that Jacob and I would rely, not on our own wisdom, but upon the Lord’s, that our hope and encouragement would come from the Lord, that we would not grow weary in well-doing, but press on joyfully–and all the more as we see THAT DAY approaching. Pray that Jacob and I would be able to understand and walk in the nuanced difference between wisdom/prudence and fear as it relates to ministry activity in the ongoing presence of COVID-19. It has not been easy. We are more than eager for ministry to happen, but we want to consider the interests of those around us and not only our own.

Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal or check.  PayPal also has a way to make recurring monthly gifts. Recurring monthly gifts are very helpful to the ministry. To do so, please click on the PayPal link below. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal and by check are tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate/RAU Bibles, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155.    

PayPal Link for donations: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=WAR99DL4JFWXQ    

Go to RAU’s Facebook page for up to date reports, pictures, musings, and exhortations: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached  

YouTube Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRmHafoBSemE7jS8kEHCG6Q/videos  

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!

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!

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!! 20,000 Study Bibles Coming Soon To RAU!

We will have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but only a few short hours to win them.

― Amy Carmichael

Since our last newsletter, we have made amazing progress towards the ESV Global Study Bible Fundraising Goal! We praise the Lord for the response of His people in seeing the worthiness of the goal, and, most importantly, giving themselves to the goal of getting 20,000 ESV Global Study Bibles to the campus of Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU).

We have now reached 53 % ($106,509.71) of the goal of $200,000!!! Praise the Lord!

Satan is so much more in earnest than we are–he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost.”

― Amy Carmichael

A Bible, along with the illumination of the Holy Spirit, is the core resource for Shepherds of God’s Church. We must at least see that every Pastor has this essential one. A Study Bible, like the ESV Global Study Bible, with its built-in helps can be a mentor when there is no one else around. A good study Bible can turn on the “L.I.G.H.T.S.” of sound interpretation (Literal-Illumination-Grammatical-Historical-Teaching-Scriptural Harmony).

Overview of ESV Global Study Bible: https://biblebuyingguide.com/crossway-esv-global-study…/

Here is what Jacob posted on Facebook recently regarding our plans for the Bibles:

Each day, because of God’s grace and the love of God’s people, we are getting closer to obtaining 20,000 ESV Global Study Bibles, a container, and the means to transport them here to Reaching Africa’s Unreached from America. We have given away almost all of the nearly 9,000 Bibles which came in our first containers as well as through a shipment via the Gospel Coalition. They have made their way into hands of Ugandans, South Sudanese, North Sudanese,Congolese and some few even into Chadian hands.

The ones coming in this third container would be mostly for church leaders in our West Nile Uganda, South Sudan, the Republic of (North) Sudan as well as local government leaders and Imams and Sheikhs in our region. English is widely read, spoken and understood! With peace being established in the Republic of Sudan in recent days, it will be even easier to get Bibles in! My Sudanese sources report that nearly 80% are happy with the recent improved Sudan relations with America and Israel!” In another container 6-7 pallets of Arabic literature from authors like D.A. Carson, J.I.Packer and others are “hitching” a ride to Uganda and then up to us so that such impactful resources can make their way into Sudan while doors are wide open.”

With tools like these Study Bibles we can be a bigger part of walking out 2 Timothy 2:2 in our region and regions to the north for $10 per Bible. If I can strike a better deal on Bibles we will just increase the number!Continue to pray for and consider giving towards the goal of another container with Bibles! Tax deductible checks may be written out to Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU) and sent to our home church: Lifegate/RAU Missions; 395 Lifegate Lane; Seguin, TX; 78155. OR tax deductible donations may be made on our web page through PayPal with a notation of “For Bibles”.

This is the PayPal Link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=WAR99DL4JFWXQ 

There is no success without sacrifice. If you succeed without sacrifice it is because someone has suffered before you. If you sacrifice without success it is because someone will succeed after you.

A. Judson (1788-1850) 

Current picture of containers sitting at RAU. The new one would be set to right with the roof continuing and a space between which, Lord willing, would become a chicken coup.

With love and godly affection,

Jacob & Carol Lee, RAU

Website: http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org  

Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal or check.  PayPal also has a way to make recurring monthly gifts. Recurring monthly gifts are very helpful to the ministry. To do so, please click on the PayPal link below. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal and by check are tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate/RAU Bibles, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155.    

PayPal Link for donations: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=WAR99DL4JFWXQ    

Go to RAU’s Facebook page for up to date reports, pictures, musings, and exhortations: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached  

YouTube Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRmHafoBSemE7jS8kEHCG6Q/videos  

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!

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!

“2020 Vision” And The Grace Of Divine Interruptions

By Carol Lee

From the Water Tower

We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and cancelling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks, as the priest passed by the man who had fallen among thieves, perhaps—reading the Bible.  When we do that we pass by the visible sign of the Cross raised athwart our path to show us that, not our way, but God’s way must be done…it is part of the discipline of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform a service and that we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.”
This is the LORD’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are
higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth
will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”
Isaiah 55:8-11

Hands down, 2020 has been the most insightful, strangest, best, worst, most frustrating, life-changing, helpful, alarming, most fruitful year—various aspects of life owning their own adjective and each one of us, perhaps, claiming our own unique description reflective of our experience. It has proven to be a year where God has re-arranged our schedules and changed our plans according to His thoughts and His ways — His good, loving and grace-begetting thoughts and ways.

