Uganda (MNN) — Set Free Ministries recently concluded the construction of an orphanage in Uganda called “God Cares Orphanage.” The 2-year process was well worth the efforts and donations.
“It was through the efforts of Set Free Ministries and their donors who helped work with the locals there to help put this amazing orphanage up for over 550 orphan kids where AIDS began,” Dean Vander Mey of Set Free explains.
Based in the town of Kansensero, about 40% of people in the area have the AIDS virus, including a number of the children living in the new orphanage. Many had been victims of sexual abuse leading to the infection. During the planning and construction process, Set Free kept this in mind.
“Often times, when children and young people–and even adults–are sinned against, it’s when they hold onto that anger and their bitterness, and then their own heart condition begins to harden. And, we actually sometimes blame God for the evil that’s come upon us. So we have to work through a lot of that, working with children of abuse.”
Set Free hopes the construction of the orphanage will be a reminder of how much God loves them and that He will provide. After all, the building previous was nothing like it is now.
Vander Mey explains when a group was visiting, the orphanage was still called God Cares, “but it was built in a swamp.” The conditions were very poor. Animal feces were everywhere, and Vander Mey notes that when it started raining, everything floated between their legs and the kids’ legs. Further, none of the 550 children had shoes to protect their feet and prevent disease.
While those 550 kids called it home, Vander Mey says it was a disease-infested swamp and admits he was angry at the conditions. Yet, that anger turned into motivation to put an end to the bad conditions.
Upon returning home, he met with a group of seven men. “I said, ‘Guys it’s time to fish or cut bait here. It’s time to do something instead of just talk about it.'” Vander Mey challenged the lot to ask for donations in order to fund-raise for new living conditions. “And within two weeks, that group of 7 guys raised $400,000.”
Soon after, Set Free cracked down on construction.
December 4 marked the end of the era when around 1,000 people gathered around the completed orphanage in celebration. And, last year, a number of donors and sponsors were able to visit and see the transformation with their own eyes.
“They got to take videos and meet the people, and meet the children that they helped. It was powerful.”
“Edmund Burks says evil remains when good people do nothing…. The #1 problem with what’s happening today is apathy. People don’t know what to do, so they do nothing.”