A post by the founder of The Lulu Tree
We never wanted to be a “white savior.”
We never wanted to be a savior at all. That’s a role set apart for Jesus alone. We only ever wanted to love.
But it’s harder than it sounds—loving, versus fixing. We so often want to “fix” our loved ones’ problems rather than just sit with them quietly through it all.
Yet so often our loved ones are not looking for solutions at all but for a quiet arm around the shoulder, for a cup of tea and a handwritten note, for a single tear saying “I am with you.”
The same goes for those in third world countries.
As much as the needs haunt us, as much as there are hungry bellies and thirsty tongues, a piece of bread will only go so far—a bottle of water is quickly drained. The needs will never be depleted.
So, the question, three years into our being, is: what is the best way for us to help, versus hurt? And now that we have land in Uganda, how can we use that land to provide sustainable solutions versus short-term answers that are quickly drained?
You see, we’re not wanting to foster dependency. We’re wanting to nurture a vital organism that can sustain itself long after Lulu has gone. This is easier said than done, but by the grace of a very loving Heavenly Father, we’re getting there.
For so long, Africa has been fed hand to mouth but it sits on very fertile soil. And as we’ve established, the most loving thing is often not the easiest thing. It’s often actually very, very hard, and involves a lot of misunderstanding, until finally people see—oh, even though this hurts, it’s best for us.
It’s much like a birdfeeder. Where I live in Canada, a birdfeeder is necessary during the winter, because of meters of snow and barren trees. But come spring, the land becomes fertile and the worms rise to the surface and God supplies directly for the bird once again.
God wants to supply directly for His people, too. There’s a season for the bird feeder—a season of drought, or famine. But then comes “spring,” the ceasing of the drought/famine, and God–the same God who planted the Garden of Eden, the same God who supplied daily manna from heaven for 40 years until His people arrived at the Promised Land—makes a way for His people to eat and to even receive medicine through the vegetation around them. It takes a lot more effort. But in the long run, it allows God to receive the glory and not us. (And it keeps the birds from running into the glass beyond the feeder–glass which birds are physically UNABLE to see. If it’s a western hand supplying the food, the allure of the world “behind the glass” can cause the fall of many a bird. We want to avoid this.)
So here are some ways we’re transitioning Lulu Uganda from temporary answers to long-term solutions, and we’d ask you to pray with us.
This past month we sent funds to start the School of Hope garden which will take the place of the monthly School Lunch subsidy, as all vegetables will be derived from the garden and eggs and milk from laying hens and dairy cows. We will also be planting Moringa trees to provide medicinally for the moms and their children.
This land is the 10 acres our Father provided for us through generous donors last year in central Uganda. We are still waiting on the land title, and would ask that you join us in praying for this very big need, as well as for the supplies once we do receive it. Our hope and prayer is to use these 10 acres to help supply for Lulu projects, including the school, the home for abandoned babies, and destitute churches and communities during the famine season.
In short, the hope is to turn all subsidies into seeds. To turn temporary solutions into long-term ones, thus freeing up the funds you are so faithfully giving to plant Lulu in other parts of the country and continent. We’d ask you to pray for us, that we not grow weary, that we abound more and more in love so that we might know the perfect will of the Father, and that His boundless grace continues to cover our mistakes. Thank you, friends.
Steps to Sustainability
Building stability in a village is a little bit like building a house–in order for the house to stand over time, it must be built on a strong foundation. The Lulu Tree’s foundation is the church, with Christ as the cornerstone as Isaiah the prophet said:
Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’ -Isaiah 28:16
From there, the framework of the house can be built with the assurance that it will stand strong. What does that look like in Africa? Sustainability means providing help that will multiply over time rather than deplete, and God has given us the perfect means through His creation. Seeds grow to provide food and more seeds for the next crop, trees bear fruit each year as a few saplings grow to become a forest. A few chickens soon populate an entire hen-house, providing eggs and meat for years to come!
Now that our foundation has been set, we are eager to see how God continues to provide for our family in Africa as they work together to build strong and lasting communities. We are excited that they are now ready to start building sustainable farms to provide food not just for a few days, but for years to come! If you would like to be a part of this important step towards sustainability, click here to learn more about the needs and how you can help, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Praise & Prayer
*Praises for funding for half an acre for the community garden for widows and orphans
*Praises for all the testimonies flowing out of the prayer clinic that Lulu held last month in the Jinja area
*Praises for the new teen moms showing up
*Prayers for the nursery workers, that they would not grow weary in caring for the teen moms’ children as they’re in school
*Prayers for the teachers, that they would be encouraged as they donate their time to teaching these girls
*Prayers for favor, wisdom, and protection for the local workers as they build the Elijah House
*Prayers for favor on the Luwero land, that we would receive the land title