Joseph Tenney admonishes us (borrowing truth from Bonhoeffer) “to cultivate a disruption theology, as it were. This benefits both the one doing the interrupting, as well as the person being interrupted because it is in those instances God reveals himself in ways we may never have seen or experienced otherwise. God is erecting visible signs of the cross in our path for our benefit to show us that his kingdom is at hand — to invite us in his work.” As Christina Fox (Desiring God contributor) puts it, “these interruptions are acts of God’s grace,” simply because we are reminded of who is in charge. In this most unusual year we have been given the opportunity to see our lives through the corrective but disruptive lenses of God’s sovereignty and receive “2020 Vision.”

Our new agenda came quite into focus in March and the subsequent months. As Elisabeth Elliot, through her writings, urges us to do in hard times, we had to “do the next thing.” As time and events have unfolded, we have put our “hand to the plow” doing the next thing and have seen God’s grace shaping our hearts and activities.

With regard to our hearts, it has been a spiritually rigorous season for Jacob and me in the way that exercise pushes and presses a person to new levels of fitness.  We are being stretched and strengthened.  There are days when we have grown weary in the fight. On such days, we are grateful that God is the one who “holds us fast“. On our better days we have the joyful hope that the formation of Christ in us and the goodness of God in what He allows is that ribbon at the end of the race on which we keep our eyes fixed and our hearts set. 

Some trials come with clouds AND rainbows! The birth of our 8th grandchild, Lillian Sophia, is the rainbow–the grace! Being so far away and being unable to love, in person, this precious newborn is the cloud. We are grateful though that, as grandparents, we are never far away from blessing our children and grandchildren through the portal of prayer! This applies to our many friends back in the States as well–we long for that deep fellowship. Distance is the cloud, internet is the rainbow!

To ongoing trials unique to our calling (producing endurance==>character==>hope) has been added a season of grieving losses. Jacob’s Mom, Gertrude Lee, passed away under hospice care in September, just a few days before her 92nd birthday. COVID-19 restrictions had a disruptive effect on the family’s ability to gather around her all together in her last days. It was a long-expected, but still painful loss for Jacob, particularly because he could not be near to support his father and siblings. It is the greatest blessing that, because Gert (Mom) loved Jesus, we do not grieve without the hope of seeing her again at the feet of Jesus in our heavenly home! (John 14:1-3) Such trials have been unwanted intruders, but they have brought with them comfort from the God of all comfort, the grace of remembering that this world is finite and that we hang the hat of our hope on heaven.

There is also the grace of the “mundane.” While keeping a hands-on administrative eye on all the activities on campus, Jacob, having greater opportunity to read, has gained wonderful, soul-soothing and faith-building insights in his continued study on suffering from a biblical standpoint by many authors. His hope is that what he has learned in his reading and through experience will heal where it hurts in the hearts of those he seeks to serve here. Though our list has intersected on a couple of books, mine has had a different emphasis. I continue to press on in the study of Ma’di by working through the New Testament line by line and side by side with the English Bible and the one available dictionary. I have gracious friends here who also fill in or shed light where words are absent from the dictionary or where grammatical structure is unclear. It is helping so much in understanding structure and improving vocabulary as well as in conversation–and conversation is the grace of fellowship.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2–4)    

That is a remarkable passage because it calls and alerts us to something counter intuitive. We don’t typically experience joy in suffering; in fact, many of us lose our joy even in the face of the smallest obstacles. Now, don’t misunderstand what James is calling you to here. He’s not saying you should rejoice BECAUSE of pain and loss. This is not a call to some kind of joyful Christian stoicism. Rather, James is saying that you have reason to rejoice in the middle of your travail because of how God is using your suffering to produce in you what you could never produce in yourself. Suffering in the hands of God is used to fill you up, to grow you up, and to complete God’s work in you. You either hook your hope to a physical, situational life of comfort, success, strength, and pleasure or to a life of rich spiritual awakening, growth, and Godward glory.” (Paul David Tripp, Suffering)

With the interruption of a changed ministry calendar has come the opportunity to slow down and be reminded of the grace of being on a team.  We have seen each team member here at RAU grow in his or her skill and creativity. 

For, example, Onette Zorah, with a degree in Child Development and Children’s ministry, has a vision to see sound teaching developed for the children in local churches. With that desire in mind, he has been re-working a Sunday school curriculum into something more simplified and user-friendly for Sunday school teachers in our local communities.  This curriculum and training would become a component of the Pastoral/Leadership training which is offered here at RAU.  

Pastor Henery, is another example.  Jacob picked up on the fact that he has the interest and aptitude for all things mechanical and has encouraged it with opportunity.  Henery utilizes every opportunity to observe and learn while other mechanics disassemble, repair and reassemble complex machines. He puts it into practice. On top of that, he has proven himself to be a genius at creating parts which don’t exist or are not available locally.  Jacob has often shared with the men here that, when he was growing up (on the farm), his dad refused to put money into buying newer, fancier gadgets no matter how much Jacob and his brother complained. His dad’s admonishment was always, “We can fix this and make it work!”  That same mindset has also served to push Pastor Henery in his creative genius to find solutions that would normally send someone to the parts store! 

Then, there is Zakeo.  He readily put on the mantle which was passed to him in the Agricultural arm of RAU’s ministry—a great example of 2 Timothy 2:2 (teaching faithful people who, in turn, teach others).  Early on, Jacob has also urged Zakeo to pick someone from among the RAU team to whom he could also pass on his expertise so that the flow of knowledge does not ebb, but becomes an ever-rising tide.  Zakeo has displayed great administrative ability; opportunities have arisen for that quality to be maximized and utilized for the glory of God.

