Monday, November 29, 2010

Election Results and Report from Moldova

Below is an email I just received from our friend, and Parliamentarian-elect, Valeriu Ghiletchi. Thank you for your prayers and, per Valeriu's request, please continue to pray as the final votes are determined.

We give thanks to God for the strong, Christian leader he has created in Valeriu. Though Valeriu won a seat in original election and again in each subsequent "do-over" election in the last 2 years, the journey has been tiring and complicated.

Val, I praise God you've been steadfast in the fight to bring integrity and hope to Moldova. We continue to thank God for you and to pray for you.

Here's the email:

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for your prayers. After processing 97,5% of the election results, the good news is that three parties members of the Alliance for European Integration got together 58 seats in the Parliament versus 43 seats for the Communists.

Another good news is that both, I and brother Veaceslav Ionita are in. The Liberal Democratic Party I ran with got 31 seats.

The sad news is that the Alliance lacks three seats in order to elect the President and overcome the constitutional crisis. Only a miracle can give the Alliance the necessary three seats from the last 2,5% of unprocessed votes.

Keep praying for the final result and for the negotiations that will follow. 

PS Here you can follow the results: 

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

In Moldova, Great News...So Far.

See the AP article below. Please continue to pray as the results are finalized and as this historic change brings great hope for the future.

"Moldova's liberals poised to name new president

By Anatoly Golia (AFP) – 1 hour ago

CHISINAU — Moldova's liberal forces appeared on the verge Sunday of finally getting the votes necessary to appoint a new pro-Western head of state for Europe's poorest state.

Two exit polls from Sunday's parliamentary election -- the third in the former Soviet republic in less than two years -- put the three-party liberal alliance well ahead of their Community Party foes.

The RIAS-Publika TV poll gave the liberals 65.1 percent of the ballot while the CBS-AXA marketing firm gave the three parties a combined 56.2 percent of the votes.

The difference is crucial: the ruling party needs to control 61 of the 101 seats in the chamber to appoint a president -- a super-majority that has escaped the liberals since July 2009.

The two polls said the Communist Party had collected between a quarter and a third of the popular ballot. The result reflects the gradual wane in influence that pro-Moscow forces have experienced since the Soviet Union's collapse.

The pro-Western alliance -- which is pushing the country toward EU membership despite its dire economic record -- is composed of Prime Minister Vlad Filat's Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova, the Democratic Party of Moldova, and parliament speaker Mikhai Ghimpu's Liberal Party.

The prime minister's group came ahead of the others and is set to assume the leading role in any future negotiations over a head of state.

"These results show that even the seemingly impossible is possible," a jubilant Filat said after polls' release.

"This is the outcome of our persistent work. I would like to thank everyone and hope that these results are confirmed by the actual vote count."

The initial official results will be released at 2100 GMT and updated throughout Monday morning.

The Communist Party had blocked all previous efforts to pick a president who would use a stronger alliance with neighbouring EU member Romania to bring the tiny country into Europe's fold.

And its leaders gave initial signs that they may yet contest Sunday's outcome. They warned of potential falsifications and announced that they were conducting their own independent count of the votes.

"We want to avoid a repeat of past violations," said deposed Community Party chief Vladimir Voronin.

"The people are tired of voting. They want a parliament that will be around for four years," Voronin said.

Such controversy would mark yet another setback of a nation where the per capita Gross National Income (GNI) is estimated at 1,590 dollars and which remains isolated from the European Union and on bad terms with Russia.

The Kremlin has been watching the election closely for signs that it is losing its once-formidable influence on the EU frontier.

And much of the Moscow media has painted the election as a battle between pro-Russian allies and a reckless group of parties that is trying to push the country into an untrustworthy alliance with EU member Romania and the West.

Moldova was in fact a part of Romania between 1918 and World War II -- when it was annexed into the Soviet Union by Stalin.

It remains a Romanian-speaking country with strong cultural ties to Russia and the mix has proven dangerous in the past.

