Gulu Gulu Gulu

 

“Gulu Gulu Gulu”; the facebook status that changed my life forever.  I remember the night in September 2010 when I read Jen Gash’s three simple words.  I did not know why she wrote them or what was going on, but in an instant I knew God was calling me to this place that I had heard incomprehensible stories about.

These three simple words that stirred my soul also filled me with excitement, fear, hope, and purpose.  Weeks later, I left with the first team that would work in Gulu, Uganda.  We provided almost 800 resettlement kits to children living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, encouraging them to move out of the predatory camps and back to their family land.
Since then I have returned twice, those times providing beds to more than 1,750 children, all of whom were HIV+, protecting those already physically vulnerable children from opportunistic diseases like malaria and pneumonia.  Not only that, but over 850 children living in secret with HIV came out of hiding and are now receiving the protection of anti-retroviral drugs and a mosquito net.
But those 850 children, plus almost a thousand more HIV+ children, are still waiting for their Sweet Sleep beds.  And those beds need to be given to them this summer.
I love Gulu trips.  They are unlike any other trip Sweet Sleep does.  They appeal to me because, simply put, they are intense.  The work is hard.  The days are long. The stories are heart wrenching.  By the end of the day I have literally physically, mentally, and emotionally poured every ounce of my being out over God’s children.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:5
Love the Lord with all your strength.  Give Him it ALL.  That is what you do in Gulu.  That is why I love Gulu.  After a week spent in Gulu I have loved my Lord with every ounce of strength I possess.

This summer I will not be returning to Gulu.  But I am  praying, daily and earnestly, for those of you whom God will be calling to the place I love so deeply.  I am praying for the strong who will lift the heavy loads.  I am praying for the compassionate who will see beyond the stories into the souls of the children who have lived many more lives than we will ever have to.  I am praying for the veterans and leaders who will share their experiences with new team members.  I am praying for the ministers at heart who will pour TRUTH and LOVE into the people of Northern Uganda.

Prayerfully consider how God wants to use your gifts on a team in Gulu, Uganda this summer.  Trip dates are June 1 through June 11.  Applications are due now.  Visit www.sweetsleep.org for more information or email me at trips@sweetsleep.org with questions.
You will be blessed.
Madelene Metcalf
Trips Coordinator

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