Tiondi Patrick has become the expert in painting (including excellent finish work). Fred and Ijjo Patrick are the tile laying experts.  The others are offer their strength, perseverance and faithfulness to allow RAU to function like a well-running engine. The ladies are doing a superb job in the cooking department. We are so very blessed to not only have people of expertise, but co-workers with whom we can share life and laughter.

With hand to the plow (literally and figuratively) we are progressing well with the second planting season.  All the 18 box gardens (the 5 new ones included) are in use at various stages of growth (this is a particular demonstration we want to promote: planting in stages and in smaller quantities so that harvest is periodic and on-going, rather than large harvests all at once that exceed the demand or ability to consume–unless the farmer’s goal is primarily business).

RAU would like to thank, once again, M.A.R.S (Missionary Agricultural Resource Services) for its ongoing support of the agricultural endeavors on our campus. They have a wonderful vision for sustainable agricultural training around the world and we are grateful to be included in their efforts!

Inter-cropping has continued in the rows between the mango and banana trees.  We have beans, onions, rice, sweet potato, yams, sugarcane and passion fruit. Also, the banana trees are being reduced to just one between each mango tree instead of the two which were spaced there.  This is because the mango tree foliage is expanding (as expected) and crowding out the banana trees.

The mango grafts (from the grafting skill learned by Zakeo) are being planted in the 3 acres across the road. Currently, the soil has been prepared with manure and the holes dug. Here is what Jacob wrote about that in a Face Book post:”Always be prepared” means to always be preparing, which is what we have been doing on our Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU) campus as we maintain the box gardens,field crops, and planting of 130 newly grafted mangoes in 3 acres across the road. This will give a total of 770 grafted mangoes on RAU’s 20 acres of demonstration land.The push to plant grafted mango trees (grafted mangoes which are most desirable for juice) has been a theme from the beginning and leaders and community members have been encouraged in it. Mangoes can be a great source of income with proper long-term planning, especially now that a juicing plant has been constructed in Yumbe District. Zakeo has been trained in the skill of grafting and we have at RAU the root stock as well as the scions. We are ready to continue to pass along that knowledge (2 Timothy 2:2) alongside biblical knowledge and basic economics. In 2020 we have not had any formal training here on the RAU campus due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, we are prepping for the time when restrictions ease and we can resume on-site training, not only for Agriculture, but especially for the Modular Biblical teaching.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Jacob and Zakeo attended their first meeting for this year with Moyo District Local Government/District Production Office and other partners in the Livelihood sector (other NGOs) on September 22nd.  This partnership is an attempt to capture all the production activities for reporting to the central government, but also to coordinate with and monitor all entities to avoid duplication of services. It was Jacob’s first venture out of the campus since our arrival here.

COVID-19 restrictions are loosening somewhat, though with many Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place.  Jacob had to wear a mask while out and about and follow the protocol of hand-washing and seating distance.  Otherwise, the traveling restrictions are lifted with a limit of 4 people per private vehicle and public transport vehicles half full.

Pastor Tobious (Ayaa/Metu Mountains), Pastor Godfrey (Obongi), Charles (Yumbe) ,Joshua Abraham (Darfur Sudan), Salah (Nuba Mountains Sudan) and Absalah (Nuba Mountains Sudan) in partnership with RAU, are all eager to resume discipleship and evangelistic outreach activities.  It’s not that work has ground to a halt, but each one (and the churches and people they represent) has continued Gospel work and the witness of a gospel-centered life while seeking to comply with government guidelines during these days of lockdown.  Jacob has missed working shoulder to shoulder with these admirable men and is trusting that the Gospel partnership will soon resume with full force.

Churches are allowed to meet now.  However, some of the requirements of the SOPs are such that they are frustrating many small churches from gathering together if they are to follow every requirement, the key one being having to have a temperature gun to monitor for fever.  Many of the small congregations barely collect 10,000 shillings in an offering each week. The temperature guns cost anywhere from 200,000 to 450,000 shillings ($56-$127)—totally out of their range of affordability.  We are eager to see how this will play out and if the government will soften its recommendations (temperature gun) for the sake of some normalcy.

We still have the goal of bringing another container of ESV Global Study Bibles to RAU in the near future. To date, through the gracious gifts of many and the concerted fund-raising efforts of some very special friends of RAU, we have raised $82,382.38. The goal of $200,000 is needed for a container of 20,000 Bibles to reach RAU.  Due to COVID-19, our original deal could not be made with Crossway. So, hopefully, once we are near our goal of $200,000, we can strike an equally great deal!! These Bibles, like the ones which came five years ago, will primarily go into the hands of church leaders and other leaders in the community. We have an increasing number of relationships with church leaders here in the West Nile of Uganda as well as in both South Sudan and the Republic of (North) Sudan who read English well. The ESV Global Study Bibles which came five years ago are nearly gone. They are a vital resource in our walking out of 2 Timothy 2:2. Thanks to all who are giving and to those who have made it their mission to stir up the support! As we hear of the Republic of Sudan opening up and becoming politically stable, we are especially eager to get these Bibles, in addition to Arabic literature from authors like D.A. Carson, J.I.Packer and others, in the container so that such impactful resources can make their way to Sudan while doors are wide open.

Current picture of containers. The new one would be set to right with the roof continuing and a space between which, Lord willing, would become a chicken coup.

We are making progress!!! We are just above 40% of our goal!