Two people died in April 2009 when protesters successfully demanded a recall of what they saw as a rigged Communist Party election win.

The uprising was led by the youth and became known as the Twitter Revolution -- a protest that was kept alive through instant phone messages and chat rooms on the Internet.

That youthful optimism transformed itself into a slim victory for the liberals in July 2009. But the Communist Party managed to block its choice of president and the capital has been wracked by political turmoil ever since."
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Election Day in Moldova and Haiti: Tomorrow, Sunday, November 28

Tomorrow is a very important day in two of the countries where Sweet Sleep ministers: Moldova and Haiti. I ask that you please take a moment for some prayer for fair and peaceful elections. And, for the right leaders that God has created for such a time in history as now, to be given the opportunity to lead their people and countries in a way that is honoring to God.

So much of what we are able to do to minister to the children of these countries depends on the peace of the country and leadership within. Your prayers are important and have been asked for by those we work with in the leadership of these countries.

If you don't receive our monthly prayer guides (via email) please sign up on our website at See last week's e-newsletter for how to pray for the upcoming elections in all the countries we minister in.

Below you'll find some important guides for prayer from Valeriu Ghiletchi, former Bishop of the Baptist Union of Moldova (with whom Sweet Sleep has a partnership) and who now serves as the Bishop for the European Baptist Union and a member-elect of the Parliament in Moldova.

Dear friends,

Tomorrow, November 28, is the decisive day of the Moldova Parliament elections campaign. 

Please, join your brothers and sisters from Moldova in prayer at this critical time for our nation:

1) Pray for fair and peaceful elections. 
2) Pray for a victory of the democratic forces and a new future of Moldova.
3) Pray for the Prime Minister Vlad Filat and his team, which I am part of.
4) Pray also for me, so I will finish well this course for His glory!

May the light shine in the darkness!

Valieru Ghiletchi

Pray also for people in Haiti to be able to come out and vote without fear of violence or sickness. Pray for fair and safe elections. Pray for peace in the process. Most of all, pray that the people will see this as an example of healing, but that they'd remember TRUE healing and restoration is from a different source.

Thanks friends.


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Article from The Economist on the LRA and the US

Uganda's dangerous rebels
Lords of woe
America wants to end the reign of a brutal rebel group. But can it?

Nov 11th 2010 | Dungu
Displaced by Joseph Kony’s devils

FOR a man whose job consists largely of counting the massacred, raped and abducted among his flock, Father BenoĆ®t Kinalegu is surprisingly sunny. He firmly expects Barack Obama to send American forces to intervene soon in the nasty guerrilla conflict on his doorstep. “It’s not enough just to send money,” he says, sitting in his office in Dungu, in the remote north-eastern part of Congo.

Two years ago the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel group, unleashed a brutal campaign, perhaps its bloodiest in more than two decades of its existence, against isolated villages in the ungoverned borderlands straddling north-eastern Congo, southern Sudan and the eastern bit of the Central African Republic (CAR). The UN has documented more than 2,000 civilian killings and 2,600 kidnappings by the LRA in the past two years; other human-rights people say a lot more. At least 440,000 people have fled their homes. Until a few months ago, Father Kinalegu had little reason to hope that the rebels and their bloodthirsty leader, Joseph Kony, would ever be stopped.

But in May Mr Obama signed into law the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, making it American policy to kill or capture Mr Kony and to crush his rebellion once and for all. America has repeatedly said that peace in the region is in its own interest. It would free up thousands of Ugandan troops to redeploy them under the African Union’s aegis in Somalia, where the rise of the jihadist Shabab militia has rattled the Americans.

The new law was also born of a moral obligation to make up for past mistakes. On December 14th 2008, less than three weeks before George Bush left office, the Americans provided advisers, intelligence and logistical support for a Ugandan army operation to hit LRA bases in Congo. But the air raids failed to defeat the rebels, Ugandan ground troops never arrived, and Mr Kony and his closest LRA friends escaped. Since the Ugandans and their American backers had no plan to protect civilians, the LRA began a new killing spree that continues to this day.

