World Vision’s “Uganda Children of War Programme.” She had visited a teenage boy who had been rescued from Joseph Kony’s LRA army and was receiving treatment in the hospital. She saw a Sweet Sleep Bible in English next to the boy’s head near his pillow. Generally, we give Bibles to the children in their language however, there were not enough Bibles in print in this region and so we have had to place an order which will be filled this month. World Vision chose to go ahead and give our English Bibles to those who would be learning English.
While all of the children we meet, and all of the projects Sweet Sleep is a part of, truly move me and touch my heart, there is something incredibly special about the children in northern Uganda. These boys and girls have seen and witnessed such atrocities, being forced to kill their parents, being left alone, abandoned – orphaned. Their need is great and urgent because the government is closing the IDP camps that 1 million people call home, 750,000 of those children in child-headed households. The simple huts they’ve called home for many years in the camps are now being bulldozed and it’s time for these sweet children to finally find their new life in their, now safe, home villages. Sweet Sleep is partnering with World Vision, the American Refugee Committee (ARC) and Uganda’s Child Probation Office (the governmental office in charge of overseeing the care of all the children in the North) to provide beds, bedding, mosquito nets and Bibles to these children to help them settle into their new homes. If their homes were destroyed in the war, our partners are rebuilding their huts. If they have a home and some family left in their old village, our partners ensure that their re-entry is safe and healthy. During my latest trip to Gulu I was able to be a part of one of our bedding distributions. Children walked miles and miles and waited up to 8 eight hours to receive their beds. The director of ARC shared with us that they were having a hard time getting the children to move from their shelters in the camps. However, once they heard and are now seeing that they will be receiving a Sweet Sleep bed, the number of families they’ve been able to reintegrate has risen dramatically. The reason? The children say they could have never imagined owning their very own bed, mosquito net or Bible. Can you imagine? Sleeping on the ground every night – not having a place to pray, to dream or sleep sweetly – not being able to fathom having your own healthy, comfortable place to sleep… At the Child Probation Office we were told that the impact our ministry is making there is truly holistic. According to the Probation Office, “Many organizations have come here to help meet physical and psychological needs of the children but no one is meeting the spiritual needs by giving them Bibles. If you don’t heal the spiritual part, you do not heal the whole person.” With your help, Sweet Sleep can continue to meet these needs and help resettle 700 more children this November. Wouldn’t it be great for 700 children to be in their new homes with their healthy, comfortable new Sweet Sleep beds, reading their Bibles under their life-saving mosquito nets just in time for Christmas? Thanks to those Sweet Sleep works with to provide beds and bedding in northern Uganda, right now we’re able to provide a Sweet Sleep bed, net and Bible to help resettle one of these children for just $50! To make your gift, click here and put “Gulu” in the comments box. You can also fill out the enclosed card and mail it back to us. Thank you for your continued faithfulness and support of our work to provide beds to the world’s orphaned and abandoned children. We simply could not do what we do without you. Sweetly, Jen P.S. If you are in the Nashville area and would like to volunteer at our Sweet Sleep booth at the World Vision AIDS Experience at Otter Creek Church of Christ in Brentwood this week, please e-mail Jon Merryman at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you haven’t seen the exhibit, you should! It’s an excellent depiction of life for children in Uganda. Information and FREE tickets available at http://www.worldvisionexperience.org/visit_ticket_details.aspx?venueid=222.