Jacob is wrapping up renovations in two of the rooms in the Big House (Guest House) so that when the “gates are open” and COVID restrictions are lifted (especially the 16 day quarantine which puts a damper on short term team plans) we will have some comfortable quarters for the teams that do come.  We look forward to that day with GREAT joy!!! Oh how we have missed all the wonderful brothers and sisters who have come alongside us in mission in the past!

Romans 12:4-7 “Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different ministries, but the same Lord.  And there are different activities, but the same God works all of them in each person.  A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good…”

We can’t end our newsletter without recognizing a key component of our RAU Team—YOU, our partners in the Gospel—the fuel of everything RAU does. RAU is only a pipeline of grace from your hearts of love, vision, prayer and financial support to the communities and leaders we serve. Our prayer is that you will KNOW the value of what you do and give. We are reminded of that passage in 1 Samuel 30: 23-24: “But David said, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.” The ones who are on the “front lines” are no more vital than the ones who preserve or provide the supply.

Jacob and I pray that this year, though troublesome in many ways, has been an opportunity for each of you to recognize the heart of God in the interruptions you have faced.  Charles Spurgeon said, “God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.”  Our ability to see clearly is closely related to our ability to trust God fully, especially when circumstances are undesirable.  We pray that you have received “2020 Vision” that has in view the grace of divine interruptions.

Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering…. The love of God did not protect His own Son…. He will not necessarily protect us – not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.” (Elisabeth Elliot)

Prayer Requests and needs:

  • The village of Ayaa is in dire need of a well-functioning borehole (water well). RAU’s first borehole was the Ayaa Baptist Church borehole back in 2014. It had been serving a population of 3000 community members or so. This year, the borehole collapsed. Community members have had to go back to trekking for a mile or two to streams to collect water. As Dry Season approaches, many of the streams will dry up, making the trek for water even longer. During the writing of this newsletter, Jacob had made a post on Face Book with an appeal for donations. As of now, the request is an already answered prayer, for the money HAS been raised through several families and individuals!!!! The cost is $8,000 and we have a very reputable driller right here in our Moyo community who has drilled 9 of the 10 boreholes which RAU has been able to put in place in the very remote villages in the Metu Mountains–thanks to many wonderful donors.
  • Moyo is reporting 10 COVID-19 cases in the hospital (on latest report). Support for severe cases is limited if not non-existent. Pray for those suffering and pray that the numbers will not increase, for it would surely be a heavy hit here. Pray that conditions will improve so that ministry can happen more fully than it is. Pastor Tobious, especially, has been pleading for times of discipleship teaching.
  • Continue to pray for and consider giving towards the goal of another container with Bibles! Tax deductible checks may be written out to Reaching Africa’s Unreached (RAU) and sent to our home church: Lifegate/RAU Missions; 395 Lifegate Lane; Seguin, TX; 78155. OR tax deductible donations may be made on our web page through PayPal with a notation of “For Bibles”. This is the link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=WAR99DL4JFWXQ
  • Pray for Jacob and me! We desperately need grace in this season of our lives to see with “2020 Vision” what the Lord is doing and to have his mind and heart in ministry.

With love and godly affection,

Jacob & Carol Lee, RAU

Website: http://www.ReachingAfricasUnreached.org  

Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal or check.  PayPal also has a way to make recurring monthly gifts. Recurring monthly gifts are very helpful to the ministry. To do so, please click on the PayPal link below. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal and by check are tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate/RAU Bibles, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155.    

PayPal Link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=WAR99DL4JFWXQ    

Go to RAU’s Facebook page for up to date reports, pictures, musings, and exhortations: www.facebook.com/ReachingAfricasUnreached  

For YouTube Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRmHafoBSemE7jS8kEHCG6Q/videos  

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!
 —————-
 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!

Genuine Faith And Joy From The Mines Of Suffering And Trials

Genuine Faith And Joy From the Mines of Suffering and Trials

By Carol Lee

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Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

1 Peter 4:12

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-9

In our hiatus from the “norm” of ministry because of in-country COVID-19 restrictions, Jacob and I have been doing a lot of reading these last months.  It helps even more that rainy season has impeded our internet signal and outside work, so there is less scrolling and more page turning!  In this particular season of life, the topic of suffering has captured our attention for obvious reasons related to the pandemic, our particular Sub-Saharan challenges, and for less obvious ones that are part of our sinful humanity.  We both are grateful that God has given teachers and writers to the Body of Christ who have not only experienced suffering and the testing of their faith, but have discovered their faith to be genuine in the mines of their suffering. We are blessed to receive their wisdom through the gift of books.

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Below is a list of the most helpful ones on suffering that we have read followed by three quotes from our favorite and most encouraging books.  The quotes highlight several aspects of suffering—the inevitability of it (physical & emotional) and our understanding of and response to it—and the suffering we experience in putting to death our sinful nature so that the resurrection and triumph of Christ may be revealed in our thoughts, attitudes and actions.