Getting Mr Kony and his henchmen was never going to be easy. With forces already operating in two big combat theatres, Iraq and Afghanistan, and painful memories of its intervention in Somalia nearly two decades ago lingering, it was unlikely that America would send troops to fight an African bush war. Among its potential partners in the region, Kenya is loth to get involved. The Ugandan army is better placed to serve as America’s proxy. But its record, after failing for 20 years to clobber the LRA, is hardly glorious.

This time the elasticity of the new American law may help. It allows for American financial and logistical backing for a small coalition of the willing. The French already have a permanent base in the CAR and a long history of intervening in African trouble-spots. Some senior Ugandan soldiers have called for drone attacks against the rebels. “It’s not just a choice between minor logistical support or putting hundreds of American troops on the ground,” says Paul Ronan, a founder of Resolve, a Washington-based lobby that pushed for the law. “There’s a wide range of options in between. There’s a lot the Obama administration can do if they’re serious about this.”

The Americans are due to announce a plan of action later this month. Doing nothing could be costly. In August Mr Kony is believed to have slipped beyond the reach of Uganda’s army into the southern part of the embattled Sudanese region of Darfur, perhaps to renew ties with his former benefactors in the government in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. As ethnic tensions in Darfur still simmer and southern Sudan is on edge ahead of an independence referendum due in January, Mr Kony and his men can still sow strife across a wide area. Hence America’s renewed eagerness to stop him.

(Original article here:

Now that you've read this, take advantage of the opportunity you have to help. Go to this page and sign the petition: . This is really happening, but only if we keep it moving. I've signed. Will you?


Friday, November 05, 2010


I'm not sure this blog will adequately express my thoughts and feelings. To be honest, I'm not even really sure where to begin. The people are so beautiful. Their eyes tell the story, with each set telling a different scene. There are eyes that silently scream, "Help me…please help me." Others show uncertainty and fear. Still others (most others) tell the story of relentless joy despite the circumstances they face. I would love to journey back with the elder man to when he was just a young boy. We could experience life through his aged and tired eyes. I wonder what I would see. I wonder what they see in my eyes. Allow me a brief moment to tell you about one set of those eyes I met today.

As we jammed into a one room building with at least 220 locals, one small boy who looked to be 8 or so (he later told us he was 13) stood to address the crowd. He introduced himself as George. George boldly stood and proclaimed how thankful he was to have our team come and provide bedding for his community. He started to tell us his personal story of tragedy and hardship only to be overwhelmed by tears. George quickly sat down embarrassed by his breakdown. The older women told George to stop crying because big boys don't cry. Later, I was privileged to sit down with George as Jen interviewed him. George's mother and father were killed by the rebels when he was younger. George and his two siblings are now cared for by his ailing grandmother. Since the passing of his parents, George is required to provide for his family by working as a gardener. His greatest desire is to be educated so that he may become a politician who serves his local community. George's eyes tell a story of bravery and ambition.

Now, as I sit in a comfortable hotel room after filling my stomach, I can't help but to think of those like George. Two questions have weighed heavy on my mind each night. I'm not sure I have the answer to either of them. But, I would like to share them with you:

1. How can we possibly meet the needs of all these people? I know we have been given an opportunity to provide for some; but, what about the others? I feel hopeless.

2. How will my life, ministry, and marriage be different upon returning home? Is there a proper balance in which to live? How will things be different for God's grace and glory?

So, how do you see the world around you? What story will others see as they look into your eyes?

Hebrews 12:2 – "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…"

David Kephart

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Grandpa and the Spear

Today was a perfect day in orphan ministry! Long and bumpy roads took us to two more villages, filled with singing, dancing, and laughter. In all we distributed 206 more beds to 206 precious children.

