January was a busy month in Uganda! We are so excited to share about the Thanksgiving Outreach, which happened Monday and Tuesday of this week. Our Lulu team in Uganda organized the event, and people brought items from their gardens to donate as thanksgiving offerings to the Lord. They praised him for His provision and shared stories about the blessings God has brought into their lives. These testimonies were an encouragement to everyone who heard them! Please watch the video below, as Esther translates the testimony of a villager who was blessed with a miracle in her cabbage patch:
Through this offering, they were able to raise fifty dollars towards digging a bore-hole for the village. The next day, Lulu partners who saw the cabbage-patch video donated enough to fully fund the bore-hole!
This project will begin next month, and will provide clean water for four villages. Praise God!
Earlier in January, the Lulu team from Uganda put together an outreach for teen mothers. The mamas at the Lulu tailor shop sewed 100 backpacks to give away, and they were able to also give away 200 sustainable hygiene kits!
The outreach was a success. Not only did many girls receive items that would allow them to return to school (please see this video on why providing these resources is so important), but Esther preached the gospel and a number of people came to Christ that day, including one teen father who also resolved to return to school. Five of Lulu’s teens rededicated their lives to the Lord, and our team of ten teen mothers reached out to encourage others to return to school and secure a better future for themselves and their children. These outreaches bring purpose and hope to girls who had never dreamed of being able to return to school, and Lulu’s ten teen mothers are learning to be leaders who evangelize and encourage others to believe that they can succeed. Praise God!
Our Lulu family is happy to welcome Pastor Joel on board as staff! Pastor Joel will be in charge of the R.E.A.C.H. program in Uganda (click here to read more about R.E.A.C.H.) Pastor Joel will be going out Monday through Thursday nights to stay in the villages, getting to know the people of each village and their needs as well as supporting the pastors in the R.E.A.C.H. program. We are thankful for the motorcycle that was provided for him, which will allow him to reach the villages he will be serving!
If anyone would like to help support members of our Lulu staff in Africa (those who work for Lulu in North America do so on a volunteer basis), please let us know. Our Lulu staff are what makes the program work, they are hard workers who love the Lord and pour into our shared vision for a better tomorrow. We are blessed to have such a capable and devoted staff!
The Lulu family in the Jinja Villages is also celebrating their new soap machine! Prossy, one of our pastor’s wives, is teaching the teen mothers how to make soap. The homemade soap will be sold in the Lulu M.A.M.A. Shop, and all funds raised there will provide school fees and child care for the teen moms…allowing them to finish their education. Be looking for the new “soapbox” products in the shop, beginning in late March! We are so excited for our teen mothers, who are working hard and thriving in this supportive environment. What a blessing to see their hopes for the future restored, and to see them reaching out to others!
Pastor Ricky’s beautiful new church has been built! Do you remember Pastor Ricky’s church? The blue tin building was run-down, but it provided a home to Pastor’s congregation and to the orphans that frequently sought shelter there. When the news came that the land on which the building stood had been sold, The Lulu Tree’s international family stepped in. Within a short time, funds had been raised to rent new land, ensuring that Pastor Ricky’s work could continue and that his church family would have a safe place to gather. However, the building was so rusted that when they started to take the panels of tin down, they simply crumbled in their hands. The building could not be rebuilt using the old material. Thanks to a generous partner, we are overjoyed to report that Pastor Ricky’s church has now been restored! This beautiful blue building is a new beginning for Pastor and his flock. Praise God for His provision and for the loving heart that helped to make this possible!
- Please pray for our teen mothers and their soap project, that the Lord will provide what they need to return to school through this endeavor.
- Pray for funding for the Lulu Farm in Uganda (learn more about this project)
- Pray for the upcoming outreach in March, where a team from North America will be joining our Lulu family in Uganda to give out Mama Kits. Please click here to learn more about these life-saving kits, and consider partnering with us to help purchase them!
- Prayers for Joel as he starts his new position as staff.
- Please pray with us as Lulu works to start a school for our teen mothers in Uganda!
- Next month, a team from North America will be traveling to Uganda to help with a large Mama Kit outreach. We have 332 kits so far and hope to be able to give away 500, please pray that we meet that goal (and if you feel led, you can donate here towards the kits, which are ten dollars each…specify “Mama Kits” in your donation.)
Thank you for praying with us!
Lillian joined The Lulu Tree when she was just 20 years old, in August 2015. After her mother died when Lillian was 3 years old, and her father died when she was 5, Lillian eventually had to drop out of school when she could no longer afford her fees. She left the village to work as a housemaid, but lost her job when her employer moved away. She moved in with a cousin in a dangerous part of Katwe and found employment at a local restaurant.
Lillian woke at 5 am, prayed until 5:30, and left for the restaurant at 6. She cooked and delivered food to clients throughout the neighborhood. She returned later to collect and wash the dishes, then collected payment from her clients and delivered it to her boss. By then it was 6 pm. She was paid 3,000 shilling ($1 US) a day, unless a client neglected to pay, in which case she would not be paid. Lillian went home and prepared dinner for herself and her cousin. She washed dishes, cleaned the home, and went to bed.
Lillian dreamed of becoming a professional tailor, and she has been able to pursue that dream with The Lulu Tree. You can find her work in The MAMA Shop and on the backs of teen girls returning to school with backpacks Lillian made for them. She has helped with several Lulu outreaches and will soon begin teaching tailoring to Mamas from the villages in Jinja. Lillian is a new person, set free from the bondage of the life she once knew.