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, www.sweetsleep.org. 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.