Friday, December 21, 2012

Kids serving Kids

December 13, 2012

Dear Sweet Sleep,

We are thrilled to able to send you the enclosed check for $2,643.00 towards the purchase of mosquito nets for children around the world.

During our Fall Semester here at First Hurst, our 3 year olds-6th graders participate in Missions Programs: Mission Friends (for preschoolers), Girls in Grace (for 1-6th grade girls) and BiG DawGs (for 1-6th grade boys).  Our desire is to disciple kids in their walk with Christ, and to help them discover the unique gifts and talents God has given them.  We then teach them of local and global missions and encourage them to begin using those gifts to serve God by serving others.

Each year, we have an event to help raise funds for missions.  After attending Centrikid Camp last year, and learning about Sweet Sleep, we knew that this was something we wanted our kids to participate in.   We promoted the Nickels for Nets program and the kids were very excited about it.  Our grade school aged kids asked people to sponsor them in one of two events:  Walking or running laps around the park or shooting hoops.   Our preschoolers participated by bringing a nickel to class each week, and then walking with us at the Nickels for Nets event.  On October 28, our kids completed their mission by walking and shooting hoops.  They then collected their pledges which were enough to provide almost 320 nets!

We hope that you are blessed by the efforts of our kids, but we pray that the money will bless the lives of those kids who receive the mosquito nets!  May they hear the gospel message and may their lives be impacted for eternity!

Thanks for your ministry.  Thank you for the opportunity to partner with you in blessing kids around the world!

To God be the glory!

God bless,

Deni Morrow
Children’s Pastor
FBC Hurst

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Valuable Gift?

As Christmas sneaks up, peeking around the corner, it can be too easy to lose sight of the caliber of that special day we all celebrate.  Do we choose to look at this "holiday" as one to fill up stocking, boxes, and endless wrapping paper with gifts of some form value? Do we choose to stress over a gift to fill some form of expectation from a loved one? What form of value do these gifts hold that we give?

Thinking back to this day thousands of years ago, to this child--the Messiah, the gifts that were brought and the reason for those gifts--this was the Son of God! The gifts were brought in honor and in celebration of this life that would change this world we live in forever.  These gifts were brought with love, respect, and humbleness toward this child. 

This Christmas would you commit to giving a different kind of gift. One of a different kind of value than are culture finds valuable. One that will change a life and humble you and loved ones.

Here at Sweet Sleep, we long to provide not only a bed for every head, but with each bed comes a bible bringing them the Word of God.  Your gifts to Sweet Sleep hold great value and purpose and thanks to you, children's lives are changed forever--giving them a bed to call their own and the Holy Bible, holding more value than any other present can contain.

By Giving the Gift of Sweet Sleep this Christmas in honor of a loved one, you are not only changing the life of a child, but you are helping to educate and open the eyes of family and friends to the mission of Sweet Sleep.  Your gift can be of any amount you'd like and in honor of as many loved ones as you'd like.  Each card comes with an enclosed magnet so that your recipient(s) will have a reminder of your gift to place somewhere special.  We are so grateful for your gifts and for your willingness to share the mission of Sweet Sleep with others.

The only way that Sweet Sleep continues to provide beds to the world's orphaned and abandoned children, is through your generous gifts.  Why not Give the Gift of Sweet Sleep this Christmas and have your boxes, wrapping paper, and stocking filled with a gift of love, joy, hope, peace, and most importantly rest for a child in need. So simple and life-changing.

Give the Gift>>>

-the Sweet Sleep team

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What A Night!

On Friday, September, 28, 20 students and 5 adults, gathered for a night under the stars. The only items we allowed students to bring were a Bible, a flashlight, and a sheet. Students could not bring cell phones, blankets/comforters, pillows, or other electronic devices. A member of our church provided the boxes.

To get the night started, we watched a video, provided by Sweet Sleep, explaining what the night was about. Then we proceeded to play a couple of games, in hopes the students would expend their energy -  we played Elimination Dodgeballl and had a Pillow Dueling (ironic, since they could not have pillows; believe me, they were locked away after the game was over). After game time, walked around the outside of the church to the other side of the church to pick up our boxes. Each one of us took our boxes to the back parking lot of the church; our final destination. Before we settled down for the evening, we had a time of worship, individual quiet time, and snacks.

 For snacks, the students had to walk around the outside of the church again. When we arrived at our destination, we feasted on saltine crackers, peanut butter, and tap water. We spared no expense when it came to snacks! After snack time, we all walked back to "camp" to settle down for the evening. By this time, it was about Midnight.

Sleeping on a cardboard box, and only having a sheet, when it was cold was a challenge. Throughout the night, I kept waking up, as I was sliding off of my box. I must have slept better than I thought because I had students who would come up to me and ask if they could go to the restroom - we did let them go to the bathroom inside the church; however, from what others have said,  I did not wake up to acknowledge these students. At one point I woke up - I think it was about 3 am - and it was foggy and the dew was getting heavy as it was falling on my sheet. I was excited to see 6:00 am come.

After we awoke, at least those who slept thru the night, we had our morning quiet time. We concluded with a time of debriefing for the purpose of seeing what the students' experience was like and how did God use this in their lives. We did not serve breakfast!

This was a great event for our students. It gave them a dose of reality. This night enabled them to see how a vast majority of children live each day throughout the world. It challenged them to think about the comforts and conveniences they have compared to what little, if any, comforts and conveniences most children have throughout the world. It enabled them to see how blessed they were and how could be a blessing to others!

As a result of this event, our students raised about $1100 and our church is going to match what our students raised. As a result, over 40 children in northern Uganda will receive bed kits.

Thank you Sweet Sleep for giving our students this opportunity! What a night to remember!

