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.