Friday, December 23, 2011

Uganda--M1 and Sixty Feet

Real prisons. Real bars. Real cement floors, cold from the rain and slick from the mud.
Real children, loved by God and known by name.

Sixty Feet is doing amazing things for the imprisoned children of Uganda. When I went to Uganda, I knew I believed in the vision of Sixty Feet and wanted to see and be a part of it. But after meeting the children at the M facilities, after seeing their beds--behind bars, some without blankets--after holding them on my lap and trying to sing the Zacchaeus song in Luganda (much to their great amusement), I not only believe in the vision of Sixty Feet. I love it.

Sixty Feet currently works in three "remand facilities," known for the protection of the children as M1, M2, and M3. These facilities are prisons for children. Some of the children were picked up for offenses such as begging, or because they were found on the streets. Some have been accused of crimes, but not yet tried (and when will they be? Unknown.). Some are there for "care and protection," because their families put them there, or because they had nowhere else to go. The M facilities are not places children should be. Sixty Feet has been able to bring medical care, fix faulty water pumps, bring food, etc. Twice a week, they visit each facility and share the love of Jesus through songs and preaching.

Sixty Feet also has a child sponsorship program to get eligible children out of the M facilities and into school or foster care. And there are plans in the works--plans that I love--to buy land and build a home where the most vulnerable children can go and live, be loved, and cared for.

Right now Sixty Feet is raising money for the land, and has been given a matching grant--up to $60,000!--for any money donated by the end of the year. During this season, we celebrate the One who came to set the captives free. Let's be His hands and feet and literally help set free these captive children. Click here to give. These are real children whose lives will be drastically changed.

The pictures above are from M1, during my visit. It was rainy when we were there, so their breakfast (which some of the older children cook for the whole group) was late. Porridge--flour and water--was breakfast. Posho--another kind of flour and water, thicker--and beans was lunch. There was a time of fellowship, led by Sixty Feet and one of the older children at M1, where we sang songs to Jesus and heard a message. We worshipped in a room with no electricity or furniture. Off that room were the boys' dorms, behind real bars, which they lock at night.

The work that Sixty Feet is doing is so important. Jesus loves these children, and we, His Church, should love them too. By the world's standards, they are the least of these. By the standards of the Kingdom, they are more valuable than words can say.

1 comment:

Jessica Leigh said...

This is moving and timely. What beautiful children! May they know the Beautiful One who made them.

I'd love to compare notes and stories from our international sister visits.

Merry Christmas to your family!