Sponsored children in Uganda now have a future

By February 12, 2008

Uganda (MNN)-Uganda, known as the "Pearl of Africa," is scarred by the persistence of the Lord's Resistance Army. 

Much of the decades' long violence has driven hordes of refugees over the borders and into the bush. For children, it is especially dangerous, as LRA soldiers are known to kidnap children and press them into service as warriors, creating the "child soldier."

Between those who lost their innocence in this manner and those who have fled to safety, there is a common link. Their education has been disrupted at a critical stage. As these children grow into adulthood, their chances of survival are crippled by subsequent illiteracy.

Every Child Ministries' Lorella Rouster is working to right the wrongs such children have suffered as a result of Uganda's 18 years of civil war. ECM offers a sponsorship program that allows kids to resume their education.

It's important because "it gives them an opportunity to do something in the future, because without education, there will be nothing that they will be able to do. We also have a spiritual component to our program. We have a weekly meeting where they do receive Bible teaching; they receive counseling."

Many of the children have been living on the streets and have no home. Many of them have never slept in a real bed before. Some of them may be slave children who were freed but whose families still will not welcome them back home.  A sponsor makes it possible for them to come to Haven of Hope where they will be safe, cared for, loved and valued, or to receive vocational training according to the child's needs.

For the price of one candy bar a day, Rouster says a child's future can be opened. "Pray first of all for the teachers and the counselors who are working with the children every week. It's exciting to see these children get sponsors and be able to go to school, but there are tears from some who have not received sponsorship yet."  

Please pray for this continuing outreach and for the churches as they minister regularly to the children in the project areas. Click here if you can help.

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