“Bringing hope and restoration to the imprisoned children of Africa in Jesus’ name.” SixtyFeet Mission Statement.
Several months ago we did a brief series called “In A Nutshell.” We wanted to provide a little insight into the daily routine, the challenges and the plans for the future. We wrote 3 blog posts which you can find here, here and here. After our trip to Uganda two weeks ago, we thought it was finally time to post our last installment on hope.
We’re not quite sure how you put hope in a nutshell. There is so much that we hope for the children we couldn’t possibly summarize it in 250 words or less. Plus we pray that we bring hope (a lasting hope) to them. It’s a monumental blessing just to see the children have any hope at all.
One of the most difficult aspects of going into the prisons is to see hopelessness. To talk with a child who has no sense of a future or a family or love. To know that they have experienced trauma like we will never know and to see the pain on their face and the absence in their eyes. It’s difficult to know that you can’t take it away and make it better, or wipe away every tear.
And yet each time we return it’s a little better. The children experience the love of Christ one more time. They see that someone cares, and oh how we pray they see the One who truly cares for them. We know that some do. Just two weeks ago, 12 children came forward to confess Christ as Lord and Savior. Others have as well and we pray many more will.
The gospel is absolutely paramount to our mission. We wouldn’t be in Uganda otherwise, and we celebrate the opportunity God has given us to serve and we rejoice with the angels of heaven (Luke 15:7, 10) over every child who repents and trusts in Jesus.
We have received comments, though, that it could be argued we care more for the children’s spiritual needs than their physical needs. I guess if we actually had to choose then we would pick eternity over the temporal every time. No question about it. But the gospel is so much more encompassing, so it’s really a false choice.
Yes we want the children to hear and see the gospel every time we visit. We want them to know Jesus and of His grace, and mercy and goodness. But Jesus brought physical restoration as well as spiritual. For us to go into the prisons and preach Christ without addressing their physical needs would be an incomplete picture of the gospel. We believe they go hand in hand.
So the other part of our hope for the children relates to the physical. That they have consistent medical care, food, clean water, basic sanitation, clothing, and beds. If some need more intensive medical care, we want to get them to the hospital for treatment. Where there are counseling needs, we want to meet those. Where they have shown an aptitude for learning or vocational training, we want to get them into school.
In fact, we anticipate that more than 30 children from M1 and M2 will be in school by January (check our sponsorship page soon for more information). That’s incredible! You may remember one of the children. His name is Aaron and he’s in one of the short clips called “The Dance.”
We just love this young boy. He has such an encouraging and joyful spirit about him, and he’s always reading his Bible. Recently, my wife (Joy) had a chance to visit with him on the missions trip. When SixtyFeet was presented with an opportunity to sponsor him in school we jumped at it and… well…. we’ll let Aaron tell you.