Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why I Go

An excerpt from our most recent trip.

Team member Kevin answered the call to go, little did he know that the Lord would be planting a seed in Him to someday hopefully return to Uganda.
"When I go home, I’ve got to do more. I had already decided before I came that we would continue where we could to help support. Like keeping our change jars, that’s going to be an ongoing thing. I haven’t talked with the rest of the family about it, but I want to plan to come back.

There will definitely be more prayer for these people and I’m going to try to raise some financial assistance for them, but I will definitely be trying to spread the word. These pictures tell a thousand words, but you’ve really go to see it, smell it, live it. You’ve got to tell people, open up their hearts. Help out any way you can. Monetary, goods, come on over and help. For me? I plan on coming back."

Kevin Gray--Olney, Texas

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why I Pray

Excerpt from a recent post by Debbie Key.  Debbie was a part of the mission journey team from Olney, TX that traveled to Kampala and Gulu, Uganda just a few weeks ago.
“We were taken to an area under several trees that they called their Prayer Altar. Pastor Grace told us how thankful he was for Sweet Sleep, and how our coming was an answer to their prayers. Pastor Grace shared his vision and be able to provide them a place for love and shelter.

The important thing for me today was not only spending time with these beautiful children but realizing God truly sent our team to answer someone’s prayer. My Children’s Home staff members have been praying for these children and are committed to providing them love. Several times, Pastor Grace stated, “We have been praying for you and you are an answer to our prayers.” 
Uganda is a beautiful country with generous loving people. Inspite of what they have been through in the past or currently suffering, they remain full of hope in God and trust him completely. I’ve said from the beginning that God was sending our team to Uganda in answer to someone’s prayers. I found out who many of them were today.” 
Debbie Key 

Share with us why you choose to Pray, Give, or Go for Sweet Sleep and on behalf of the world’s orphaned and abandoned children! Send your story to Stephanie@sweetsleep.org to be a part of “Why I Sweet Sleep.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why I Give

We chose to GIVE to Sweet Sleep at this year's Vacation Bible School at Warren Baptist Church in Warren, Maine by participating in the "A Bed For Every Head" program.  

We raised over $250 in cash offerings and made 58 pillows!!  We wanted to share God's love by making it possible for kids to have warm comfy beds and pillows like ours!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why I Give

- As a pediatric nurse, I obviously have a soft spot for kids.  Providing a comfortable bed, a mosquito net, a Bible for an orphaned or abandoned child was a no-brainer for me.

- For my 60th birthday, I wanted to have a big party, to celebrate with friends and family the blessed life I've had; but, while I wanted to celebrate, I didn't want it to be about me.  So I decided to divert the attention to a simple way to bless a child.  A win-win in my mind- we provided beds/comfort/hope AND we got to eat cake!!
This incredible cake was also auctioned off at the party for $50!

Thanks so much Kathy,  for sharing with us why you GIVE to Sweet Sleep!  
We want to hear your story! Share with us why you choose to partner with Sweet Sleep whether you pray, give, or go! "Why I Sweet Sleep" will be for the month of August!
Email your story to stephanie@sweetsleep.org!  We can't wait to hear how the Lord has used Sweet Sleep in your life!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sweet Sleep's top 10 "Back to School-Sleep!"

In light of school starting up, Sweet Sleep thought that we could share some sleeping tips for your sweet ones that we’ve picked up from several sources on the web!  We hope that these are of help and maybe help this transition into school a more pleasant one :)--if anything, we ask that you read for something to think about.

Sweet Sleep’s top 10 ways to get your child back into their “Back to School-Sleep”:

1. “Get them up earlier in the morning so they’re more tired in the evening and get them to bed earlier in the evening,” Adron Children’s Hospital Pediatrician Dr. Cooper White said.

2.      2. Garden, “Keep darkened rooms at a cool temperature which helps the transition from wake to sleep.” (Mike Wilson, WIBC Indiana News)

3.      3. “Children having anxiety thinking about going back to school?   Childrens' books related to going back to school might be a very appropriate way to discuss the topic.” White said. (Jenn Strathman, newsnet5.com)

4.      4. Children who have been away at camp with unsteady sleeping schedules?  Ariana Birnbaum’s child would head to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until he returned to his regular bedtime. (Lauren La Rose, The Canadian Press)

5.      5. “…kids in Grades 1 through 5 should be getting at least 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night.”