At the first village the elders greeted us with a traditional dance. Some of the meaning may have been lost in translation, but it seemed they were using one grandpa's crutches as a hunting spear. Great playtime with the kids followed. We introduced them to colorful parachutes and played rousing games of duck duck goose, along with some Ugandan games they taught to us. Meanwhile I took the opportunity to roam the outskirts of the play in search of stragglers. To my delight there were dozens of two- to three-year olds just waiting for me to coddle them. One little love curled up in my lap and within minutes fell asleep. This is something I've seen time and time again on Sweet Sleep trips; if you hold these children and give them only a moment to be still and secure they will fall asleep. This continues to validate the work Sweet Sleep does. These children have seen and lived through things we will never know. Most have experienced more in their few short years than many of us will experience in a lifetime. Despite all this, they are still babies; in need of sleep, in need of protection from malaria. With a sound night's sleep they will live better lives during the day. Without malaria they will not miss school. Without having to pay for medical treatment for malaria, money will be available for other needs of the family.
We distributed the bedding there then moved on to the second village. A courtyard was filled with over a hundred recipients and their caretakers, along with onlookers, and hundreds of children who were in school next door. It was a wild time of play and dance and giggling children as we showed them photos we took of them. And the message that was shared was clear and perfect. That God loves them. That they are His wonderful children. They were given hope, they were given love, and they were given sleep.

Sweet Dreams,


I learned awhile ago that if you ask God for something, you better be prepared for the answer. This is a lesson I often forget and have to relearn. Today, I learned that lesson again, hard.
This trip has been an incredible experience. I often have moments where I stop and realize I'm in Africa! We've given beds to over 500 kids so far, loved on as many of those 500 kids as we could, and seen sights that most people only get to see in National Geographic. As much and as incredible as that all is, it wasn't enough for me yet. My heart wasn't breaking yet. I had a fear before going on this trip that I had been on so many trips, I was becoming desensitized. I feared I had seen so many children in devastating situations that they all would start to blend together and nothing would affect me anymore. Because of this fear, last night I asked God to break my heart. I asked him to show me something that would break my heart, partly to connect me to this place again, and partly to prove to me that my heart has not been hardened.

This morning I got the answer to my prayer. She came in the form of a 4 year old girl named Joanne. This little girl singled me out and clung to me. I haven't had an experience like that with a child in a long time. I picked her up and didn't put her down again until her named was called for her to receive her bed. I then lost track of her for a few minutes. I found her while helping to tie up the mattresses in rolls to make it easier for the kids and grandmas to carry. She saw me and came running. I picked her up and held her until her grandma motioned for her to follow. The heartbreak came when she wouldn't let go of my leg. Finally, her grandmother got her to follow and it was one of the saddest goodbyes I've experienced. I kept thinking about what this little girl is lacking in her life to make her cling to a complete stranger just to receive a hug or some sort of physical touch. I kept wondering what has she seen and experienced already in her little 4 year old life. What kind of tragedies could she have already gone through to be without parents and living with her grandmother, who looks to be about 120? Watching her walk away was such a hard thing to watch. I could not hold back the tears as all of those thoughts flooded through my head.

Joanne, is one girl I will not be able to forget and she made me realize why we're here. We come here and bring beds so little girls like Joanne can sleep at night, and hopefully have a positive change in her life to make something great of her life. I'm happy to say my heart is not hardened, at least where children in need are concerned. The only problem now is, my heart hurts.


Precious creations

Hey there! Kathryn here.

Let me start by saying that I can in no way tell a story well enough for it to adequately describe to you the things we are experiencing in and around Gulu this week. I am only sharing with you one tiny bit of a huge story written by God, but this chapter is an incredible one! I am a member of a great team that is very diverse in talent and experience. Today, we went into a village called Koch (pronounced coach) Goma. Koch Goma is about an hour (depending on which incredibly bumpy road you take) outside of Gulu. In Koch Goma, we visited a camp that was the home of one of the Field Directors of ARC who has been working with us this week. Giving the beds from these children has been such an incredible joy, but instead of describing that to you which you'll hear all week, I have a few specific things that I did today that I'd like to share.

