By the founder of The Lulu Tree
There’s a soldier who sings from the hilltops of Sierra Leone. He sings low African hymns, this warrior of land and sky, as he marches across the soil which feeds his people. He fights on his knees at 4:30 every morning and he fights with his heart the rest of the day long, hands lifted to his Army General, the one who issues orders from the heavenly places. He fights for widows and orphans, for teenaged mothers and straggling grave diggers who’ve lost their soul to the war.
His name is Pastor Sonnel Kamara, and he’s one of thousands across Africa helping his own people, on his own dime and with his own two hands. He’s born of the same red dust, speaks the same dialect, burns the same nightly charcoal, fights the same demons of famine and disease and government corruption, and has risen from the same ashes of ebola and civil war — victorious.
We see men like Pastor Sonnel and we applaud them, quietly, so as not to disturb or distract from the beautiful thing he is doing. We don’t want to take from it—we’ll offer our feedback and the vision God has given us, of course, and the resources we have as they’re needed—but ultimately we’re here to hold his head up and to keep him marching to the beat of heaven’s drums.
You see, too often, western organizations come in and unintentionally steal that warrior spirit from the very people they want to help. We’re desperate not to do that. We haven’t always succeeded but we’re making it our number one mission to make our cultural footprint as light as possible as we hold up Sonnel and Bethel Home and the Farm in prayer and as we give what we can. It is an absolute honor to come alongside this man who’s earned the respect of churches and countrymen alike, who’s known for his integrity both in America and in Sierra Leone, in spite of never having left his own country.
Daily he sends us Whatsapp messages in his strong, rumbling voice, giving us updates on the Home, on the Farm, on his village and the work he’s doing there, and he never once asks for anything—in fact, he refuses to take a salary. The glory for him is in seeing his own people fed. He’s doing as we’re trying to do—just telling the stories and trusting a God who’s never let him down.
So we’re working with him and with Mommy Christiana, a couple without natural children, a couple with many an orphan under their wing, to get their home up and running, and their farm, so it can feed the seven surrounding villages during famine season. We’re working to develop sustainable solutions so that in the end, the light that shines bright from Bethel Home and Eden Farms is not Lulu’s, but Jesus’. The very One who rises with Sonnel each morning, who weeps with him each evening over the incredible poverty of his own people.
We want to shine His light. His grace. His provision. His answers. For His people. Not ours.
Will you pray with us, then, for this man, for his family, for his nation?
Thank you. With all of our heart.
Prayers & Praise Items:
Prayers for Pastor Sonnel as he opens Bethel Home’s doors this coming month—that God will send the right teen moms, orphans and widows to fill its room.
Prayers for the village of Kamasarallie and the feeding program that is taking place this year during the famine season which extends to the end of September; that the food would be multipled as it’s supplemented by rice from the Lulu farm. That God would provide for the other seven villages surrounding this one who don’t have a feeding program.
We’re so grateful that a tractor has been donated by the California Government to the Lulu program in Sierra Leone; please pray for safe travels as we work out details and ship it this coming month, for us to equip it to the best of our ability before we send it.
Praises for Mafaray Bangura, the head leader of a Female Circumcision Group who’s given her life to Christ in Kamassaralie Village and rejected the practices of FGM! Her daughter plaited Lulu Founder Emily’s hair back in November when Emily visited.
She is now leading many others to the church in Kamasarralie Village. Lulu has put a micro-investment into her business to encourage her as she seeks to provide for her own family. Please see the video below