Dwayne Abrahamson
Minister to Students
Red House Baptist Church
Richmond, KY  40475

Monday, December 17, 2012

Board Steps up 18%

The Sweet Sleep Board of Directors recently made their pledges for the year, raising their level of commitment by 18% over the previous year. 

Board Chair, David Ward says: " We have such a great Board who is working hard to explain this ministry.  Every Board member is committed to "giving" and "getting." They each give personally, and then use their time, talents, and influence to encourage others to support orphans around the world."  
Would you consider stepping up your commitment to be an even stronger supporter of orphaned and abandoned children in 2013?  If you would like to learn more about Sweet Sleep or would be willing to introduce us to your church staff, Sunday School class, civic group, business contacts,  friends, or colleagues, let us know by calling Shayla (ext.22), Dustin (ext.23), or any of our leadership team at (615) 730-7671.  

Won't you join our Board by "stepping it up" in 2013? YOU make a difference in a child's life!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Give the Gift

Give the Gift

Did you know that a bed can literally change the life of a child? Having a place to rest their head helps to not only improve their quailty of sleep, but help them focus better in school, keep them off the floor (where diseases may be more easily contracted), and helps them physically by providing support for their bodies.   
By Giving the Gift of Sweet Sleep this Christmas in honor of a loved one, you give the gift of a bed, bible, and life-saving mosquito net to an orphaned or abandoned child in the recipients' name. The recipient will then receive the card( pictured) along with a magnet enclosed to remember that your gift has changed a life!  

  • $8 provides a mosquito net to orphans in Africa or Haiti.
  • $10 provides a Bible to an orphan in his or her language.
  • $50 provides a bed and bedding for orphan resettlement kits in northern Uganda.
  • $125 provides a healthy, comfortable new Sweet Sleep bed for a child in Africa.
  • $167 provides a complete Sweet Sleep bed for an orphan in Haiti.
  • $200 provides a comfy Sweet Sleep bed for a Moldovan orphan.
 Give the Gift here>>>

Thank you for giving the gift of Sweet Sleep a loved one this Christmas! Lives are being changed thanks to generous gifts like yours, and you are helping to share the mission of Sweet Sleep by Giving the Gift! 

Blessings to you and your family this Christmas!

-the Sweet Sleep Team

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Jens Pen December 2012

Hello sweet friends!

I'm writing to you from Uganda as Madelene, our Global Ministry Director,and I begin rounding up our very own journey!  What a wonderful and humbling time it has been to learn more about how Sweet Sleep can better serve and expand God's kingdom through something as simple as a bed!  I want to thank you for making expansion and growth possible through your gifts of prayer and giving! You are such a key part of our story and we are so grateful for your support and partnership!

Our journey began November 27th as we took off to Ethiopia.  The Lord blessed us with the incredible opportunity to talk with the president of Ethiopia and learn more of how Sweet Sleep can best serve his country.

December 1st was World Aids Day. There are an estimated 2 million people living in Ethiopia with HIV/AIDS (54.5% are women women and 96,000 are children under 15). We attended an AIDS conference to learn more about caring for this extremely vulnerable population. Would you join me in prayer for the fight against the AIDS epidemic in Ethiopia? For more photos and stories from our time in Ethiopia click here.

Next on our journey was Uganda where we landed a few short days ago!  To kick things off, Josephine, Madelene and I were interviewed on the radio show, "Women's Voice" on The Alpha FM, speaking to their 1.5 million listeners and raise awareness and advocate for the orphan.
A few days back I stood in what used to be an IDP camp for 15,000 people from the Northern Uganda area of Kitgum, Uganda as Sweet Sleep gave beds, Bibles, mosquito nets and water to 100 children. As I handed a little one a mosquito net, I was overcome with gratitude for what God has called me to do for the last ten years. Thank you for making it possible to share this kind of love with the most needy and vulnerable. I am forever humbled and grateful and eternally blessed because of what we do together.
See more of our journey through updates from the Sweet Sleep Facebook, Blog & Twitter!

P.S. As Christmas is just around the corner, and you're wondering what the perfect could be, remember Sweet Sleep! By Giving the Gift this Christmas in honor of a loved one, you are changing the life of a child by providing them with a safe place to rest their head at night. Wishing each of you a very blessed Christmas!

Overwhelming Thanks

Today I stood in what used to be an IDP (internally displaced people) camp for 15,000 people from the northern Uganda area of Kitgum, Uganda as Sweet Sleep gave beds, Bibles, mosquito nets and water to 100 children who are single or double orphans living with aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters or grandmothers. As I shook the hands of each man, woman and child and handed a little one a mosquito net, I was overcome with gratitude for what God has called me to do for the last ten years. Thank you for making it possible to share this kind of love with the most needy and vulnerable. I am forever humbled and grateful and eternally blessed because of what we do together.

Sisters in Christ

Today we spent in deep, deep ministry and fellowship with our Ugandan staff. These two women have shaped the understanding of service and love and compassion for hundreds of team members who have come to this country with Sweet Sleep. Their hearts are pure and their desire to serve God with excellence guides everything they do and say. They have grabbed the hearts of all who have had the blessing to meet them. It is a privelege and honor to sit with and pray over my sisters who, though they live 8,000 miles away, God brought together with me. I love you Josephine Ssebambulide and Auma Jennifer Odong.


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Day 1 in Uganda

Ground breaking first day in Uganda. 
  • We were interviewed, as women in ministry who are making a difference in peoples' lives, on a radio station with 1.5 million listeners. 
  • Learned there are 10,000 street kids in Kampala. 
  •  Met with other NGOs (Non Governmental Organization) who are caring for these children in this community. 
  • We've traveled six hours north and have settled in to rest. 
  • Tomorrow we will distribute 100 beds to a brand new partner. 

Sometimes you have to run, just to keep up with God.