How We Operate
God has called us, as a ministry, to be different. To not fundraise. To not take salaries. To not do mission trips. To send as close to 100% of the donations overseas as possible. And so, we love.
The lulu Tree Ministry
Partner with us
The Holy Bible
The 66 books of the Bible are the inspired and inerrant Word of God. (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
One Triune God
The one true God exists eternally in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (the Trinity), and is the Creator of all things. He sovereignly rules over all of His creation. (Psalms 104:5-26; Colossians 1:16-17)
God the Father
God the Father is almighty. He created the heavens and the earth through the Son, by the power of the Spirit. The Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross, taking the penalty for the sins of mankind, and will send Him back a second time to judge the world. As His adopted sons and daughters, we also call Him “Father.” (Genesis 1; Romans 6:23; John 3:16; Acts 17:30-31; Ephesians 1:3-6)
Jesus is the incarnate Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary and is true God and true man. We believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and offered Himself as a substitutionary sacrifice for sin. (John 1:1-18; Colossians 1:15-23; Galatians 4:4; Luke 2:40,52; 1 John 2:2)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son and is sent by the Father and Son to give new life. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth and dwells within the regenerate. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who, in turn, came to glorify the Father. He will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He is to be respected, honored and worshiped as God, the third person of the Trinity. (John 15:26-27; Eph. 1:13-14)
Satan was originally the great and good angel Lucifer, but he rebelled against God, taking with him a multitude of angels. He was cast out of God’s presence and is at work with his demonic hosts to establish his counter kingdom of darkness, evil, and unrest on earth. Ultimately, he will be cast into the lake of fire and sulfur, where he will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Isaiah 14:10-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Revelation 12:7-9, Revelation 20:7-10)
Man is a created being, made in the image and likeness of God, who formed the first man, Adam, from the dust of the ground, then took one of Adam’s ribs to form the first woman Eve. Through their transgression, fellowship with God was broken, and sin and death came into the world. God knew man would rebel against Him and established His plan of redemption — Christ’s life, death, and resurrection — before the foundation of the world. (Psalms 51:5; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Revelation 13:8)
Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ Jesus alone. No one is saved through his own works or obedience to the law; and no one can come to faith in Christ unless the Father draws him. Though we are not saved by good works, we are created to do them. The Holy Spirit works in those who are saved both to will and to work for God’s good pleasure. (John 6:44; Acts 16:30-31; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Titus 3:3-7)
The Doctrine of Sanctification
As believers read the Holy Bible and yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit, they are made holy and are conformed to the image and likeness of God as a definite yet progressive work of grace. (Hebrews 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 1:30)
We cling to the authority of scripture and embrace orthodox teaching. We reject all heresy and false doctrine, including the “prosperity gospel” that claims God wants everyone to be rich, healthy, and comfortable. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Colossians 1:24-29; 1 John 4:1; Romans 8:16-17; 2 Peter 2:1-3)
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance (Genesis 2:24; Genesis 19:5, 13; Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1: 26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4).
We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23).
We believe that –
“Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ. (Genesis 1:27, Galatians 3:28)
“Men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to equip and empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. Therefore, women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilize their gifting in ministry, in service to the body of Christ, and through teaching in ways that are consistent with the Word of God. (Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-13)
“The elders/pastors of each local church have been granted authority under the headship of Jesus Christ to provide oversight and to teach/preach the Word of God in corporate assembly for the building up of the body. The office of elder/pastor is restricted to men.” (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9)
*We understand that in certain circumstances and communities there are no qualified males to preach the Word of God. This is true in some of the villages our pastoral teams seek to serve and equip, and in those cases, we support the equipping and preaching ministry of women who have been gifted by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Word. If in partnership with The Lulu Tree, we expect them to come under the protection and spiritual guidance of the male pastors God has raised up to lead this ministry. If they are married, we require that their husbands are men of God qualified and equipped to exercise spiritual authority over their wives’ preaching ministry. When qualified men are present to preach the Word, we believe women should use their gifts of teaching and preaching in submission to the authority of those men. All of this is to be done in a spirit of humble service and mutual honor.” (Ephesians 5:21-24)
OUR PHILOSOPHY OF OPERATION
The Lulu Tree seeks to leave as little a foreign footprint as possible. Those of us who serve the ministry from afar focus on equipping leaders of local churches and their pre-existing ministries.
By principle, The Lulu Tree does not operate as a foreign NGO in each country, but rather, partners with pastors and leaders of local churches who are committed to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s families.
Our belief is that indigenous leaders possess an understanding of the culture and environment which is essential to success in each nation. When we believe we are being called into a new country, The Lulu Tree board and our current partnering pastors overseas spend at least 40 days fasting and praying for clarity on the call. When we are in agreement that the Spirit is saying to go, Lulu then commissions willing pastors from neighboring countries who are already in partnership with The Lulu Tree.
These pastors depend entirely upon the Holy Spirit to reveal a godly man from said country — one who oversees churches and is transparent in his theology and financial stewardship — and God has been consistently faithful, working in a variety of unmistakable ways, to direct our teams to the man He has chosen.
After vision casting and prayer, if there is unity between our commissioned team and the new pastor, The Lulu Tree then partners with this man, helping him to become equipped to care for others through sustainable projects and biblical training. We also seek to build up other godly pastors around him, assisting them in caring for vulnerable mothers, children, and the community.
The Lulu Tree works in partnership with local leaders as they seek to fulfill the Great Commission.
“In Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
Lulu's Financial Integrity
The Lulu Tree is a not-for-profit corporation with a 501(c)(3) charity status. Our dedication to outstanding stewardship stems from our commitment to sacrificial love.
