Bed Distribution-Day One

Young boy carrying mosquito net.
Last night hundreds, perhaps thousands, of orphans in the country of Uganda slept on dirt floors, exposed to malaria carrying mosquitoes, all the while trying to fight the AIDS virus raging inside of them. As I write this, that number has shrunk by 250 because of the work God did today in Gulu, Uganda. At this very moment these children are resting on clean mattresses, protected from the dirt by a mat, and surrounded by a mosquito net treated with chemicals that kill mosquitoes on contact. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, each of these 250 children now have their very own Bible. The physical provisions drastically change the living conditions and overall health of the children, and even though they still live with AIDS their compromised immune systems no longer face the constant onslaught of malaria. In the words of one of the Ugandan Sweet Sleep staff, regarding the Bibles we gave them, “now give them something greater to hope in than the relief of death.” At both distribution sites today we urged the children and their caregivers to trust in the eternal life offered in Christ and to realize that the beds, nets, etc. are a tangible sign of a God who lovingly and intentionally created them (Psalm 139).
Malaria Skit educating how to prevent malaria with nets
One unexpected benefit of the distributions today was the amount of children who came for the first time to register with Health Alert Uganda to receive Anti-Retroviral Medications. While it was terribly heartbreaking to not be able to provide them with beds, it is comforting to know that since they are now registered with Health Alert, they can receive a bed at Sweet Sleep’s next distribution in this area which should take place this summer. 
I’m still processing much of what I witnessed today, but I was struck by how utterly destructive sin is. Of course I do not mean to imply that these children brought this misery upon themselves, rather their condition is a stark reminder of the broken world in which we live. James 1:15 reminds us that sin ultimately leads to death. Sometimes individual sins can lead to death while other times it is simply the effect of sin in the world that brings death eventually to every person (that whole ‘why do bad things happen to good people dilemma’).  Even in the Garden of Eden we see that the immediate consequence of Adam & Eve’s sin was the death of animals to provide skins for their naked bodies. Simply put, our rebellion against a holy God always has devastating consequences. But praise God that is not the end of the story. In his grace, He sent Jesus to absorb the wrath stored up for sinful humanity and offer a path back to relationship with the Creator of the universe. Romans 5:12-17 reminds us that through Adam sin entered the world, but thru Christ we can be rescued from sin. And through the grace of Christ we are able to participate in the restoration of creation through the meeting of physical needs which foreshadows the ultimate restoration to come. Christ will come again to make all things new…but until then we are His hands and feet. May He find us faithful.


Give a Net Now
Sweet Sleep is distributing 1300 beds this week but crowds of people have come out of hiding on to register and receive beds. They will have to wait until our teams return this summer. We are committed to giving the children a life-saving net NOW. Will you help us make this possible by donating at least $8 today to Note “Gulu net” in the comments box.