Tag Archives: Uganda

Kony 2012 – Rescuing invisible children

It turned out to be some of the best advice we ever received!

Years ago, when Susan was pregnant with our first (of 6) children, some close friends had a baby shower with the usual activities. But they also had all the other moms write down their best advice.

Among the nuggets of wisdom was the advice to watch our child sleeping. It was said to be one of the most precious moments a parent can experience.

And they were right!

If you’re a parent, you’ve been there. After a day stuffed full of play and discovery your little bundle of energy is all cleaned up and lovingly tucked into a warm, safe bed for the night.

But what if someone broke into your house to kidnap your child? What if little boys were stolen away in the middle of the night and forced to carry guns and kill people? What if little girls were ripped from their loving homes and used as sex slaves?

Probably not where you thought I was heading with this blog, and the very notion of little children being stolen from their parents probably seems so foreign that you can’t begin to imagine such a thing happening.

But it does!

The little boy who was the reason for that baby shower so many years ago is now 21 years old and yesterday I watched a video on his Facebook page that broke my heart.

Joseph Kony is one of the world’s worst war criminals who is responsible for destroying the lives of some 30,000 innocent children.

The video below is nearly 30 minutes long. Believe me, I know the value of even a single minute. And I wouldn’t ask you to use 30 of them if it weren’t vital. PLEASE make the time to watch this video.

Then get involved by going here and pass it along to others. It’s just too important to ignore!

***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Compassion, Courage, Freedom, influence with the world, Justice, Loving others, Peace, Persecution, Suffering

Because faith is a verb

Tonight, I rock a baby who is not mine.

For the fifth time this year, we have a foster-baby.

I snuggle her close and gaze into her eyes as I feed her a bottle and sing Jesus over her. I kiss her forehead and pat her back just as if she were mine. I swaddle her tight and I tuck her in beside my pillow as if she were mine. But Jesus said, “Not this one.”

When we offer to foster a baby in the midst of our craziness, and when people learn that we are fostering another baby, they make the “you’re crazy” face. (come to think of it, people make that face at me a lot 😉 ) “Don’t you already have your hands full?”

Yes. My hands are full. My heart is full. My life is full. And that is why I do it. Because faith is a verb. Faith does. Love does.
~ From a blog by Katie Davis

In December of 2006, 18-year-old Katie Davis from Brentwood, Tennessee, traveled to Uganda for the first time. She was immediately captivated with the people and the culture.

In the summer of 2007, Katie returned to Uganda to teach Kindergarten at an orphanage. As she walked the children home, she was shocked to see the sheer number of school-aged children sitting idly on the side of the road or working in the fields. She learned there were very few government-run public schools in Uganda, and none in the area where she was working. Most schools in Uganda are privately operated and therefore require school fees for attendance, making impoverished children unable to afford an education.

God laid it on Katie’s heart to start a child sponsorship program. Originally planning to have 40 children involved, the program now sponsors over 400 children.

Now the mother of 13 daughters, Katie offers, “People tell me I am brave. People tell me I am strong. People tell me good job. Well here is the truth of it. I am really not that brave, I am not really that strong, and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am just doing what God called me to do as a follower of Him. Feed His sheep, do unto the least of His people.” 

You can read more about Katie here.

God isn’t calling all of us to move to Uganda and love on children in need. But He is calling us to live out our faith in some tangible way. What is God pulling your heart to do?

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Filed under Courage, Determination, Faith, influence with the world, Inspiration, Loving others

Saving lives with left-over soap!

Imagine life without soap!  It is critical to our health and humanity, a vital component of our ability to keep our families safe. But what we take for granted in non-existant in many places around the globe. Consider these facts:

  • 1.4 million deaths can be prevented each year by handwashing with soap
  • Children under 5 who wash with soap can reduce their risk of pneumonia by 50%
  • Handwashing by birth attendants before delivery reduces mortality rates by 19%
  • 7 million children have died due to disease that could have been prevented with proper hygiene since 2009
  • Handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which together account for 3.5 million child deaths annually. ~ UNICEF. Soap, Toilets & Taps, 2009.

The Global Soap Project began with Derreck and Sarah Kayongo, humanitarians and social entrepreneurs, who together, are fulfilling a dream to help families in developing nations improve their health and build better futures for their children and their countries.

From Africa to Atlanta with nothing but a dream and tenacity, Derreck Kayongo beat the odds, earned an education, and has served in leadership roles in some of the world’s most respected NGOs since 1994. In 2009, he met Vicki Gordon, a veteran hospitality executive, and shared his idea – what if we took the discarded soap from your hotels and turned it into new bars? Derreck recalled his time in a  refugee camp in Uganda – where families were vulnerable to disease simply because they had no soap or clean water to wash with. Vicki, who became one of the founding board members of the Global Soap Project, started making calls and assembling a team to support Derreck and his mission.

In just two short years , the Global Soap Project has expanded operations from Derreck’s basement to a warehouse in Norcross, Georgia with the capacity to produce thousands of bars of soap a day. It seems fitting that a recent shipment of 10,000 bars will soon arrive in the world’s newest nation, South Sudan.

To find out more or to get involved click here.

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Filed under Health & Wellness, influence with the world, Loving others