In Sierra Leone, work on the Bethel Home continues! Pastor Sonnel has been faithfully laboring to finish the home and make it move-in ready. He’s done beautiful tile-work on the floors, as well as installing graceful leaded-glass windows throughout the house. The ceilings on the first floor are being finished and have lovely crown molding. Bethel Home will be as beautiful as it is functional, and Sonnel has put his heart into the work! The hallways and rooms upstairs have wooden ceilings that he pieced and finished himself. It is wonderful to have a roof over your head, but what a blessing it is that the house will be such a beautiful, welcoming and peaceful place.
Outside, the house is coming along as well. The banisters that embrace the home are being finished and it is starting to come together. The house is made of stone, and mastic must be applied before it can be painted…but even now you can see how lovely it is going to look once it’s finished. It is so exciting to see the progress that is being made! Bethel Home is on its way to being a beautiful safe haven, and will soon be ready to provide gracious shelter to Lulu’s Sierra Leone family. Thank you to Pastor Sonnel and his helpers for all of your hard work!
Our prayer is that every orphan who spends his first night in Bethel Home home will feel the love and attention that went into creating this healing space, that every widow who enters its doors will feel welcomed home by the warm light streaming in through the beautiful windows, and that every mother who delivers her child in one of the house’s rooms will always remember the love and safety she found there. It is our hope, once the home is complete, for widows and orphans from the slums of Freetown to find a place within Bethel’s walls to lay their weary heads.
Meanwhile, as the home is being built, the Lulu family is growing! Nine orphaned children have now joined the family, and are being taken care of in the villages. Lulu’s heart is to keep families together, equipping family members to care for orphans whenever possible. When there are no relatives who are able to care for the children, the next best option is for village members to step in with the support of Lulu pastors and staff, so that the children can remain near family and friends in the familiar setting they are used to. Pastor Ezekiel (who oversees the villages) will be watching over the orphans, ensuring that they are safe and well-cared for, and he will also be running a discipleship program with them.
Please pray for these beautiful little ones and for the villages and family taking care of them!
We would also like to introduce you to our Sierra Leone family and staff, so that you can get the know them and keep them in prayer. We are blessed to be working with some truly amazing men and women!
Pastor Sonnel Kamara
Sonnel has been married to his wife, Christiana, for 22 years, and they have nine adopted children.
Certified in motor vehicle technology, he worked in the police force for eleven years in the department of mechanics and the department of transport. Then he retired to concentrate on pastoral work. Pastor Sonnel has a degree in theology as well as certification in biblical studies and Christian and child counseling. For five years he worked for Children of the Nation Orphanage. He is the senior pastor of Prayer Tabernacle Church in Angola-Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Pastor Sonnel recently told The Lulu Tree that he prefers NOT to receive a salary, as he feels led to continue his work and have the funds go towards helping others and building the program in Sierra Leone. His generous heart and dedication to others is an inspiration and a gift!
A DAY IN PASTOR SONNEL’S LIFE
Rising at 5 AM, he prays for an hour, reads his Bible, and then takes breakfast. If he is in Freetown, he goes to the site of the Lulu Bethel Home and supervises the construction work. If he is in the village, he supervises and helps with farm work. He returns to town and prepares for the evening service at church, after which he goes home, eats dinner, prays with his family, and goes to bed.
ROLE IN LULU
Pastor Sonnel Kamara serves as the national director of The Lulu Tree in Sierra Leone. He oversees the Lulu Bethel Home with his wife Christiana, and teaches a farming program to destitute mothers and fathers in the area.
Mommy Christiana Kamara
Christiana (Pastor Sonnel’s wife) studied catering and worked as a cook in a hotel and for Youth for Christ. She also has a degree in theology and is an ordained and licensed minister, serving alongside her husband when he worked at Children of the Nation Orphanage and currently ministering with him at Prayer Tabernacle Church.
A DAY IN MOMMY CHRISTIANA’S LIFE
Rising at 5 AM, she prays for an hour, then goes to a shop where she sells used clothes, using the money to run ministry affairs at church. She returns home between 5 and 6 PM and goes to church, where she helps lead evening services.
ROLE IN LULU
Christiana oversees the Lulu Bethel Home, nurturing the children and jajjas who live there, and directing the training of Lulu’s single mothers and daughters.
Ezekiel Kabbesesay, Lulu Farm Pastor
I was born in Freetown but my parents came from the northern part of Sierra Leone. I grew up in Freetown, where I attended my primary school. My family then moved to the Portoloko District and I also continued my secondary school in the northern part of Sierra Leone up to SS3 level. Since then because of financial constraints I had to stop. Before I came into ministry I had a vision from the Lord. The first time I was in Purto District, the Lord spoke to me through a vision. I saw a cloud open, I was getting a direct communication with the Lord. He was angry that the Word of God was not being preached in my country but I was only 16 or 17 years so didn’t know what to do. So it happened again about 5 years later in 2009. The same thing happened. I was in Freetown; I saw the cloud again, I got communication from the Lord again. He was angry again. But at that time I was not strong in the Lord. I was trying to learn electric welding. So when this happened, I met with the General Overseer of Gethsemene Ministries and he started to talk to me about me going into ministry and learning the Word of God. At that time I was not getting any understanding of the Word of God. So he talked to me, because he wanted to train me in the Word, but this is for people in their third year of education. It intimidated me but I said yes. I trained up 2009-2011, and then I started to work in ministry. I started in Freetown and then extended to northern Sierra Leone and began to reach out to villages with the Gospel. And also, when I came I went to Portoloko District and began to preach there. And then I met with General Sonnel Kamara and he brought me here in 2016.
