Six years ago my friend, Jen Gash, started an organization called Sweet Sleep after seeing the conditions of children’s beds in an Eastern European orphanage. Today, Sweet Sleep provides beds and bedding for orphaned and abandoned children around the world (www.sweetsleep.org). They don’t just give the beds to orphans, they communicate God’s intentional creation of each child and His unconditional, unending love. They celebrate the children by throwing the biggest birthday party in the country. The children are even given Bibles in their own language and prayed with over their new beds. Finally, the children are told that when they lay down at night and pull the cozy new covers up around them, it is God---giving them a hug.
One week from today Jen will leave for Uganda where she’ll spend several weeks in the northern region of Gulu. This region has been in a brutal and senseless war for the last 22 years. A rebel army known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been terrorizing the North, attacking villages during the night. During an attack, LRA soldiers kill anyone they want and force the children of these villages to kill their parents or be killed themselves. The children who are left alive are then kidnapped into the LRA army and forced to become child soldiers. These children have lived through tremendous atrocities.
Recently this war entered into a time of peace. However, there are 1 million people still living in displacement camps in Gulu; three-quarters of those people are children living in child-headed households. These children have lost their parents and their grandparents---two generations of people to protect and care for them, to tell them stories about who they are and who they could be, to teach them stories about God and how to live according to His word.
This Christmas---while Jen is in Uganda, Sweet Sleep hopes to give beds and Bibles to 450 children. If the children can lie in their new beds and know they are loved and protected and, if they can claim a verse they’ve learned which reminds them of this knowledge, they can begin to have little victories over the fear that grips them. That’s when peace and hope and love can slowly come to their little hearts.
But, Sweet Sleep needs our help.
218 more children still need beds ($88 each). Together, you and I can work to change and save lives. Here’s what is still needed, you can determine which opportunity suits you best:
218 mosquito nets. Malaria kills more people in Uganda than HIV/AIDS. Treated nets are $8 each. Mattresses for 218 children so they will be able to sleep up off of the ground for the first time in their lives. Mattresses are $50. Can you imagine not having a blanket to warm you during these chilly nights or sheets to sleep in? 218 more children still need to be able to be warm and snuggly. They can for just $30. Bibles are $10 each. There are 450 households for a total of $4,500.
You can make a gift right now by going to www.sweetsleep.org/donate or you can send your contributions to Sweet Sleep, PO Box 40486, Nashville, TN 37204 with “Gulu” in the special comments box online or in the memo line of your check. All gifts are 100% tax-deductible. If you still need a great idea for a Christmas gift, you can even make this a donation in honor or memory of someone and they’ll receive a card from Sweet Sleep telling about their special gift. You can read more about this at www.sweetsleep.org/givethegift.
Thanks friends…..for changing and saving lives.
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