Friday, December 31, 2010

Sarah's Story

I may never write another blog post again. Well, not if we have great perspective like this from our Ugandan National Program Director, Josephine. Enjoy her words again as we share with you, Sarah's story.

"During the bed distribution you read about yesterday in Atiak, Sweet Sleep was able to choose one beneficiary at random from a group of children who had come to receive new beddings from Sweet Sleep. We followed her up to home to learn her story about her sleeping conditions before and after getting new beddings.

Sarah is aged 9 years old with both parents dead. She lives with her grandmother (pictured below) and is lucky that she going to school, though she has to walk a long distance to the school. Sarah lives in a deep village off the main road and there is hardly a clear road that leads one to her home apart from following wandering paths.

(The car failed to move any further due to the bush and we had to move by feet up to Sarah’s home that you could see from a distance.)

In the life of Sarah, she has never slept on a mattress before much as she has always longed to sleep on one.

All along, Sarah has been sleeping on a papyrus mat that could press her ribs all night long forcing her to have short sleeping hours. She confesses that she has never woken up at a time beyond 6.00am because during the time when most people are comfortably deep asleep, to her mosquitoes are busy biting her and the mat pressing all her body thus making her wake up earlier than expected.

(Sarah’s bed while at the side lies a polythene paper that she uses to cover herself during the night.)

Sarah continued to tell us that she would hear stories from her friends who sleep on mattresses: that it feels very comfortable and had always admired to sleep on a mattress one day. But one day, some of the ARC field staff came and talked to her grandmother that a ministry by the name of Sweet Sleep was to bless her granddaughter with new beddings soon. It was the greatest news that they had ever heard over time because they cannot afford to buy a mattress.

“All along they (ARC) were waiting when they will be informed when and where they will be receiving their beddings till today when God has answered our prayers” said Sarah's grandmother.

According to Sarah, during the rainy seasons both the mat and the polythene paper she uses to cover herself are too cold and that sometimes she prefers to sleep while seated, leaning against the wall instead of sleeping down.

Sarah could not hide her joy when she made her bed and laid on the mattress for the very first time in her life. She requested us if it was okay for her to have a bath and went to sleep there and then.

(God’s time is the best, Sarah cannot believe it she has a bed of her own.)

Sarah told us that she is very, very happy with what Sweet Sleep has done for her and above all said will read her Bible before going to bed hence having Sweet dreams. She further said that she is going to share what Sweet Sleep had done for her with her friends and teachers at her school.

It is always joy whenever Sweet Sleep comes in and changes these little one’s sleeping conditions.

Thank you Jesus."

Thank you Jesus, indeed. I can't tell you how much I love Sarah's story. She's such a precious little girl and the pictures of her beaming with joy, hope and love from her new Sweet Sleep bed bring tears of the same to my eyes.

It also moves me to tears to read Sarah's grandmother share their prayers with us. They have prayed all year for God to bring them a bed, blanet, Bible and mosquito net. God has indeed answered their prayers.

Hundreds more are praying that same prayer. Hundreds more orphaned children in Sarah's community cannot sleep through the night because of their sleeping conditions. Hundreds of children cannot attend school regularly because they are suffering from malaria. This illness is completely preventable by Sweet Sleep's $8 mosquito nets.

Because so many orphans like Sarah are waiting for Sweet Sleep to answer their prayers, today I'm going to ask you to consider signing up to become a Sweet Sleep "bedhead". Details of that are on our website, When you visit our site to make your donation, read about how you can save and change orphan's lives by making it possible to give beds to orphans every month in 2011.

Don't forget to mark your gift for "Gulu" in the comments box, or in the memo line if you are sending a check. Please mail your gifts to Sweet Sleep, PO Box 40486, Nashville, TN 37204.

From Sarah and all the happily sleeping Sweet Sleep children in the world, thank you.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pictures, pictures, pictures!

In the words of Josephine, "There was joy all over Ataik."

Amen, and thank you. Enjoy these pictures.


These are just a handful of the words I could use. What would you add?

Considering that, just 5 weeks ago, I had NO idea Sweet Sleep would be providing these beds to these precious children, I might also add: Miracle.

Sweet Sleep still needs funding for 102 children's beds for the distribution you've been watching this week. An additional 360 beds are needed for children through our other partners. Can you make a gift, right now? Can you call friends and family and ask them to join you? Can you email or facebook a group of people you know? If we join together, we can do this.

Please visit to make a gift online. Don't forget to write "Gulu" in the comments box. If you'd like to mail a gift, please send it to Sweet Sleep, PO Box 40486, Nashville, TN 37204 and please write "Gulu" in the memo line.

Thanks friends. We're all such a great team!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another Distribution, Another Perspective

When Sweet Sleep began work in Uganda, we prayed dilegently for God to bring us a staff member there whose integrity and passion for our ministry would shine through in everything we did. God answered that prayer in the form of a woman named Josephine. Words cannot define how much she loves Jesus, her country, the children of her country and also, Sweet Sleep. We are as blessed as we are thankful.

