Post by Susie Jackson, Lulu’s Director of Partner Care

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.    Acts 2:2

The sun burned bright, and the air was heavy and still. But even so, many hands worked diligently, making final preparations for the following day’s Harvestime graduation of 127 pastors, pastors wives, and ministry leaders who were gathering in Jinja from three locations in Uganda.

Prayers rose continually as we encountered seemingly insurmountable obstacles – impossible for us, but not for our God who makes a way where there is no way.

In addition to the sun’s relentless assault, heat emanated from cooking fires and smoke filled the air. One of the former Harvestime graduates had taken to heart the financial literacy lessons taught by Steve, Lulu Tree’s director of finance, and started her own catering business. Now she was providing food for the graduation celebration.

Along with many other prayers sent heavenward, we asked God specifically for a breeze and cool weather for the ceremony.

The following day, we stood in the crowded room as the graduates of Harvestime Bible Institute, dressed in traditional caps and gowns, joy on their faces, raised their hands in praise to God.

As the program began, clouds covered the sun and a breeze blew through the windows, billowing the drapery hung as a backdrop.  It gusted so strongly that those sitting nearby had to shut the door. As the wind moved through the room of men and women committed to taking the Word of God to their country, it was a beautiful foreshadowing of the Holy Spirit moving through His servants as they return to their homes and communities to apply all they learned in the many months of theological study.  God’s Word incarnate in each of them.

This is the vision of The Lulu Tree. Ugandans helping Ugandans to overcome and thrive by the power of the Holy Spirit and the living Word of God.

Several of the pastors stood to give testimony of how the Lord is equipping them through Harvestime and the work of The Lulu Tree.  Pastor Kenneth, the first graduate of Harvestime in Uganda, said, “I preach the gospel I now know.”

Pastor Jasper said, “My confusions have now been cleared up.  How I teach and preach have totally changed.”  Pastor Peter said, “I no longer beg money because of The Lulu Tree.  The Lulu Tree came to show women that they can learn the Word, too.” And Pastor Fred said, “The Lulu Tree is revealing Jesus Christ in us.”

Each testimony was like a stone, one laid upon another, building an altar of commemoration and worship.

Earlier in the week, we met a pastor at the Nile who fervently prayed for many countries in the west, believing that Uganda will take revival beyond its borders to change the world for God. We echo his prayer.

It was my first trip to Uganda, the heart of Africa, and I was struck by the contrasts. We saw evidence of the Lord at work as we visited two thriving tailoring shops of single mothers who are now able to provide for their families, the farm where produce is grown to support the School of Hope, and the school where 436 children receive an education and food every day.

We also saw deep poverty and suffering. Despair and hope, misery and celebration, lack and plenty.  There is unexpected beauty everywhere – in the care taken to stack colorful fruit in the dingy market stalls, elegantly dressed women carrying large burdens on their heads, bright decorative fabrics hung in the doorways of scrap-wood huts, the radiant smiles of dirty children as they receive a small piece of candy, and the joyful laughter of those who love the Lord.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  2 Corinthians 3:17

Despite the many challenges facing Ugandans, God is doing a work in His people there, training, equipping, and setting them free to proclaim His gospel to the nations. May the wind of the Spirit continue to blow, breathing new life into His church in Uganda and, through them, to the ends of the earth.