While the Kampala team of Sweet Sleep's mission trip to Uganda is in full swing this week, half of the Gulu team that did not stay for that portion, has made the long journey back home to the States. I have personally been welcomed back home by my loved ones, the conveniences of my everyday life (such as air conditioning and hot water), and much to my surprise, a very torn heart. If you knew me before my journey to Gulu with Sweet Sleep, you would know that I had a list of fears a mile long prior to leaving. I was afraid of being so far away from my family, afraid of illness or injury, afraid for safety, and afraid of what I would see and learn in Gulu. I did my homework, and therefore, I knew the brutal history of Northern Uganda; I knew I would see things I had never seen before. And thank God, I did.
I saw the most beautiful faces of children who were fighting for their lives. I saw people, who by this world's standards had so very little, but were rich in love and kindness and gratitude. I saw a team of strangers who traveled across the globe together become brothers and sisters. I saw God's hand in both the greatest and smallest details—like the fact that we had literally to the ounce, enough people on our team to check the exact number of Bibles on our airlines so each child would receive one. I saw poverty and brokenness. I saw joy and hope restored. I saw the fatherless seeking their eternal Father. I saw prayers for more life-saving mosquito nets answered generously by Sweet Sleep's supporters at home. I saw God at work in mighty and awesome ways.
I had the privilege of being responsible for photographing our trip to Northern Uganda. While at times the task seemed daunting, it allowed me to really focus on what was happening around me; it allowed me to see. It is my hope that these images will allow you also, to see what I saw. I pray that you see how important the mission of Sweet Sleep is, and how their work is changing and saving the lives of some of the world's most vulnerable children. It's my prayer that you will see and be moved to action. That you may be called to give in prayer, to give financially, or to give through service by volunteering for a Sweet Sleep mission trip; and becoming the hands and feet of God; seeing these moments for yourself.