1.     6.  “..touch base with teachers to see if kids are experiencing any daytime sleepiness.” (Lauren La Rose, The Canadian Press)

7.      7. “It’s best to read stories with your kids sitting up, because you want their body to associate the position of sleep with lying down.” (Mike Wilson, WIBC Indiana News)

8.     8.  “Doctor Deborah Givan with Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health says getting a bright start in the morning can help get body clock rhythm a bit more focuses."

9.     9. “.. put kids to bed when they are tired, and slowly start rolling back that time throughout the week, working towards an earlier bed time. (Mike Wilson, WIBC Indiana News)

10. “Dr. Burg says without enough sleep, kids can show signs of behavioral and learning problems.  He adds mood disorders aren’t uncommon from lack of sleep and contributes to children being late or missing school all together.” (Amaka Ubaka, News Channel 6 Omaha, NE)

As much as we hope that you can take something away from this top 10 list we’ve made, re-read number 10. Lack of sleep can cause mental and physical problems and delays.

Don’t forget that sleeping is something that we all take for granted and is something we should embrace and enjoy as many children don’t get this luxury; they don’t get a good night’s sleep, or even a bed for that matter.

What will you and your children do to help change this? Will you choose Sweet Sleep?

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Why I Go

  • There is nothing like seeing the faces of the children as you hand them a bed set that will change their lives. 
  • There is nothing like when you hand a life saving mosquito net to a child that has HIV/Aids.  You know that it will help them live longer!  
  • You see in action what Sweet Sleep is all about...being the hands & feet of Jesus to His children! 
  • The Lord commands us to take care of the orphans & widows!  Because of that command and my love for children & missions, I am ready to go any time!

Alyson Walker

Thanks Alyson for sharing "Why you GO" on behalf of Sweet Sleep!
We want to hear your story! Share with us why you choose to partner with Sweet Sleep whether you pray, give, or go! "Why I Sweet Sleep" will be for the month of August!
Email your story to stephanie@sweetsleep.org!  We can't wait to hear how the Lord has used Sweet Sleep in your life!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

"Why I Sweet Sleep"

1 Corinthians 12: 4-7 "Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different ministries, but the same lord.  And there are different activities, but the same God is active in everyone and everything.  A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial." 12"For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that ody, through many, are one body--so also is Christ."
Ephesians 4: 1-6 "I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.  There is on body and one Spirit just as you were called to one hope at your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all."

As these bible verses share, we are all a part of one body, the body of Christ.  This August campaign, “Why I Sweet Sleep” is displaying just that.  We want to gather stories from our friends and partners of Sweet Sleep who have joined together using their different gifts through praying, giving, and going.

What we ask you do to is share with us why you choose Sweet Sleep.  Why do you choose a ministry centered around providing beds for the orphaned and abandoned children of the world? What makes that stand out for you when you are choosing to pray, give, or go in honor of these sweet ones?

In order to share your story, we ask that you participate with us in this simple yet very impactful campaign.  All you  need available is a piece of cardboard or scrap paper and a dark marker.  Simply write pray, give, or go (just like in the video) onto the cardboard or paper, and then get someone to snap a photo of you holding it.  After that, write a brief paragraph of why you choose to partner with Sweet Sleep in the way you chose (pray, give, or go).  Once you’ve done those two things, just email an attachment of both to Stephanie, at Stephanie@sweetsleep.org. Then your story will be featured on our Facebook page and our blog!
We are so excited about this, and are even more excited to read your stories.  There’s something about encouraging one another in walking with Christ, and the Lord is using Sweet Sleep to do just that; building up a body of believers that are looking to serve, and in this case, serve children who are in need of a place to rest their head at night.

Thank you for being a partner of Sweet Sleep, and we pray that you would use this as an opportunity to expand His kingdom.  By sharing with others, encouragement is what will come.  Encouragement to others to get involved and be a part of something bigger than themselves and jump on board with serving the orphaned and abandoned children of the world!  Praise the Lord for that!

Share this video along with the campaign itself with friends and family and get on board and share, "Why you Sweet Sleep!"

