Spring Student Conference offering helps 158 orphans in Uganda

What an amazing blessing the ministry of Sweet Sleep is for me. Quickly after discovering the vision of Jen Gash and looking into the work she and the Sweet Sleep team are doing around the world, it became my passion as well.

Missions is dear to my heart.  The Lord has put a deep desire to raise the awareness of others to global missions as well as discover ways for a young generation to become sensitive to the needs all over the world. For teenagers to get excited about spreading the fame of the God of the universe to their community and the world. 
Every year at our annual associational Spring Student Conference we include a special missions offering. When the council of several youth pastors that plan the conference met to decide on which organization to give to, it was a quick unanimous decision to partner with Sweet Sleep. 
This past weekend (March 30-April 1, 2012) was the conference and God blew our goal away. The Spirit of God stirred in the hearts of the 1400 students & adult leaders in attendance. Our goal was to raise $4,000 and resettle 80 children in Northern Uganda. The goal was high as former years averaged a little over $3,000, but we knew God would move.  That goal was smashed in just the first night.  Our weekend total offering was $7,900 which brought us great joy knowing it was going to provide a life saving mosquito net, mat, mattress, blanket, and Gods precious Word for 158 kids. The students were moved by the vision set in place, the photos, videos, and testimonies of us passionate about placing the needs of others before our own. 

We are super pumped to get these funds to Sweet Sleep so they can set a plan to get these resources to Northern Uganda. God is faithful and so very good. 

At the end of this month we have also planned a City Wide Under The Stars event in which we have 12 churches signed up to participate before the conference. With the huge success this weekend, we believe that number will double. Our goal is to give these students an experience that will continue to raise their awareness to the needs of these orphans as they sleep under the stars just as these orphaned kids do.  We already have local businesses, radio stations, tv stations, news stations, and the newspaper involved to spread the vision throughout all of East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Western North Carolina. 
We honestly believe God is going to use this event, last weekends planted seeds, and the future opportunities to transform lives here locally as well as around the globe. 
I want to thank the entire HBA staff and youth council for their love for Sweet Sleep and their passion to unify together to make this happen.
Thank you Sweet Sleep for listening to the call God has placed on your lives and letting us join you on mission to help save lives and see the Kingdom expand.

Ryan Epps
Youth Pastor, Boone Trail Baptist Church

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