At the end of the day, I sit here under my mosquito net in Gulu, Uganda, pondering the events if the last couple of days. I’ve seen pictures on Discovery Channel and National Geographic depicting the simplicity of the lifestyle in Uganda. Yet nothing could prepare me for the surreal experience of seeing it first hand.
Special needs children hold a special place in my heart. The harshness of their lifestyle leaves no room for comfort for these severely mentally and physically challenged children. My heart was heavy to see so many children with disabilities in one place, and knowing that for so long these needs have not been met. The smiles on their faces and the excitement shown by the children and/or caregivers is something I will never forget. Their smiles were infectious. For the first time in their lives, they will go home and be able to sleep on a bed, under the so important mosquito net, while clutching the word of God. No longer will they have to sleep on the hard, dirt floor of their huts.
And while there are still so many more children who need beds, the beautiful smiles of gratitude of those children I have seen this week have been ingrained in my mind and heart forever.
Mary Jo Bagley
Sweet Sleep Team Member