This week my assignment is to take a picture of every child and EVI (Extremely Vulnerable Individual) that Sweet Sleep is providing beds for. I completely enjoy this job, and am seeing so much that I don't have time or enough space to describe it to you, but I would like to make a brief synopsis. These children are beautiful and precious creations of our God. It is INCREDIBLE to see them receive their beds and pack them up to walk the miles back home to sleep sweetly.

There is SO much more work to be done.

Today we drove some children back to their homes that lived about 7 miles away from the meeting place. I feel that sharing one of the stories we came upon will give you a good example of the human experience in Northern Uganda. According to Filda (the Field Director I mentioned earlier), many of the stories are worse than this one.

4 children and their Grandmother rode with us today. To set the scene a bit, the van was all that would fit down a path that had grass grown up over both sides of the vans we were driving. The path opened to a cut out circle that contained one larger hut and an out house. Inside the hut, we had no idea what we would find.

To save some of the specific details, the Father of the children that we had carried home was waiting for us in the hut. After introducing ourselves, the Grandmother began to tell us her family's story. The 4 children who had received beds from us belonged to the man waiting for us in the hut. He didn't join them in the walk because he was unable. He had lost his ability to walk in an accident while carrying wood with a friend. This man is now a quadriplegic whose wife left him with their four children after he was paralyzed. The Grandmother, who was an Extremely Vulnerable Individual herself, was caring for her son who was quadriplegic along with her 4 grandchildren. These are the people that Sweet Sleep is caring for. These are the people that we are being blessed by in incredible ways. A fellow team member, Karen, mentioned tonight that it was unreal how much joy these people had despite their difficulties. The Grandmother in this family was so thankful to God that her son was alive, that she wasn't bothered by having to care for him on top of the rest of her daily work.

I was also given the task, at both huts that we visited, to talk with the children about the gift of bibles that they received. It was such an incredible job to introduce these children to this book that I pray will change their lives. I was able to tell them about a God who will comfort them when they are afraid and protect them as they sleep sweetly.

My prayer is that this book is the difference in a world of chaos. I pray that the same God that allowed us to play a small part in His story will continue to hold them closely and give them peace. I hope that this work will continue to move in me and through me and that by this blog it has moved through you.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Images from the first day..

Sweet Sleep is in northern Uganda this week to distribute 700 beds to orphans in IDP camps through our partners, ARC (American Refugee Committee). Here are some pictures...

Some roadside cuties...

Just chilling by the roadside

An IDP camp...

Our partner, ARC and their staff and volunteers prepare to speak to the children and caregivers about their beds.

Our mattresses arrive at the first distribution site!!! What a vision!!

In Uganda, malaria now kills more people than HIV/AIDS. As I spoke to the kids I asked them to raise their hands if they'd ever had malaria...

The kids at this site gather for a birthday celebration, complete with a great cake Josephine surprised them with!

Our blankets and Bibles lined up and ready to go!

If the children in Gulu's IDP camps have no parents, then hopefully they have an elderly grandparent like this. Otherwise the children have to raise themselves alone. However, even in most of those cases the grandparent is too elderly to fully care for the children.

Stuart and Carolyn give bedding to a grandmother caring for her multiple grandchildren.

ARC's spreadsheet for the first day of distribution

Beginning the walk home...but now with their new Sweet Sleep beds, nets and Bibles!

Some happy kids......a picture's worth a thousand words though.

Meet Moses...

Scott Harris, the missions pastor at my home church, Brentwood Baptist, has been a part of our work in Gulu this week. This morning I took Scott to meet with one of our ministry partners in Gulu, World Vision's "Uganda Children of War Rehabilitative Program". The work they do is beyond description (but I'll give it my best in a future post). While we met with them they shared an immediate need for 300 beds (I can hear a Christmas campaign in my head....).

On a tour of their facility we met Jon, Moses and Patrick, a few young men in the program. This is only the second time I've ever had the privilege of meeting some of the recipients in their care. As we walked away the name "Patrick" hit me and I wondered if it was the Patrick our World Vision partners talked about here.

