By Mommy Emily
We arrive in the evening, after 24 hours of flight. We arrive to the roar of a motorboat taking us across the waters to the mainland of this west African country founded by former slaves.
We’re ushered into the country by boys who scramble to assist with our bags for a few “Leones”, then met and driven by Pastor Sonnel and Mommy Christiana, the hour-long journey to Bethel Home.
Sonnel’s Jeep weaves along winding roads built by the Chinese, past moonlit mountains, soft shores of beach, along a bumpy red path in the hills to the family home this barren pastor has built for the children of his nation.
We climb its stairs, weary from flight, open the door, and are greeted by children lining the walls, holding candles, singing in quiet English a song they’ve practiced many times with Mommy. They’re welcoming us home to Bethel.
My eyes are wet as I kiss each braided and short-shorn head. Just one year ago I took my first flight, alone, to Sierra Leone. The house unfinished then, just an empty structure supported by the prayers of a poor pastor with a call from God to care for his country’s orphans.
Now, one year later, the house is finished and filled with the sweet voices of children who finally have a family.
In the coming days, we will drive many hours across this country of 7 million. We will visit some of the 12 villages Pastor Sonnel is equipping through the Lord’s grace and The Lulu Tree model.
We will hug 30 women garbed in color, their eyes haunted by a thousand flights of sorrow. Women now enrolled in Lulu’s microloan program.
We will shake the hands of their pastors who are heading up the microloan program, as well as the hands of 77 men who show up to help with the cassava harvest on The Lulu Tree farm.
We will dance to the pulsing sound of drums, holding the hands of many giggling village children. We’ll receive gifts of live goats and chickens, African cloth, pumpkins, eggs, fish, and palm kernel.
And we will pray over 100 sick villagers to receive healing and hope in Jesus’s name, witnessing the miraculous conversion of many Muslims, including the two wives of the local sorcerer.
And through it all, we see the candle flicker and hear the song of once-orphans, now sons and daughters. For it’s a song we at Lulu long to hear everyone sing–mothers, pastors, and grannies alike. An anthem of children of all ages, once lost, now found, in the loving embrace of a heavenly father.
Dear Partners in Christ…Jeanne (board member and photographer) and I are home now, while Raine, a maternity nurse and farmer, remains in Sierra Leone until December 7th to usher in the tractor and to train up the local midwives and nurses. We hope to continue to share stories of our travels in the weeks to come, and are so grateful for your love which carried us through. Bless you.
Prayer and Praise
- Please pray for Pastor Soka, who is ill, and for his wife who is recovering from an accident.
- This month, there will be a Mama Kit outreach…please join us in prayer that many kits will be handed out, that all the mamas who attend will have safe births and healthy babies, and that many will come to know the Lord.
- Pray with us for the upcoming peer-to-peer training for the teen mamas.
- Praise God that Pastor Richard and Esther will be leading small business training for those receiving microloans starting next month! Please pray that these loans will help launch small businesses that keep families together, healthy, and firmly rooted in their Christian community.
- Please pray for Mummy Esther as she finds women in the village who can train the mamas in natural medicine.
- Praise God that there will be a Christmas dinner shared with the villages this month! Please pray for many to be blessed and for the true meaning of Christmas to bloom in the hearts of everyone who attends.
- Please pray for our teen mamas as they go into the holiday season. They will be staying in the dorms this year, and all but five will be able to go home for the holidays! Pray with us that the five who cannot return home will have a wonderful holiday with their fellow mamas and their babies, and will be bathed in the love of their new family in Christ.
- The tractor has arrived in Sierra Leone! The villagers are rejoicing over this blessing…they know that it means a new beginning and a future that will not be marred by “hunger times”. This opens a new chapter for Masaralie and the surrounding villages, and we are in awe of how God has orchestrated this blessing. Praise Him for His gracious provision!
- Please pray with us that the seeds planted during Emily, Jeanne, and Raine’s trip will continue to grow, putting down deep roots and spreading the hope and love of Christ throughout Sierra Leone.
- Pray for Raine, as she stays in Sierra Leone to train nurses and midwives.
- Please pray with us that these nurses and midwives will be blessed with the healing touch of the Lord, able to keep the women in the villages safe and healthy as they carry and deliver their babies, and that the children will be healthy and thrive.
- Pray for the Bethel Home and for Pastor Sonnel and Mommy Christiana as they parent the orphans (many of whom are recovering from the trauma of losing their parents and homes in the recent floods). Pray that God wraps His strong arms around this new family and brings them joy, love, and deep peace as they form lasting, strong bonds of love.
Friends, the 2017/2018 Gift Catalog is ready for download! Please click HERE to view and print, and prayerfully consider gifting our Lulu family with one of the needed items in the catalog. Thank you!