Preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s families through the local church.
The Greater Vision
To become one family in Christ.
Explaining the Vision
The mission God has given us is to prevent tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s families through the local church. When the church becomes the cornerstone of a community, the downward spiral of poverty is upended as families work together to develop healthy, sustainable villages rooted in the love of Christ–and disciples are made in all nations.
Where God Has Planted Us
The Lulu Tree began in Uganda, in the slum of Katwe, summer of 2014.
After about two years the Lord sent us to the pastors in the villages to develop permanent roots.
We’ve been in the Uganda villages for about three years now. It is our hope that within the next two years the land will begin producing enough food to not only sustain the girls and their babies at the school, but to enable pastors to do their own outreaches within communities. As of this month, funds have been sent for the school to be registered as a community school. This will mean that they can open their doors to teen mothers across the country and parents will pay what they can to help offset the costs. Meanwhile micro-investment projects are taking place — pastors are joining together to run a pig farm in the slums, and a kerosene shop in the villages. This will allow them to not only sustain their families but to help others.
In 2016 the Lord told us to fast and pray for Sierra Leone for 40 days, and then introduced us to Pastor Sonnel Kamara, who along with his wife Mommy Christiana have taken in a number of orphans, and had been trying for years to help his people. Sonnel’s vision is to reach all 150 villages in his region of west Africa through church planting, theological training for pastors, healthcare and agriculture.
Following the fast, Mommy Emily ran into her old team leader from four years earlier who told her about the needs in the South Sudan refugee camps. Lulu Uganda sent a team to the South Sudan refugee camps and eventually they met Pastor Santos, a man who’d built his ministry under an actual Lulu or shea nut tree. Pastor Santos subsequently introduced Lulu to Pastor Francis across the border in Nimule, South Sudan. Both men are visionaries who are actively caring for hundreds of people — running schools, implementing agriculture training, starting microloan programs and adopting orphans.
In West Africa, the Lulu NA board asked Pastor Sonnel if he would go into Liberia and find a pastor to partner with. Through visions and prayer, Sonnel was led to the doorstep of Pastor David Zawu, a man who moved home to his village more than a decade ago to start a school for over 500 children, to oversee churches, and to start an agricultural and livestock program.
Salvation, then Sustainability
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. ~ Colossians 1:28
At first we were focused largely on sustainability.
But since COVID-19 the Lord has convicted us of the need to focus PRIMARILY on salvation. To equip the churches to be holy vessels that can then take the gospel message to those surrounding them. To raise up missionaries and to send them out to the ends of the earth. The harvest is so ripe, and in danger of rotting. So even as we continue to pursue sustainability in each country, we are focused first on training up the pastors and their families and congregations in solid Biblical theology (as these vulnerable pastors who have very little education are very susceptible to the lies of false theology). God has provided a wonderful, free curriculum for us through Harvestime International Network. (Learn more about this refined vision HERE)
Meanwhile God continues to provide for each pastor’s vision for sustainability for his country. This plan outlines how the church, sustained by microloan projects and savings groups for the pastors and congregations, can then care for its community. Examples include building schools, digging bore holes, and initiating soap-making, poultry-rearing, and brick building programs for widows, jajjas and youth. Once the villages are equipped, children are then able to be cared for by their own families.
Read South Sudan’s vision HERE, as a perfect example of how the Lord is leading these pastors. Please note, this is their vision. Not ours. This is their heart for their people — all we do is prayerfully send whatever comes in each month, and then they account for how they’ve spend it according to the five year strategic plan.
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 beautiful pastors and people 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.