A DAY IN EZEKIEL’S LIFE
I wake up and lead morning prayers at 6 am, and in the evening on Tuesdays I have Bible study for the villagers. Normally I support Pastor Kamara in the area of farming and I help the students. When Pastor Kamara is here I supervise the farming work so it will go perfectly.
Daniel M Kamara, Director of Children’s Ministry (in the future, when Bethel Home opens and funds allow, Daniel will also be in charge of orphan care for Bethel Home and the Freetown slums)
I was born in Freetown, and educated through primary and secondary school as well as university. My father was involved in business and farming, and my mother was involved in business. I was born Muslim—even my middle name is Mohammed. I spent some time after secondary school I spent time assisting teaching and getting various experiences, and then I attended Fouray College in a four-year degree: Political Science and History. I met with Jesus early 2003 at the age of 29; I was influenced by Pastor Sonnel Kamara, my brother, and one of my sisters, who’s now in America. I graduated college in 2013. I worked for a business, doing admin and operation management in Freetown. I have a passion for the village because my father was raised here, so when Pastor Kamara started his work, I decided to begin volunteering by coming around and giving my finances and farming. About six months ago I left my business so I began working more full-time in the village. I have such a passion for people, for them to be saved because I’m aware that most of them are not saved. I am married to Cordelia Amoyemi Kamara (a caterer); my children are Daniel (13) and Daniela (7), Nabia Mansaray (24).
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF DANIEL
I wake up at 5 to pray every day until 6; then continue with my daily work, whether it’s coming to the village or working in Freetown.
Elizabeth Tuiey, Lulu Farm Health and Education
My father was born here. I was born in Freetown. I attended Freetown Secondary School for Girls up until Grade 5. And then I went to do my nursing house at the Redeemer School of Nursing in Freetown. I used to come here with medicine to sell, but I saw that people were straining for a medical facility so I decided to make a pharmacy in my house. When I graduated from nursing school, I built a house and tried to treat people there (because there is no medical facility here). I also saw that in the school there were not enough teachers. So I decided to help because of the children, to get a good education. I begin teaching in 2011. I have four children: Abu Baker (21), Alex (10), Patrick (6), Jennifer (1.5). I am married to Ishamel Dumbaya, who is a farmer.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ELIZABETH
When I wake up I go to church at 6 am to get morning prayers. After that, we go to school. I teach Class 1 & 2 (ages 5 and 6) from 8 until 1:30. Then I go back home and I do my domestic work. We eat supper and go to bed.
Kabba Samura, Lulu Farm Manager
I was brought to my grandmother in this village when I was a baby. She could never take me to school. I am a farmer, that is the only job I know. I plant cassava, ground nuts, rice. It keeps me but it’s not enough. I have one wife, Esther Truray, and three children: Abdul Samura, Sinner Samura, Christiana Samura.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF KABBA
I wake up at 5 and go and pray and drink tea and eat leftover rice. I go to the farm and I work all day at the farm. They call me 77 because I work so hard. In the evening time at 6 or 7 I eat rice and go to sleep.
Alie Kamara, Lulu Farm Manager
I was born in this village to a mama and papa who were farmers. They could not afford to send me to school. So I have always been a farmer. I have one wife (Yeenor) and one child (Adama, 3 years old).
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ALIE
Wake up at 6 and go early to the farm, and don’t eat breakfast. I work until four or five and return home to eat a bowl of rice and then go to sleep. The money from the sales of the crops goes towards buying clothes and shoes and paying school fees.
To learn more about the Vision of Bethel Home, please watch the video below:
To learn more about the Vision for the Lulu Farm in the Village, please watch the following:
Next month, Lulu Founder Emily Wierenga and a team from North America will be traveling to Uganda. While they are there, they will participate in an outreach in a large refugee camp, where they will be sharing the Gospel and giving away Mama Kits. We are excited to see what the Lord does during this time, please pray for the team as they travel, and for many lives to be saved through the Mama Kits and many souls to be save through the Good News! Please take a moment to watch the video below, and see why Mama Kits are so important:
- Please continue to pray with us as the REACH program takes root in Sierra Leone!
- Prayers are needed as Bethel Home is finished, that the house will soon be ready to open.
- Please pray for the team in Sierra Leone and the new members who are working with Lulu.
- Pray for the orphans and the villages and families who are caring for them.
- Pray with us for traveling mercies as the North American team visits Uganda.
- Please pray that many Mama Kits are given out and many are saved during March’s refugee outreach!