You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the storm
and a shade from the heat.
~ Isaiah 25:4
Please watch the video above to learn about the miraculous origin of this ministry’s name. The Lulu Tree is an actual tree in southern Africa. The nilotica variety of shea nut tree (called lulu in Arabic) grows uncultivated in 19 different countries extending west to east from Sierra Leone to Uganda.
Extending as tall as 49 feet, and taking as long as 50 years to produce fruit, the shea nut (or lulu) tree is greatly celebrated across Africa as a vital natural resource. The economic value of lulu nuts is also extremely high, providing women guardians with income and household food security. The tree produces its lulu nuts in the exact time of seasonal hunger.
Lulu means pearl in Swahili. Uganda (where we started) is the pearl of Africa, and pearl also stems from a parable in Matthew where Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a pearl that a merchant sells everything he has to buy. In addition, Jesus says a mustard seed of faith can grow into a tree, where birds come to rest.
Our hope as an organization is to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth through a mustard seed of faith in the exact time of seasonal hunger. The Lulu Tree is not meant to be a permanent source. Like the shea nut tree that gives us our name, we sprout to bear fruit simply for the season of hunger. Once the pastors and communities have been trained and equipped to move forward, looking to God alone as their source, we will step aside. And we will watch them with joy from the sidelines, cheering them on, praying that life grows ever more abundant as poverty loses ground, for the glory of Jesus and the good of His children in the precious land of Africa.