Today, as I share about the next distribution with you, I thought I would do so in Josephine's words...

"Today marked another day of Sweet Sleep's continued work of ministering love to the children of Northern Uganda particularly those in Anaka sub-county (Nwoya district). Sweet Sleep’s staff together with those of our partners ARC travelled to Anaka sub-county with a purpose of blessing children with beddings. By 9.00am the sun was very bright in the sky and the engine of the fully loaded truck was already warming up to head for Anaka sub-county where the bed distribution was to take place.

It took us about one and half hours drive on murrum road to reach Anaka sub-county where we found excited and anxious beneficiaries sitted under a big tree waiting for Sweet Sleep to arrive.

Children together with their care takers seated under a big tree while the beddings are piled at the side.

On behalf of the community, Anaka sub-county local leaders thanked Sweet Sleep for coming back again and again in their village to give out more beddings. To them this was a wonderful Christmas gift for their children. He said, “ This village was so much affected by the 20 years civil war leaving us with so many orphans” hence exposed to very poor sleeping conditions where Children share polythene bags, papers and rugs that serve as mattresses/blankets for these helpless children but now that Sweet Sleep has heard our cry for help, we are very grateful for the timely support of providing beddings to our children” said the local leader.

Extreme left is the ARC staff, middle is the Local council III chairman and at the right is the woman councilor for Anaka sub-county appreciating Sweet Sleep’s work.

One could easily feel God’s glory hovering around the shade of the peaceful tree especially when the children started writing their letters of appreciation to the Sweet Sleep ministry for enabling them afford to sleep comfortably on a mattress and under a mosquito net for the very first time in their lives. Some of the children testified that they have never owned a Bible before and that now they have got one they are going to use it to pray to God so as to enable Sweet Sleep to provide beddings to more children.

After the letter writing, the names of the direct beneficiaries were read, accredited and the distribution of items started with a lot of excitement. The care takers/guardians who had accompanied their children helped them wrap up the mattresses and started trekking back to their respective homes some miles away from the distribution points.

Taking thumb prints

Direct beneficiary with items

Care taker wrapping a mattress.

It was a very joyful moment for the children of Anaka sub-county as Sweet Sleep continued to make them feel loved and cared for. Though they had to travel long distances back to their homes, with hope that they were no longer going to sleep on the floor, polythene bags and rugs, they were determined to make it home faster than before after all they were going to have a Sweet Sleep for the nights to come.

Beneficiaries hurrying home"

See friends, isn't Josephine such a blessing? This is probably one of my most favorite blog posts. Thanks for letting me share about our ministry through the eyes of another who truly knows and feels the impact Sweet Sleep is making in the lives of those in northern Uganda.

I know, if you're reading this blog, you likely have a good understanding of the importance of our work. You probably also know about the great need that more than 400 children still have for beds before the end of THIS year.

I'm urging you to make a year end donation, designated for "GULU" to help provide beds, nets and Bibles to all the children who are in need right now. You've seen what your help is doing. One person really does make an impact. Will that person be you?

Thanks friends. I'm blessed to serve along side you.

PS Gifts for these children's beds, nets and Bibles can be made online at . Please be sure to write "Gulu" in the special comments box. If you're mailing a gift, please send it to Sweet Sleep, PO Box 40486, Nashville, TN 37204 and write "Gulu" in the memo line. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Day In Pictures

Pictures speak a thousand words, they say. Enjoy these photos and know that Sweet Sleep is still in need of funding to provide mats, mattresses, blanket, mosquito nets and Bibles to over 500 orphans who are leaving the displacement camps and moving to new homes with their tribal families.

A complete bed is just $50 and will go directly to this need. Make a gift today at and mark your gift for "Gulu".

Sweet Sleep blankets, Bibles and mattresses lined up for distribution.

Mats are ready to go!

"Afoyo!" Jen translation is: "Somebody come over here and help this lil fella!!"

This little one is all loaded up and ready to go!

Mat, mattress, blanket, mosquito net, Bible....check! All because of you! YOU matter to an orphan! Thank you!

The children have figured out that if they put their goodies on their mattress and then roll it up, they can carry it all home on their heads. Kind of like a big bed twinkie!

I always want to go tuck EVERY orphan on the planet in and pray with them on their new Sweet Sleep beds.

Thanks for making EACH and EVERY bed we give to an orphan possible. You matter to Sweet Sleep! Thanks for changing lives with us!

Please take time to make a donation of $8 for a net, $10 for a Bible or $50 for everything by going online to and noting "Gulu" in the special comments box or my mailing in your gift to Sweet Sleep, PO Box 40486, Nashville, TN 37204.

Thanks friends. Stay tuned!