I chatted with Christine and learned it was not. However, she asked if we'd like to talk with one of the boys. My heart nearly stopped beating; I couldn't even imagine getting to have the opportunity to sit with one of these tender young men and talk with them. We said we would be honored and went to wait in an office.

When Christine returned she was with Moses, a young man we'd just met. Ironically, while we had been sitting and waiting, Scott asked me if I had noticed that one of the young men was missing a finger. I had...and now I was face to face with a nervous looking man in a crisp white striped shirt, clean khakis and new shoes... Moses.

I was so glad Scott was with me because he is a master of asking questions but more because after about 3 minutes I was working hard to not turn into a teary puddle.

I promised Moses I would tell his story...and here it is:

When Moses was just 10 years old he was abducted from his home by the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army). He was in captivity for 14 years. FOURTEEN YEARS. I cannot imagine. Nobody can.

Moses said he tried to escape several times and each time was badly beaten. Christine shared that he was lucky---most who try to escape from the LRA are killed.

Over all of those years Moses traveled with the LRA throughout northern Uganda and Southern Sudan. He says his body still feels week from carrying "luggage" (large trunks filled with food for the adult members of the army, weapons and other various machines and goods that the commanders wanted to take with them from place to place. His developing body was deprived from the food and proper sleep he needed to grow strong. He undoubtedly battled countless cases of malaria and other various illnesses.

One night, just a little over a year ago, Moses and another friend in the LRA decided to risk it all and escape again. This time they were successful. They walked until they found Ugandan soldiers to turn themselves into. From there the soldiers knew to take the young men to the WV Children of War Rehabilitation Program in Gulu.

Christine had shared with us that most times males live in their center for 1-3 months, depending on the length of time they were in captivity and their experiences in the bush. November marks 1-year for Moses. My heart simultaneously breaks for him and leaps for joy that he has been so brave as to risk his life and to now fight for his future.

We learned from Moses that in his year at WV he has been able to visit his family once--for several weeks--as part of the reintegration process. They were no longer living in the same place they were when he was abducted. His father has since passed away, his mother is now very weak. He has a younger brother who is 20 and new siblings who are 8 and 5...whom he'd never met until recently. The reason he was so dressed up is that he was returning to his family today....permanently. Moses will live with his paternal uncle and sleep in his Sweet Sleep bed. Just typing that brings tears to my eyes.

I explained to Moses that part of my job was to go home and tell his story to others so that people could know about the situation in northern Uganda and be able to respond. I told him I would go home and share with everyone whatever he'd like and asked what that might be. Moses replied, "We (many of us) have retained bullets in our body and need to pray for that. I'm also saying that we have nothing yet to support us and because of you, we have hope and something to sleep on and I am asking you continue to support others like us. I want to give thanks and pray for thanksgiving because you add on to support with World Vision and we get the opportunity for a future where we will find life."

His journey will continue to be difficult. He has a bullet in his temple close to his right eye which effects his vision. The doctors say it is too dangerous to remove it. He has another bullet in one of his right fingers and is missing his right pointer finger. His right forearm has a rod in it the doctors put there to "make it stronger". There's unimaginable horror that goes along with his physical reminders of his childhood and adolescence in captivity.

I asked Moses if he prayed a lot. He flashed a big, beautiful smile and said he did. I asked what he prayed for and he said he prayed very often for God to forgive him of what he had done and to help him in the future. I told Moses I was certain God had forgiven him and asked if he knew that and believed that. He said he did. I will continue to pray that he does, indeed, know and believe that.

I promised Moses I and my friends would pray for him in the days and months ahead. He asked us to pray for his next medical treatment in January when doctors will remove the rod in his right arm and re-examine the bullets in his body. He asked us to pray for reintegration with his family. He is nervous of what they will all think of him, if they will really accept him, what the community will hear and talk about. He's worried they will feel like he is a danger to them. Moses just wants to be accepted. He just wants to be loved. He just wants to have his life back.

