Ministry Spotlight: Pillar of Hope
I don't have a whole lot of specifics on this particular ministry, but I do know that they work with the street kids in Uganda. And the more research I do on these types of kids, the more I realize that this might just be our hardest day in Uganda.
The orphan crisis, as you probably know, is huge in Uganda. For most of these children, living in a foster or orphan home would be a dream come true. Unfortunately, over-crowding and lack of funds in the orphanages, coupled with a poor cultural understanding of sex and contraceptives, along with a large amount of the population dying of AIDS has left far too many orphans with far too few adults to care for them.
A number of these street children, including some that we will be working with during out day with Pillar of Hope, have taken to sniffing shoe polish in order to get high. The practice of "huffing" is incredibly dangerous and can lead to severe brain damage. The reason may of these children huff is because it causes the senses to be numbed - such as the sensation of extreme hunger and malnourishment. It is a coping mechanism that these children depend on to stop the pain in their swollen bellies. In the process, they are killing themselves. "Tragic" doesn't even come close.
Amidst all of this horror is the ministry, Pillar of Hope. They love these kids like Jesus would, they teach them about Abba Father God, they do what they can for them physically - giving them food, clothing, schooling and medical help when available. (You can send one of these kids to school for just $35. If you're interested I can give you more information - just leave me a comment. Be sure to include a way for me to contact you.)
I wish I had more information to offer you - but I have only just the basics. This day will be a little unknown until we get there, and even afterward I imagine it will be difficult to explain what we'll have seen. Please say an extra prayer for us on this day (March 17th) and pray for Pillars of Hope that God will bless their ministry as they love these cast-aside children.