Forever changed.

It is a joy to be back in Uganda once again. This is my fourth trip with Sweet Sleep to Kampala, and each one of them blesses me, challenges me, and brings me closer to God in new ways. I have learned to leave my expectations behind, as our plans change moment by moment, and each orphanage is unique in its structure, leadership, and population.

Our talented team of 11 has done such an incredible job meeting the needs of the over 1,100 children that are present at Good Samaritan Home. We spent much of our morning teaching in the nursery classes, and I was a tad bit overwhelmed when I walked in alone to teach 56 three year olds. My son Abel has just turned three, and I adore him more than life itself, but I cannot think back to a time when I thought, it sure would be fun to have 55 more of him around to play with and teach. With the help of God we all put on our teacher hats today, and stepped out of our comfort zones to share songs, crafts and games with the children. I continue to stand in awe of the gratitude of these children, and the respect in which they show us as we try our best to love and serve them.

In the afternoon hours we were able to break into four separate groups to work with the children in Primary 3 and 4.  My good friend Shannon and I had the honor of playing games with the kids during a time of recreation. I cannot express how wonderful it is to hear these children laugh with such joy and abandon. We certainly don’t know the back story of every child, but because of their presence at the home it is safe to say that they have lived through some difficult times. As we played with the parachutes with the children today, the laughter and joy was no doubt a symphony in the heavens.

The one thing that touched me the most today was a simple interaction that I had with Josephine, the National Director of Sweet Sleep in Uganda, on the drive to the orphanage in the morning. I had given her an updated photo of my family, my beautiful wife and two special boys, and she shared with me how much she truly loved them and prayed for them. I am consistently overwhelmed by Josephine’s love of the children in Uganda, and also the volunteers that come to serve, and their families back home. Josephine, and her husband Jonathan, have become dear friends to me during these past three years, and I am so proud of the work that they are accomplishing here in their home country.

It is an honor to serve in the name of God, and an honor to serve in the name of Sweet Sleep. We have the privilege of being an answer to the prayers of these children, and none of us serving on this team are taking that lightly. Thank you to everyone in the States that are bathing us in their prayers, and have encouraged us and helped us along this journey. We are forever blessed and forever changed!!!

Michael Warneke <> Evansville, IN

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