Sweet Blessings,
The Sweet Sleep team

*like us on Facebook to see your story and keep up with what's going on at Sweet Sleep!

Thursday, August 02, 2012


The last two days at My People Children Home went by too quickly. On Thursday, the beds, blankets and Bibles arrived. We then spent about three hours unloading the beds, putting them together, and then arranging them in the boys and girls dorms. It was amazing to see the faces of the children when they saw the beds in place. There was one little girl who looked in, and when she saw the beds she ran to one and said, “MINE!!!”. It’s amazing how little the people have but they are still happy.

On the last day, we threw a birthday party for the children because many of them don’t even know their own birthday. We gave them cake and toys to play with. Just seeing the grinning faces of the children struck me with awe. We didn’t give them much, but they were happy with what we gave them.

 In my opinion, we shouldn’t feel sorry for the people and children of Africa. We should feel sorry for the people and children in America. American children have more opportunities than the children of Africa, but they do not take them. Most of the time, American kids just sit on the couch and watch TV. In Africa, people take every opportunity they are given. Americans seem to expect more and are disappointed when they don’t get what they want. Americans are picky. Africans are always happy to receive something, no matter what it is.

Americans should be more like Africans. They always praise God. They are happy to go to church. Instead of “Oh, I have to go to church.” , it’s “I have he privilege to go to church.” I hope what we have said in these blogs will change people at home as much as it has changed the 16 members of this team.

Carter Gray

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Want Versus Need

This whole trip has been a great experience, in that we are actually getting more blessings that the kids probably are. I realize how spoiled we are, how we have everything we need and most of what we want, yet are still complaining. They don’t even have some basic necessities of what they need, most of all a bed. I always complain about how my bed isn’t soft enough, or how I need a lighter or heavier blanket to stay cool or warmer at night. They have the ground, and that is pretty much it.
Today while putting all the beds together, I was noticing how all the children were wanting to help because they were so grateful that they got a bed. It overwhelmed me, how there is so much poverty here and how they can’t even afford a bed or a mat, and we were giving them one. Seeing them trying out and choosing their new bed, just laughing and all excited broke my heart, because if I got a new bed, I’d be like, “Oh, yea. A bed. Cool…” They were like, “YEAH!!! A BED!!! ” It broke my heart and showed me that I don’t have to have everything I want and can get by with what I’ve got.
Seeing things here makes me feel super selfish, because I complain about everything. I am a complainer. These people in Uganda hardly complain about anything. At home, I can just go to Sonic or Allsup’s to get a drink when I get thirsty, while they say, “Oh, I’ll just walk 5 miles to the nearest watering place and get a drink, and then carry it 5 miles back, on my head.”

The one thing that has really stuck out to me this entire trip is how grateful they are. They are just so excited and say thank you a million, million, jillion times for what you gave them even though you really didn’t give them all that much. There is so much more you could have given them, but they are like, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you so much…” They are just so grateful for receiving something like that.
The biggest surprise to me has been how many people actually are living without a bed. I wasn’t expecting as much as I saw. Going into the houses we have been to, I’ve seen just how little they do have. I never knew there was that much poverty. I’ve heard about it all over place, but I never knew it was that bad. You never know until you see it.
When I go back home, I’ll probably be a lot more cautious about what I want and what I actually need. I probably won’t complain as much, and I won’t complain about Olney’s roads again, that’s for sure. I’ll learn to love what I have and be grateful for it, even though it might not be what I actually want. Not many over here in Uganda get what they actually need, much less want, unless they are the King or something. Back home, I was never one to go up to someone and say, “Hey, how are you?” I think I should do that more because whenever you say hi to a child here and ask how they are, they just light up because no one has ever really cared about them like that. I think I’ll be more friendly to people that I don’t know and take more time to talk to people and find out how they are doing.
Preparing for this trip, I thought “Oh, I’m going to Africa. No big deal…” , but now I’m like “Holy Cow. This is huge! I can do so much more than what I’m doing. When I get home, I plan on helping out more. I”m a big ol’ pack rat and I never give anything away, so I can give stuff to people who need it. I plan on tithing more with the money I get from working. I want to give money as well as clothes or whatever I have. Like the lady at the church in Uganda who didn’t have any money to give, so she put vegetables in the offering plate.

Sydney Montgomery