The Lulu western team refuses any kind of financial compensation, intentionally serving as volunteers and investing all donations directly into front-line ministry. We are the first to give towards our Lulu Africa Family, partnering with them and donating our own time, talents and resources.
In 2021, 98.4% of donations directly benefited Lulu Africa families – the other 1.6% going toward admin costs (bank fees and charges). We strive to keep communication costs down by operating primarily online, and by covering admin costs out of our own pockets. Our goal is to give 100% of your money to our Lulu families overseas.
Lulu’s ministry operates fully on the grace of giving, relying on the Heavenly Father to provide as we advocate for His children. We do not fundraise; instead, we “faith-raise,” gathering weekly to pray in the resources.
We are grateful to have received Guidestar’s Gold Seal of Transparency.
For more info on our finances, or to receive a copy of our annual report, please email email@example.com.
Why We Don't Fundraise
Instead of fundraising, The Lulu Tree is committed to Faithraising.
The Lulu Tree abides by these 12 principles:
- We commit to communicating our needs first and foremost to our Heavenly Father, and to doing this on a daily basis until the need is met.
- We do not ask for money unless the Lord has specifically told us to (receiving confirmation from other intercessors first, including the Lulu founder); when we do ask for funding, we ask with gentleness and respect.
- We keep a record of every need we have and every provision the Lord makes in accordance with said needs.
- We freely share about the Lord’s plans in regards to Lulu, as He leads, and invite others to join us, fully dependent on the Spirit to move in their hearts.
- We commit to prayerfully walking through doors the Lord opens for us, and refuse to force those doors open in our own strength. Every idea and initiative must be Spirit-led.
- We bring glory to God by publicly declaring all the ways He provides for us.
- We work hard using our “tent-making skills” (personal means of acquiring income) so we are not a burden on anyone, and to avoid any chance of being accused of taking money for ourselves, or for doing this work for any reason other than love.
- We commit to being transparent in sharing about Lulu, but do not “force” meetings, receive loans, or go into debt; we believe the Lord will place the burden on people’s hearts in His timing and for His glory.
- We do not make excuses for God or pay for Lulu expenses out of our own pockets (motivated by fear, vs. generosity) when God has told us that He wants to provide for that expense through someone else. Neither do we store up for the future out of fear (versus saving up for a particular need), trusting the Lord will supply our daily bread.
- We are creative in getting word out about Lulu without ever being conniving or manipulative. We do not use guilt or pity to gather partners or resources, and refuse to use pictures, videos, or stories of the women and children we are serving to emotionally manipulate potential partners. Instead we share what God is doing in a way that brings glory to God and honors those we are serving as precious mothers and daughters created in the image of God.
- We do not use money intended specifically for one purpose for another.
- We do not conduct ourselves out of fear, but out of the perfect love of the Father from whom every good gift comes.
To learn more about Faithraising and how it started, please read this blog post from Lulu President Mommy Emily.
Why We Don't Do Missions Trips
It’s afternoon and I’m on my phone, scrolling through messages from across the waters — photos of people who now hold my heart.
And I long to take you all with me.
I long to carry you into this world, into the villages and wide-split smiles that make up the family that is The Lulu Tree. I long for you to hear the jajjas cry their whooping “Hallelujahs” in the open-sky churches as we sit in plastic chairs and hear a message about the goodness of Jesus. I long for you to eat rice and matoke (boiled bananas) and ground nut sauce and to touch the heads of village children who will stroke your skin in return.
I long to take you to feel the African sun on your head and see the stark line between lush vegetation and impoverished people and the dance they perform together across a land soaked in their ancestors’ blood.
But I can’t.
And I say this with much brokenness and sorrow.
Because first of all, God has called us, as a ministry, to be different. To not do mission trips. To not spend resources on anything that could be construed as personal or self-rewarding but to invest every dollar and every prayer selflessly into people most of us will never in fact meet, simply because we believe in them. And so, we love radically.
We love without getting anything in return.
The only trips we do are those for accountability — occasionally, members of our team and I will visit each country to confirm funds are indeed being spent the way they were intended, and to pray in the same room as our dearly beloved brothers and sisters.
But otherwise we volunteer our time in the margins of our day for the sake of seeing these communities rise up out of the ashes through God’s strength, for His glory alone.
We have had teams go in the past and, unfortunately, do a lot of damage, strengthening our resolve to protect our Lulu families and to help them keep their eyes on their Heavenly Father as the Supplier of their needs. The last thing we want is for the presence of westerners to distract them from the One who loves them more than we ever could.
We also don’t allow personal emails, letters or cards to pass between westerners and our Lulu family in Africa, because too often things we innocently put in our messages can unintentionally underscore how different our worlds are. And this gap, this difference, can become a pit of jealousy or discontent into which our precious families fall.
That said, we do desire for you to be able to minister directly to our Lulu family, and so the Lord has given us the idea of a Prayer Wall — that is, a place on our website where you can leave a prayer or Bible verse for either a country or a team or a particular person, and we will share those comments with our National Directors in each country so they can pass on the messages.
We hope you will utilize this Wall, for it will truly bless our families to know they are being prayed for.
And please hear our hearts when we say how sorry we are that things need to be this way — but we are truly trying to do things differently in a broken-down world. So much harm has been done to developing countries in a desperate, well-meaning attempt to help.
The beautiful news is that, through our prayers, we come alongside them in the most powerful and affirming way possible, as we all gather on the level ground at the foot of the cross and celebrate His beautiful redemption for every tribe, tongue, and nation. We hope you’ll join us there.
For more questions about our international trip policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
9808 Dolomite Lane, Sandy, UT 84094