Post by the The Lulu Tree founder after her recent trip to Uganda.
God rained down the day we dedicated the well in Namagera village. Sheets of water from heaven — “It’s good for the maize,” Esther told me, the village fields covered in tousled heads of green; corn to fill bellies and to sell for school fees.
We hovered under the shelter of The Lulu Tree School of Hope, listening to teen mamas and teachers testify, observing their classes in action, holding brown skinned babies who smelled of milk, and eating heaping plates of beans, cassava and posho.
Then as the skies let up we set out in slippery red mud, our Lulu family and surrounding community, an elderly Jjaja gripping my hand to make sure I didn’t fall, her bare feet firm next to my wobbly boots.
They’d raised an offering two months before, a thanksgiving offering of chickens, millet flour and garden produce, every village family trying to give something toward the funding of the well. Our western Lulu family provided the rest and together we held hands and topped the hill to gaze upon a tap gushing clean water.We formed a circle.
“It was filled with frogs and snakes,” a community man told me. “Cows would drink from it and we were scared for our children. Now we are not.”The sun broke through as voices rose in Luganda, songs of praise to rhythmic clapping and as I looked around, I saw the faces of the Samaritan woman. Faces of widowed grandmothers abandoned by their children, of bruised wives fleeing abusive husbands, of teen mothers fleeing the condemnation of their culture. Faces of women meeting Jesus at the well.They asked me to bless it, so I raised pale arms in praise and silently begged God for words. This moment was too holy.
“God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” I began, my voice trembling. “You are the God of the wells…”
We reached the Lulu van, and Jjaja bent low, the hem of her African dress in the mud, and proceeded to clean the bottoms of my boots with a stick, one boot at a time. My hands resting on her back.The community followed, and others too began to clean one another’s feet, that day in Namagera.
Because we’d met Jesus at the well.
In Sierra Leone, we’re also drilling a well in the village of Kamasarralie, in addition to providing a water tower for Bethel Home which is nearing completion! By the end of this month, it will be ready to open its doors to orphans and widows from the nearby slums. Pastor Sonnel’s brother, Daniel, will be the hands and feet of Jesus to these children and grannies, seeking those in the most need and working to bring them home and knit them together as family. Praise God for the amazing work He is doing, and for all the miracles yet to come!
As the house becomes a home, more exciting developments are happening in Sierra Leone. Nearby, a drying floor and storage structure are being built! These building projects are a testament to the hope that is growing, even as the walls grow taller. Having a surplus to store is a life-changing development for the villagers…now, they will not be subject to the yearly hunger of famine. The harvest will be available during hungry times, and the surplus will one day provide enough for needs like school fees and medical supplies. The new storage building is a visual reminder of the changes God is bringing about and the hope He’s providing for those who have never dreamed of such abundance.
More good news from Sierra Leone comes in the form of machinery. A soap machine has been purchased for the women of the village, allowing them to have a supplementary form of income during the upcoming famine months. Soap is an important item in the villages, as having access to it dramatically reduces illness and death due to disease. In addition, extra soap can be sold in nearby villages and cities. This brings in money for school fees and other daily needs!
God has also provided the village with some medical supplies, which are a blessing. In an area where medical supplies, doctors, and clinics are very hard to find, these supplies are a commodity that few people have access to. Pastor Sonnel sums up what the supplies mean to the village, as well as to surrounding villages:
“They ask me to thank you so much for this wonderful gesture and they said a lot of prayers for you and the organization. People from other villages are coming to seek help also, they used to have a clinic long years back in my village where fifteen villages come for medical treatment.”
Pray with us that more supplies will be made available, and clinics established to provide for the medical needs of the villages. Access to health care is vital to the quality of life of our Lulu family!
Mother’s Day is coming up, and what could be a sweeter gift than donating a monthly partnership in your mother’s honor? We are excited to announce that now through 5/31/2017 new partners will get a very special gift box! When you partner with a monthly contribution in any amount, you’ll receive a thank-you gift with items hand-crafted by our Lulu mamas in Uganda. Each gift is different, unique, and beautiful! The gift box makes a wonderful Mother’s Day gift, made even more lovely because it represents support given to Lulu’s programs. Your partnership is a way to tell the men and women of Uganda and Sierra Leone that you believe in them, and your support equips them with the tools they need to grow in the Lord, further their education, and build strong communities. Please take a moment to visit our Partnership Page and pray about what you can do to help! The offer is good while supplies last, or until May 31st.
- Pray with us as the Lulu Tree School of Hope in Uganda grows
- Pray for our teen mamas as they re-enter school, for the volunteer teachers and those watching the babies.
- Pray for Daniel, as he begins his work with the orphans and widows in the slums of Sierra Leone
- Join us in giving thanks for the new well in Uganda, as well as the one which will be dug in Sierra Leone later this month, that they will provide clean water for generations to come.
- Pray for the finishing of the Bethel Home, and for those who will live there.