  1. From Weakness To Strength, by Scott Sauls
  2. Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering, by Timothy Keller
  3. Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, John Piper & Justin Taylor, General Editors
  4. Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense, by Paul David Tripp

  5. J-Curve, by Paul E. Miller
  6. Suffering is Never For Nothing, by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Suffering doesn’t so much change your heart as expose what has been in your heart all along. Difficulty has an amazing ability to reveal what’s inside us. Trials reveal your true thoughts and desires, where you have been looking for life, where you have sought meaning, and where you have looked to give you hope. Suffering will always expose the true nature of your relationship to and communion with God.” Paul David Tripp, Suffering is Never For Nothing
  • “Paul sees his suffering as sharing in Christ’s sufferings. Dying is followed by rising, suffering by comfort. The work of love repeats both the dying and the rising of Jesus. Like Jesus, Paul suffers so that others can be comforted…Paul sees his suffering as sharing in Christ’s sufferings. Dying is followed by rising, suffering by comfort. The work of love repeats both the dying and the rising of Jesus. Like Jesus, Paul suffers so that others can be comforted.”  Paul E. Miller, J-Curve

 

  • “Job’s friends gave true statements but applied these truths inappropriately. Biblical scholar Don Carson writes about Job’s friends, ‘There is a way of using theology and theological arguments that wounds rather than heals. This is not the fault of the theology and our theological arguments; it is the fault of the “miserable comforter” (Job 16:2) who fastens on an inappropriate fragment of truth, or whose timing is off, or whose attitude is condescending, or whose application is insensitive, or whose true theology is couched in such cultural-laden cliches that  grate rather than comfort’” Tim Keller , Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering

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    Jacob and I celebrated our 39th wedding Anniversary  on July 10th.

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Both Jacob and I are gleaning so much:  seeing the Gospel hammered down deeper into our understanding and practice, being taught to love and trust the goodness of God in all that He permits, allowing “light and momentary” trials do their work in exposing misplaced hope and learning to love, more earnestly, God, one another and our community through the death of self and our resurrection in Christ. These days and months are testing the genuineness of our faith in Christ and stirring in us a joy in the power of the Gospel to change us when circumstances are trying to the core.  Out of the mines of suffering and trials we are finding the gold of faith and joy  And we are grateful!

While the “pause” button is still on larger gatherings (which means no current trainings at R.A.U. Hall of Tyrannus ), we are pushing full steam ahead on the Ag Demo Plot (and ministries of mercy which present themselves) where we have “the go ahead”.

The unutilized, for now, Hall of Tyrannus

 Fully utilized 20 acre Ag Demo Plot

 

This year, RAU offered improved seeds to the community  [groundnuts (Serenut 14R) and rice (Namche 5)] at subsidized rates. These seeds are resistant to the more common pests and diseases which attack the plants.

 

The 640 grafted mangoes produced the best ever since their planting and many were sold to vendors for sale in the markets. In addition, farmers came to get seedlings of tomatoes, carrot, cabbage, eggplant, onion, sweet potato vines, banana suckers and green peppers.

 

Our biggest push at the moment is to increase the number of box gardens in which are planted vegetables and herbs in very visible places so that they will create inspiration and instruction, especially once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and trainings can be resumed for Pastors/Leaders/Community members.  The box gardens will, hopefully, show that anyone can produce much on a small, manageable scale. A key point which RAU wants to demonstrate is planting vegetables in various stages (box gardens/kitchen gardens) so that there is a constant flow of produce for sale or consumption. In our box gardens we have carrots,green peppers, egg plant,okra,green beans,sweet corn,cabbage,tomatoes,onions,coriander, dohdoh, sukumawiki, zucchini squash, and cucumber.  The hope is that, one day, increased production in the Moyo area (or wherever the pastors/leaders live) will mitigate the need for importing produce from outside and provide household income. Just recently, 5 more box gardens were built, bringing the total to 18.

Five new box gardens

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Box gardens

RAU will add 300 more grafted mangoes to the acreage using our own stock and local materials.  This will be one of the skills taught to the pastoral training attendees. Initially, we had bought special tools for grafting, but because we want skills to be reproducible locally,  we are going back to the more simple, less mechanized method of grafting.  Recently, a gentleman from the community who is well-versed in this method came to RAU to refresh our co-workers in that skill. The grafted seedlings will be planted across the road in the 3-acre section of land. Now that the mango trees have grown large, there is no longer space for two banana trees in between each mango tree, so the number is being reduced to one.  Eventually, there will only be room for mango trees.

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Grafting has begun

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This year in our first season (we have two growing seasons here) we planted some maize which has now been harvested.  We are trying to dry it for proper storage; however, this is proving difficult with the recent, persistent heavy rains.  Shelling will be done by beating the cobs with sticks and then it will be either sold or taken to a local mill to be made into the staple food of our area…posho, a food workers love to eat during the week days.

We had a good first season onion harvest. We have kept most of them for the dry season when onions are few.

Especially noticeable in the rainy season is the problem of erosion as parts of RAU land slope in two different directions.  This year, we placed yams and sweet potatoes in between the mango and banana rows in the most affected areas. Yam and sweet potato vines require mounds for planting, so they have been strategically placed to prevent the damaging run-off. This also provides an opportunity for learning how to control erosion.

Yams and Sweet potatoes

 Our second season field crops are: beans, g-nuts (groundnuts/peanuts), onions, rice, and sugarcane.  We will continue to plant crops between the mango/banana trees until the mangoes form a canopy.  After that, we will look at only planting crops which can do well in shaded areas.  As always, we incorporate crop rotation so as not to deplete the soil.

Previously planted beans, g-nuts (groundnuts/peanuts), onions, and rice

COVID-19 has caused a shift in activities and it has also opened up new opportunities to serve our brothers and sisters in various parts of the West Nile.  In the last newsletter, we shared about the  purchase 5,600 KG’s/12,345 pounds of “First Class” maize flour  which came from Kampala packed in 5 KG bags  and which was distributed in the Metu Mountains, Obongi and Yumbe. The reports we received from co-workers Tobious (Metu Mountains), Godfrey (Obongi) and Charles (Yumbe) are that the supply came at the right time and was a blessing to Church members as well as other community members.  We want to extend their thanks to all who graciously provided funding for that gift.

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Added to the disruption of pandemic restrictions has been the cascading effect of severe rains in southern Uganda around Lake Victoria (or “Lake Nnalubaale,” as it is known in Lugandan, given the fact that the lake was known to the nationals before the British “discovered” it!).  Due to excessive rain and flooding in areas close to the source of the Nile near Kampala, dams were at risk for breaking, so water was released. This put communities in grave danger further down the Nile.  Recently, we heard from Pastor Godfrey about severe flooding which encroached on and destroyed many homes along the Nile River in Obongi, including the tukalu which he and his wife, Lily, were renting.  They and many others lost almost everything in the flood.  Thanks, once again, to the generosity of many, we were able to deliver funds to Pastor Godfrey who distributed them to various families in need (in the church and the community which is primarily Muslim) and helped him to get reestablished.

In the picture above are some of the members of Obongi Town Church and some flooded tukulu’s. Pastor Godfrey is seated with some of our Obongi Muslim friends/leaders. They were appreciative to R.A.U.  for the help given to their community.

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We wrote about the small construction projects of expanding two guesthouse rooms.  They are coming along nicely, though efforts were temporarily diverted to the 5 new box gardens so they could be prepared for planting.  We are looking forward to the day when, once again, the rooms can be filled with visiting teams.

Speaking of construction, August marks the 9-year anniversary of breaking ground for “Big House” or Guesthouse.  We have come a long way since then and every building and project is a testament to the visionary and administrative giftedness of Jacob.

A picture history from Jan.2011-Present may be found here: https://reachingafricasunreached.org/r-a-u-guesthouse-building-pictures-2/

August 2011 and Present Day

December 2019 flyover in a MAF plane  of RAU’s 20 below:

COVID-19 scrambled so many plans, including the delivery of Bibles and other books to RAU.  Though delayed, the plan remains to raise money for 20,000 Tru-Tone ESV Global Study Bibles. We want to raise  bit more than our original planned shipment to make sure we cover all costs. Back in February we wrote about it in the post 20,000 ESV Global Study Bibles to RAU.  So far, we have raised $66,645 towards the $200,000 we are anticipating in order to have a special printing and shipping of them from the USA to RAU.  Please consider giving specifically towards this project.  It is the single most important resource we could place into the hands of Pastors and leaders in the Church in places where there is a famine of resources.

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As restrictions continue to ease (as they have been–very slowly), Jacob hopes/plans to join forces with Pastor Tobious and other leaders in the Metu Mountains for outreaches in the many villages hidden in the mountains for preaching and church planting. Pastor Tobious informs us there are many villages with not ONE SINGLE church in their midst. By God’s grace churches have been planted in Cinyi, Lea, Oku, Alugudu, Arapi/Gbari, Duku and Oyo. Leaders for these new churches are still in ongoing training.  Please pray for this endeavor and for leaders who can rise to the challenge of shepherding new churches which are birthed in preaching of the Gospel. We also look forward to further gospel outreaches and discipleship in Obongi and Yumbe District.

Metu Mountains

Metu churches

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Though it has been frustrating for trainings (RAU’s highest priority) to be restricted, it is equally comforting that God is sovereign in all human affairs.

“When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head.” (Charles Spurgeon)

We know that seeds already planted and watered are growing and bearing fruit among the leaders who have received training, and we trust that, very soon, the door for such trainings will open again.

As Jacob says, “We must learn to adapt our plans to God’s plans and not the other way around.” (see Isaiah 55:8-9). Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.” 

Being sure of this, we continue the work at hand and we will be ready for every good work which the Lord has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). The good which God intends from the mines of our various trials will result in genuine faith, inexpressible joy, the salvation of souls and, most importantly, glory and honor to Christ when He returns and makes His plans crystal clear.  How good it will be if we can maintain the perspective that not every bit of good is visible from earth nor is all of it meant for this earth.  Our faith and joy are tethered in heaven.

Our prayer and hope is that the Church of the living God will have her sights set on things above where Christ is seated.  We pray that every trial will be a megaphone with which God communicates to His people HIS priorities.  We pray for the deep conviction that “...our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Thank you for your interest and partnership in the ministry of RAU.  Thank you for your prayers and personal concern.  We are blessed to be co-workers with you in God’s fields.

With Gratefulness,

Carol and Jacob Lee

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Tax deductible  charitable donations may  be made via PayPal or check.  PayPal also has a way to make recurring monthly gifts. Recurring monthly gifts are very helpful to the ministry. To do so, please click on the PayPal link below. PayPal deducts  a small amount from each gift as a processing fee. All gifts given through PayPal and by check are tax deductible as Reaching Africa’s Unreached has 501c3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization.  If you wish to write a check you may write it out to R.A.U. and mail it to Lifegate/RAU Bibles, 395 Lifegate Ln., Seguin Texas 78155.
Go to RAU’s Facebook page for up to date reports, pictures, musings, and exhortations:

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!
 —————-
 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

Contentment Without Indifference

 Contentment Without Indifference

By Carol Lee

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“I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I know both how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me. Still, you did well by partnering with me in my hardship.”