We prayed for Moses to choose joy. To chose to live with God each day. We prayed for his life and that his bed would serve as a reminder to him that God was all around him and was always with him. We prayed that his Bible would be a guide for his life. We thanked God for saving his life and prayed it would be used to help others, giving God the glory. We prayed many things. Now we need many people to pray. Will you commit to pray for Moses? His new life will take much prayer and I will keep up with him...and share with you.

We are here because of you. Moses has a bed, mosquito net and a Bible..because of you. I'm so appreciative. Thank you, my friends.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

First Day of Bed Distribution

Hi from Gulu! My name is Alyson Walker and I am from Tulsa, OK.

This is my first trip with Sweet Sleep and today was our first day of giving out beds! We traveled north today (20 miles from Sudan) and had what I would call a very "African moment"(among others!) the roads were very interesting. It rained last night which made the dirt roads mud!
Knowing what all these children have gone through and have lost and then seeing their excitement in their faces when they got their beds was wonderful! We took a family back to their home after they got their beds and the whole van ride over the grandmothers sang and did their yell. Not sure how to explain the yell but ear piercing. You could totally tell they were so excited. When we arrived at their home/hut they showed us how they slept before the new beds and then we set up their beds and nets they quickly got on them and started looking at their new Bible. I was excited to also give them pillows that my Mission Friends made. I gave them a picture of our children working on the pillows and shared with them that they were made just for them. The smiles on their faces were so big and they said that bed time was not coming fast enough. How many children in the United States can't wait for bed time! It is 9:30 PM here and I am thinking about those children sleeping for the first time in their new beds! They will have sweet sleep for the first time.
One thing about being here is seeing what a hard life they have, walking miles and miles for water, food, anything. The power outages at the hotel are a huge adjustment for us but for those that we saw today, it's everyday without power and so many other things. I am very thankful for being able to come here and also very thankful for all that the Lord has blessed me with. There is no need to complain about anything after coming to any other country! Thank you Lord. Tomorrow we head out to do the same and give more children beds! Sweet sleep is coming for more children tomorrow night!

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Monday, November 01, 2010

From Uganda with Love

Hello from Gulu!! My name is Tory I am a sophomore from Lipscomb University. I am so blessed to be in Africa again. We have only been in Africa a short while but God has already been at work. This morning we made the drive from Kampala to Gulu. As soon as we got off the bus, God presented me with a chance to minister and interact with the people of Gulu. While we were unloading the bus three school girls ran up to me and introduced themselves and wanted to shake my hand. I happened to have a puppet handy and was able to play and laugh with them. They were so mesmerized by the puppet because they had never seen one before. I was able to get to know them a little bit. In the short time I got to interact with them they really touched my heart. I am so thankful that God has already blessed me with opportunities to interact with the people here.

Later on in the afternoon, we met with ARC who is partnering with Sweet Sleep. ARC talked to us about the kind of work that they do and the people they minister to and help. The people that we are going to be providing beds to are not able to provide for themselves. The people who are left in these displacement camps are the orphaned, elderly, people with special needs and those who have other extreme challenges. ARC helps relocate and resettle the people who are left in the camps. They try to return these people to their original tribes and land from before the war. They said that this is somewhat of difficult adjustment for some of the people in the camps because many of the people were born and raised in the camps and this is the only life that they have known. ARC however provides many programs to help these people get adjusted to their new lives. This week Sweet Sleep is providing these precious people with 700 beds. Tomorrow we are going to provide two regions very close to the Uganda Sudan border with beds. Please continue to pray for the team as we continue to minister to the people of Gulu. Also please pray for people we are going to be meeting this week. Pray for their precious lives and pray that they feel surrounded by God this week and every day. I am looking forward to the many adventures that are still ahead of us and I am so excited to see what God has in store for me and the rest of my team. God bless you all and thank you for all the continued support and prayers.