Monday, December 18, 2017

Uganda Update – The Karamojong Street Kids

March 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

In Uganda, the Karamojong orphaned street kids have developed a life of their own based on mere survival. They come from a life without love or parental interaction, given no training, no guidance, no sense of belonging and no hope for a future. In their underdeveloped minds, they live to survive which, unfortunately, doesn’t happen often.

The needs of the Karamojong street kids in Kampala are much like those of any child: food, shelter, clothing, and love. Along with their enormous temporal needs, these children are desperately in need of spiritual healing as well-they need to know and experience God’s unconditional love.

Government officials remain overwhelmed by the number of orphaned kids roaming the streets-children ranging in age from 2 to 18 years old. Many are parentless, unwanted and cast out by family and villagers, having been subjected to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. The government’s “solution” is to round them up in large trucks, hurling them on like cabbage and driving them to far-off remand homes.

Remand homes were initially intended to be a refuge for orphans and street children. However, they cannot keep up with the number of children being dropped off. The children are not properly cared for, food and water supplies are inadequate, and sleeping areas are overcrowded. Due to the unacceptable living conditions in the remand homes, the children look for ways to escape.

Uganda is a country where witchdoctors are common; abandoned children are often used as a popular form of sacrifice. When the children make their escape from the remand homes, the possibility of being picked up by a witchdoctor increases…one can only imagine their fate.

Heart of God Uganda is convinced God has the ability to change these throw-away lives forever. “When that transformation takes place,” says Matthews, “it will only be a matter of time before those children seek out their friends, family and even strangers to tell them their testimony.”

History has proven that a relationship must first be established with the children in order to gain their trust. But, once a trust relationship is established, the staff and volunteers of HG-Uganda will be able to minister to them based on the Word of God, pray with them, gift them with Bibles, and more. Providing a way for them to be fed, educated, and loved will prove to the children that although their natural parents have failed them, their Heavenly Father will never leave them nor forsake them. In other words HG-Uganda will be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to society’s outcast in Uganda.

First, however, locating a shelter to house and protect the abandoned children must be found. Property in Kampala and surrounding areas is very expensive. HG-Uganda is embarking on a fund-raising program to raise $500,000 for the property and building. A qualified, full-time, round-the-clock staff be hired to oversee the children, teach them, lead them in their studies and make sure they are fed and clothed. With emphasis on Bible study and wholesome fellowship, the children will have a place where they can feel safe and live without fear while learning they have an eternal purpose in life. The structured program has been proven to reduce the number of children on the streets making it worth every cent of investment on their behalf.

Denise Matthews is leading a group of men and women from all over the US to Uganda in June. During this outreach, more details will be worked out to initiate this critical outreach to the Karamajong orphans living on the streets in Kampala and surrounding areas.

Uganda is a nation whose allied security forces are deployed to Iraq, protecting US and other allied troops on field operations bases throughout that front. HG-Uganda’s strategy is to develop a “hand up” not a hand out for these citizens of our nation’s allies. This carefully planned strategy is to be self-sustaining in the long term, allowing programs such as micro-financing, self-agrarian institutes and other models stand on their own without long term ongoing outside funding. To see that vision a reality, we need your financial investments in the near term to plant those seeds of sustainability.

Heart of God Uganda is a member of the Heart of God International Ministries network, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has an all-volunteer staff and Board of Directors working out of their respective homes to minimize administrative expenses. While donations to the ministry’s general fund help sustain operations, 100% of all designated donations go directly to support the efforts in Uganda. All donations are 100% tax deductible and recorded receipts are mailed to you regularly from the corporate office in Ohio. For your convenience, specific ear-marked transactions can be mailed to the office or set up to be charged to your credit card (or echeck) on a on a one-time or recurring basis.

If you would like more information, or if you would like to know how you can help, please contact Denise Matthews (click here).

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My prayer is that you will not only read this, but help us share the horrors of such a life with your friends and online contacts. We can’t sit idly by knowing innocent children are being treated society’s throw-aways. These are children created in the image of God. Thank you for joining me in prayer as we seek God for specific steps to take to provide a safe house for these children–a place where they will find a sanctuary from the potential (nearly a sure thing) of a life filled with horror.

As you may know, we are headed back to Uganda in June 2010 with much excitement. There will be opportunities to spread the Good News in every direction! Many of the team members have sent out letters sharing their excitement with friends and relatives. Since it was much more cost-effective to send mail in bulk, please keep an eye on your mailbox for a letter from HGIM (Willard, OH) from a 2010 Uganda Outreach team member!

Denise Matthews is happily married and a full time mother of five. God has blessed her with the position of Kinder coordinator/developer for her church in Riverside, as well as with a preschool teaching position during the week. She is the director for Heart of God in Uganda, an outreach of Heart of God International, an ebay trading assistant, and cub scout den leader. In her spare time she loves to do scrapbooking, crafts, read, and hang out with her family and friends. She is the Director of Heart of God of Uganda, where she is working to accomplish all that God has laid on her heart.

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