Now That You Know

I’ll never forget my first mission trip. It was my first time out of the country, first time to see abject poverty, first time to serve outside of myself. It was a Sweet Sleep mission trip to Kampala, Uganda and we constructed bunk beds for 250 kids in two orphanages.

I ended up on that trip simply because a few months before, I made my first donation to provide beds to four kids in a far away land that I — a stay at home mom — figured I would never see. But I was aware that children were sleeping on concrete floors lined up body to body and knowing that was enough to refuse to let it continue.

There are still hundreds of children lined up, sleeping in rows on the ground on burlap sacks and plastic tarps. I visited such a place in November and the image of a giant African roach running out from a crevice in a filthy piece of foam I picked up still gives me chills.

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I saw room after room of concrete floors and scraps of debris that cradled nearly 600 children each night.

These are children like Stephen and Peter, whose mother repeatedly tried to poison them because she felt a swift death was a better solution than watching her boys starve to death. Or Lydia, who was abused, forced by her mother to beg for money, and had no choice but to drink her own urine, or die of thirst. In the face of this sort of abuse, sometimes an orphanage is a better place for a child to be, at least for a little while.
simon peter lydia

The children living in these homes have been rescued from neglectful and harmful environments and are thriving in the loving Christian environments provided by our trusted partners. They are receiving medical care, an education, and biblical teaching that is rehabilitating them from the trauma they’ve known thus far.

But they do not have a bed. They are not protected from malaria. And they have never had a bible of their own.

This fall we will be working tirelessly to advocate for these rescued children in Kampala, Uganda.

There are 534 children sleeping on concrete floors and scraps of infested foam and we need your help to provide beds for them. It takes only $140 to provide a bed, bible, and mosquito net to one child. Can you provide one bed? Do you have a friend who could provide one as well? One by one we can meet this need.

This November 6 – 15, a mission team will be hand delivering these beds. Are you called to be a part of the ministry that is going to show these children how precious and loved they are, in spite of a world that has told them otherwise?

God’s taken me a long way since I gave those first four beds and took that first mission trip to Kampala. I still marvel at what something as simple as a bed can do, or how much God can use someone who has very little to offer. What will God do with your gift or your decision to go?

The children are waiting for beds. Now that you know, it’s time to refuse to let it continue.

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For more information about joining this mission journey, email stuart@sweetsleep.org

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