Philippians 4:11-13

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. (Psalm 37:3)

“Trusting the Lord — casting, not carrying, our anxieties — frees us to dwell contentedly, whatever our situation (Philippians 4:11–13), and faithfully “do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). When we take our eyes off what we’re waiting for and look around, we’ll discover more opportunities to do good — right now, where we are — than we could possibly do!”

Jon Bloom

From: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-are-you-waiting-for

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It has now been 110 days of quarantine and lockdown for us since arriving in Moyo on March 9, 2020.  Initially, it was a matter of a self-imposed, 14-day quarantine to ensure we were not endangering our community (14 days became 28 just to quell the rumors and suspicions within the community which was rightfully protective of its safety). Then, government mandated restrictions began and have continued up to now with little hope that the restrictions will be lifted any time soon. Moyo (our district) and several other border districts are enduring stricter lockdown measures in an attempt to prevent COVID-19 infected people from coming across the borders into Uganda.  This means that vehicles (both private and public) are not allowed to move on the roads yet in Moyo District as well as several other border districts. Only with special permission  from the President’s representative (the RDC) can a person use his private vehicle.  A nightly curfew of 7 PM remains nation wide in addition to other restrictions. Cargo vehicles are, thankfully, allowed or otherwise food and other items would be scarce.

What to do?  We are compelled by a scripturally informed conscience to live in a law-abiding way in our host country, Uganda.  In addition, we want to convey care to the surrounding community who might yet perceive outsiders as threats. So, while using this time of seclusion for reflection, prayer, study, marriage-building, corresponding and planning, we are trying not only to be content in the circumstances in which we find ourselves, but also NOT to be indifferent to the needs around us or to the plans ahead.

Since our return to RAU, we and our crew of co-workers have been busy planting, weeding, watering and harvesting and many other activities. We are blessed to have a quality group of men and women working with us whom we are proud to also call friends.

Some of our RAU Co-Workers

The mangoes from our 640 grafted mango trees produced the best they have ever done this year.  In spite of lockdown measures we were able to sell many (sadly not all) of them at a greatly discounted price to a customers who would come and get truck loads of them to take to other towns. Local vendors and neighbors also participated. The short video below the pictures helps explain some of the “why’s” of growing mangoes here at RAU.

At RAU’s Front Gate

In addition, there have been smaller vendors who have come for bananas and banana suckers, tomatoes, green peppers, rice and groundnuts (peanuts).  Though rainy season has not produced as much rain as anticipated, we received enough to do some real good in Moyo district. However, other West Nile districts have not been as blessed and subsequently have suffered in producing food crops.  This has made many vulnerable to hunger.

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Various short videos on agricultural work (as well as others) may be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRmHafoBSemE7jS8kEHCG6Q/videos

Recently, we had a providential opportunity to buy, from Emma’s Apiviva Agrotechno Consult and Supplies Limited Store 5,600 KG’s/12,345 pounds of “First Class” maize flour (a staple food item in our area) which came from Kampala packed in 5 KG bags.  Our goal was to help our host tribal communities of Ma’di and Aringa who either live in remote areas or are challenged in their ability to access food. This meant an additional cost of transporting the maize flour to remote village churches as well as to Obongi and Yumbe. Emma did an excellent job organizing transport vehicles to move the maize flour to the various locations; 70% went into the Metu Mountains, 15% to Obongi and 15% to Yumbe.

Trusted pastors in the Metu Mountains, Obongi and Yumbe with whom RAU has worked for years took on the responsibility of distributing the flour to the more remote Metu Mountain churches (Aya, Alugodu, Ijujo, Cinyi, Lea, Oku, Arapi, Gbari, Oku, Duku and Oyo) as well as in Obongi and Yumbe District.

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As you can imagine, the distribution of the 5,600 KG’s/12,345 pounds of “First Class” maize flour  has communicated love to the people in these areas and they are praising God.

 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16

Our main focus was vulnerable church members/families in the remote areas of Metu Mountains who have little access to purchase staple food items. There are no means of travel except walking and these villages are in difficult terrain and far from markets.  Our hearts are also with Pastor Godfrey of Obongi Town Church and  with Charles of Pilgrim Church Yumbe.  Charles has close contacts with other churches in Yumbe District as well as  Sheikhs and Imams who have become friends.  We are so grateful to the Lord for His gracious provision through the people to whom He gave a burden of love to provide this necessity.

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.”

Galatians 6:10

Since the last newsletter there have been some changes: Emma, who had been employed at RAU for these last 5 years, decided to open a second Agro input/consulting store in Adjumani along with  his Moyo store.  This was going to involve a lot of time and travel on his part and he chose to pursue being a businessman full-time.  He will continue to consult RAU in our Agricultural endeavors.  Thankfully, he has done 2 Timothy 2:2 very well and has trained our RAU men to continue the agricultural activities including box gardens, crops and fruit trees for future retreat members and other visitors from surrounding communities.  We thank Emma for the service he rendered to RAU and to the community and we pray for his continued success in inspiring the Ma’di people (and others) to take up farming as a business.

 Emma’s Apiviva Agrotechno Consult and Supplies Limited Stores: Moyo and Adjumani

Another change has been our bringing onto the RAU team, Onette Zorah, who now has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Children’s Ministry. Our plan is for him to assist/train pastors who come for retreats in establishing a Sunday school program in their churches.  Zorah had worked with us previously but was able to further his education and will use his training to build up local churches/church plants with which we have connections.

