By Mommy Emily
The Lulu Tree was born four years ago in Uganda, in the midst of one of the hardest years of my life. A year in which I had every reason to stop believing. But I clung. My husband and I clung.
The Buddhists say to cling is to suffer. Christians, however, know we must cling when we suffer – to the risen body of Jesus Christ.
Earlier that year, while fostering two little boys in addition to our own two, we’d both had a vision of a little girl. A girl who loved to sing.
A few months after our foster boys returned to their mother (with us continuing to do respite), the Lord told me I was pregnant and that I would have a little girl.
I took a pregnancy test the next day and sure enough, it was positive.
I glowed and I shared with the world that we would be having a little girl in nine months.
We miscarried when I was only 9 weeks.
I wasn’t sure what to do with miscarried faith.
You see, I didn’t know that when God speaks, it sometimes takes months or even years to come to pass. His Word will never fail. But our understanding of it sometimes will. And so, we cling.
It was a tenuous year. We battled our doubts and then, nine months later, I was invited to go on a blogger’s trip to Uganda and Rwanda – a trip I wouldn’t have been able to go on if I hadn’t miscarried.
It was there, in Africa, that my eyes were opened and I realized God’s ways are bigger than ours and His purposes larger than mine. In giving me a heart for a little girl, He had given me a heart for all HIS little girls in Africa – the ones carrying daughters and sons themselves, in their wombs, the ones struggling to make ends meet because their husbands had left them or died.
So often when He tells us one thing, it is “exceedingly abundantly more than we could ask or imagine.” (Eph. 3:20-21)
Yet His Word never fails. And it always comes to pass in the fullness of His time.
I returned from Africa and four months later, I founded The Lulu Tree. Immediately afterwards, we discovered we were pregnant again – and, with a girl. A strong, beautiful, brown-eyed girl who loves to sing.
Today 2.5 year old Aria and I have the privilege of witnessing all the Lord is doing in the fullness of His time and ways – giving life, over and over again, to 22 teen mothers in Uganda who THIS very month are being reintegrated into the Uganda school system (it’s the first time in the history of the country this has happened). God has provided a partner school just down the road from our dorm. They are more than happy to partner with us in welcoming these girls back into the system to learn alongside their peers and fight the shame and the stigma associated with teen pregnancy.
These teen mamas are allowed to take nursing breaks every school day to walk five minutes to the School of Hope dorm and nurse their babies (being cared for by mothers from the slums whom we’ve been partnering with for the past three years). These girls each have their own School of Hope uniform, each with the Bible verse of Job 14:7, stating, “At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail,” and each representing a different tree from the Bible—some almond, others olive, still others, palm.
Even if it IS cut down, it WILL sprout again, and its new shoots will NOT fail.
This is what I’ve witnessed in my OWN life through the birth of our daughter. And this is what I’m believing in for all of you, dear friends.
May this New Year be one filled with hope in a God who DOES not fail His children.
Prayer and Praise:
We have brought our needs before the LORD with thanksgiving and He has generously provided for us! We have much to be thankful for!
Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Acts 3:19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
PRAISE AND ANSWER TO PRAYER FOR LULU SIERRA LEONE:
⦁ All the funds have also been provided for the seeder
⦁ Bibles were distributed in 5 churches in Kamasaralie, Kafotorie, Kathantineh, Kakola, and Kayebaya
⦁ The churches are being equipped
⦁ God has provided the rest of the money for the fence for Bethel Home
PRAYER REQUESTS FOR LULU SIERRA LEONE:
⦁ Please pray for Mommy Christiana as she is sick
⦁ $2000 is needed for a welding machine for Sonnel to help him develop a welding business to care for the expenses of his Bethel family
⦁ 2 bags of cement for fixing up the school floor($20) and 200 bags of cement to fix up a local church
⦁ Pray for provision of a 3 bedroom house for pastor Ezekiel ($3000)
⦁ Fertilizer is needed for the crops ($30)
⦁ Gas for Bethel Home generator for 20 days (every month starting in December)
PRAISE AND ANSWER TO PRAYER FOR LULU UGANDA:
⦁ The teen mamas and some community people encountered the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues at a Lulu prayer clinic!
⦁ Funding has been provided for all the school fees for the next term for the Lulu kids from the slums
⦁ The mama kit outreach was successful
PRAYER REQUESTS FOR LULU UGANDA:
⦁ $1,500 for beds, mattresses and mosquito nets for the teen mamas.
⦁ Pray for provision of a Water Harvester (440 liters)
⦁ Teen mom Mariam has been battling with typhoid
⦁ Pray for healing for pastor Steven Malinzi as he is suffering from a terrible skin disease
⦁ Joy and her daughter, Angel, have sight problems and need transportation to visit the eye specialists in Jinja government hospital or the eye care centre in Kampala
Another praise item is that God has provided a treasurer for The Lulu Tree!
Abba Father, we praise your holy name! You are the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the Creator of all things! You are our Savior and our Friend and we lift up your name and worship you this morning in awe and adoration! Father, we humble ourselves before you and repent of our sins past and present. Forgive us, Lord, and purify our hearts. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” May we search our hearts and turn from our wicked ways. We ask you for forgiveness and to fill us daily with your Holy Spirit. Heal our hearts and heal our land, Father. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen