The chugging sound of a tractor fills the air deep in the bush of Sierra Leone, where Pastor Sonnel is planting rice. He says that he hopes this work will produce a harvest to feed all 12 nearby villages, and he’s trusting God to multiply since the men who sold him the seed cheated him. They’d quoted one price and demanded another; there really was no other choice but to proceed and trust—knowing that the Lord is bigger than a few bags of rice.
And indeed, the Lord is providing mightily here. As the plow cuts into Sierra Leone’s fertile soil and leaves a path of freshly turned dirt, provisions and changes are taking root for a better, sustainable future.
The miracles keep coming: tires for the tractor, sold to Sonnel for less than half what was expected. The tractor itself, donated and shipped all the way from America to feed these villages. They have never known a surplus but, Lord willing, this year’s “hunger time” will be the first that does not live up to its name.
In the villages, the change is apparent too. Small changes, like the elimination of bedbugs…a scourge that has plagued the people’s sleep for years and is now disappearing as a campaign to exterminate the pests proceeds one village at a time.
Big changes, too, like the new medical building that’s being built to serve the same 12 villages. And the new 3 bedroom home that is nearly finished to house Pastor Ezekiel and his wife Musu, where they will take in orphans from the village.
And in Kamassaralie, a church is nearing completion. Soon the people can walk each morning to worship in their own building, one that can never be taken away. The church will stand as a reminder that God provides, the first church built through Lulu’s church-planting efforts and the center for outward growth as the gospel spreads. Already, construction on the second church will start soon in nearby Kakonky.
In the meantime, God is moving in other ways. He’s stirred the heart of Mafaray, a woman who came to Christ just last year. The former leader of a local FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) movement, Mafaray once made a living as a “cutter.” The Lord quickly showed her that this was not pleasing to Him, and she trusted Him to provide another way to support her family.
Today, Mafaray is leading Lulu’s new FGM Rescue Program. She has pledged to protect her own daughters and to rescue as many girls as possible from this terrible tradition. Through community education, pledges, and sending girls to school she hopes to spark change in a country with one of the highest rates of FGM in Africa.
Change is coming to Sierra Leone, to land and to infrastructure and most importantly to the hearts of the people. God is doing a new thing, and as the rice seeds silently sprout and begin to grow, deep roots are being planted—strong enough to hold the magnificent life-giving tree that God is building here.
Prayer and Praise:
- Praise God that a donor gave to build the church /school in Kakonky, Sierra Leone.
- Praise God for excellent progress on the church being built in Kamassaralie, Sierra Leone.
- A wire sent to Sierra Leone six weeks ago from Canada still hasn’t arrived and we’ve placed a trace on it. Please pray it’s found quickly and the money safely reaches its intended destination
- 61 bushels of rice have been planted in Sierra Leone. Pray for an abundant harvest
- Pray for funds to send 12 girls to school while they participate in the FGM Rescue Program.
- Pray for the girls who will join the program, and their parents will agree to abstain from FGM until the child finishes school.
- Praise God Joel and members of his team conducted a successful children’s outreach at Pastor Kazibwe’s Open Gates church in Katwe, a slum in Kampala. Children gave their lives to the Lord.
- Praise God that many of the mamas who attended the Mama Kit outreach in March have been baptized by the pastors partnering with Lulu Tree.
- Praise God that our Ugandan team member, Enoch, has offered to volunteer as Lulu Tree’s lawyer.
- Pray for Enoch, Baptist, and Emmy who feel led to launch a Lulu Tree branch in South Sudan.
- Pray for Amen, the adopted son of Lulu Mama Gloria, who is in the hospital with the measles and is medically fragile.