Zorah

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If COVID-19 conditions are favorable and restrictions within the country and especially here in Moyo are lifted, we hope to have a large medical team from Mbale with Pearl Haven/E-5 Ministries here in September to do a Medical/evangelism outreach in the Metu Mountains as they did last year.  It was a huge success with 700+ people from the remote areas of the Metu Mountains being served and blessed by the medical team. Many of the clients that the medical team saw trusted in Christ for salvation during the outreach as well.  Please pray that circumstances will permit this ministry event to happen.  The folks in those remote villages are in dire need and the group which came was a great encouragement to them. May it be so, Lord willing, again this coming September.

Some pictures from Metu Mountain Medical Outreach September 2019

This video was done during the Medical Outreach.

 The good news is that since the video above was made, because of generous donations of God’s people, the roof is now on and windows/doors are in place at the Aya Baptist Church and the borehole has been done in Fodia, the village RAU is located in. It is producing much needed clean water for our Fodia neighbors. Also, the permanent church structure at  Arapi/Gbari Community Church is at beam level. With $12,000 (+/-) the roof  could be put on and doors and windows could be set in. (Remote area construction costs are bit higher than normal.) The goal is the same for the Arapi/Gbari Community Church as Aya: in addition to being a center for the church to gather, it will be a training center for that geographical section of the Metu Mountains. The Aya bore hole which was in the video was repaired with additional funds from RAU but, sadly,  the spot where the pipes were caved in and another separate bore is needed  close to the old one. It was the only source of clean and convenient water for Aya.

Below: Arapi/Gbari Community Church, Aya Baptist Church, and broken down borehole (well)  in Aya.

While RAU’s 2 Timothy 2:2 & open air market evangelism ministry activities have come to a halt for now and visiting teams have had to cancel for 2020, Jacob is using this “down time” to do a few renovation projects which will make the guest rooms in the big house a little larger (for more beds) and more comfortable for when teams are, once again, able to come.  These projects are also valuable in that they provide income opportunities for our workers during an economically difficult time.

Jacob and I are enjoying being in our new home–having a space which is uniquely ours to enjoy and invite others into.  It helps us to be “at home” here. As you can see in the photos, we were able to put up as a display some of the Ma’di handcrafted and culturally significant tools. Some items wee given to us and then John, our day watchman, made the others.  Obviously, they are not all to scale or they would be much bigger, but they are precious reminders of the Ma’di people we love and are called to serve. (Just to clarify, the person in the painting is not Ma’di but Masai, but we loved the painting so much!)

Our living room wall

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One of Jacob’s brilliant ideas was to move the library into our home.  The carpenters who have done a wonderful job for us in the past, came from Kampala and moved the shelves to various places in our home. With Zorah’s great help in packing and then helping (along with some of our strongest young men) to carry them, the large volume of books were stacked in our home.  Over the next 4 days, Jacob and I unpacked and shelved the books–an endeavor which left both of us hurting–just a little!!  Having them close at hand will be a help to Jacob as he continues to study and grow and prepare. It also frees up the old library to be a large dining and living area for visiting teams.

Jacob and I have attempted to make the most of these unusual circumstances–to be content but not indifferent— and are so blessed to have been strengthened in our marriage and personally.  Though we have been enriched in many ways, we hope it is not complaining to say that we are dearly missing all those we would have had the joy of being in ministry with and, of course, our family and friends back home.  We give thanks to the Lord in prayer for you all and we are praying for the many needs that are around us here:

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  • Many Ugandans are feeling the economic crunch and experiencing hunger and need.  Day laborers are forced into desperate measures in order to find food to feed their families.
  • Reports are that South Sudan’s COVID-19 infection rates are rising rapidly.  This, of course, is bad news for a country ravaged by war and desperate need.  South Sudanese within their country and within the refugee camps are suffering from sickness and scarce provisions. We are just a mile off the South Sudan border. The Ugandan police/army have  increased security along the Ugandan/South Sudan  border as it is very porous.  This also means that the virus has a greater chance of spreading in our area. This is one of latest reports from South Sudan: “Virus outbreak could spin ‘out of control’ in South Sudan”
  • We have been hearing reports from our co-workers that community members in our area are beginning to worry about their supply of food.  So many have depended on daily labor to provide for their families.
  • Pray that restrictions would be lifted enough for Jacob to travel to remote villages to resume small group discipleship/evangelism and for RAU to open its gates to farmers and visitors who could be inspired by the demo farm.  If restrictions can be loosened enough to allow for retreats here at RAU, though we may not be able to receive teams from the USA in the foreseeable future, Jacob and other Ugandans/Sudanese brothers could resume leadership trainings on campus.

Pray for training to resume in the Hall of Tyrannus

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  • Pray that the circumstances of COVID-19 would not be an opportunity for apathy to grow, but for preparations for future ventures to be made.  The Apostle Peter exhorts us to “always be prepared” which means we must always be preparing.  God has not quit working and His plans are not derailed. We must only open our eyes to see what He is doing and then jump on board!

“Waiting forces us to answer the question, “Where is your chief delight?” If our chief delight is in whatever we see at the end of our wait, then this wilderness will begin to feel like a death trap. But if our chief delight is in God himself, then we will find that he knows how to make rivers flow in the desert. And we will learn how to wait well.”

Scott Hubbard

From:  https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-to-do-while-you-wait

With Gratefulness,

 Carol (Jacob) Lee

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

The greatest evil is having the gospel and not doing everything within our power to get it to those who do not have it!
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 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!
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 Sowing seeds of love and kindness should not be separated from preaching the gospel of sovereign grace but completely intertwined with it!
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 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!
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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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