A Tree Planted in Liberia
By Emily Wierenga
Through Dreams & Visions
“This connection, I want it to remain until Christ comes…”
The soft, kind voice on the other end of the audio message is a new one, the voice of a man I’ve never met.
It’s the voice of Pastor David Zawu, a man God showed me months ago in a vision. We’d been led as an organization to intercede for Liberia for 40 days, and as I was praying, I saw this humble man seated at a table, looking out the window, children at his knee, longing to feed these little ones and desperately seeking God’s will.
Nine months after the 40 days of prayer, our Sierra Leone National Director, Pastor Sonnel Kamara, went to Liberia to find the man God wanted to raise up to nurture and lead the Lulu Tree there, and he did it through prayer and fasting. He went, not knowing where to look or who he would find.
God met him in a dream, and as in New Testament times, led him directly to Pastor David’s door.
Pastor David is a quiet man who was living in Monrovia, Liberia, when God called him to return to his hometown of Zorzor to start a school. He now offers affordable education to 500 children, sustainable farming to their parents, and leadership for three churches. All without external help.
It’s just another shoot of The Lulu Tree, a shoot that’s naturally spread — one we didn’t force, that simply happened, after being told to intercede for 40 days for Liberia.
The Story of the Tree
The Lulu Tree is an actual tree, a shea nut tree found in 19 different countries across the midriff of Africa, stretching from Sierra Leone in the west to Uganda/Sudan in the east. Its roots grow deep and strong, and while the tree takes twenty-five years to fully mature, it bears fruit for centuries. In the exact season of people’s hunger it produces shea nuts — thick, meaty nuts which are harvested not only to eat but also to produce an income through shea nut butter and other products. This fruit sustains them. (To learn the miraculous story of how God gave us this name, please go HERE)
It’s a tree that reproduces in places burned by fire or devastated by disaster, a tree that takes root in the soil of yesterday’s tragedies.
The Women of Liberia
And Liberia has suffered its share of tragedies — most notably, a military dictatorship in the 1990’s followed by two lengthy civil wars.
In 2003, in an act of desperation, the mothers, aunties, grandmothers and sisters of Liberia united, fierce as a Mama Bear. They rose up and ended the war through the efforts of social worker Lymeh Gbowee who organized a prayer gathering of several hundred Christian women and was later joined by Muslim women to stage protests. Two years later, the country elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, its first female president.
This is not a feminist thing. This is a Deborah thing (Judges 4-5), where women rose up to do what the men were in fact called to do, but struggled with — that is, to lead their country into victorious peace. And it’s what we at The Lulu Tree have also been called to do.
The Fathers of a Nation
Our board consists of grandmothers, mothers, sisters and aunties, all working together behind the scenes to help the men of Africa — fathers of the nation — rise up through the church to help their people. We are called to be help-meets, not only within our homes but within the global church — to encourage those on the front-lines of ministry.
And even as the women of Liberia rose up to bring an end to war, we are rising up (by bowing low) to bring an end to the spiritual chaos that is destroying our families — not only in Africa but in America — and to champion fathers like Pastor David Zawu who are longing to lead their spiritual armies into victory.
We don’t plant. That is God’s job alone. We simply water.
And we watch, amazed, as a brave new shoot rises up from amongst the ashes — one that we pray will remain, even until Christ returns.