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Compassion in Northern Uganda

April 2007 | by Doug Nichols

While in war-torn Northern Uganda, we visited a refugee camp to encourage several pastors serving in the area.

The camps are filled with violence, poverty, hopelessness and fear. As we walked around one with the pastors, hundreds of children gathered round us. They were so filthy. Those who had clothes wore rags; and most were sick, malnourished and covered with flies. There were hundreds, including toddlers, with no supervision. They timidly approached us to shake our hands and smile. One little boy about 2½ years old stared at me for a long time, with no expression.

He was so ill, with a runny nose, protruding stomach and yellow eyes. Who knows what he had? Possibly malaria. He just stood in a daze. Finally, he took my hand and began to smile as I talked to him and the other children.

Who knows why he smiled? Perhaps he felt loved and accepted. The next morning as I prayed for this yellow-eyed, sick little boy and the other children, I was overcome with sadness and wept.

It seems that when there is a war, difficulty, sin, or catastrophe of any kind, it is the children who are the first ones to suffer! My prayer is that God would give a burden to several to serve on the ACTION team in Northern Uganda, with his call to serve children in the refugee camps.

There is absolutely nothing for the children to do, and they care for themselves on their own throughout the day. ACTION missionaries in the camps could start daycare centres and schools and teach the children to read, especially from the Word of God. They could sing Scripture songs, encourage the children to have fun as children, and teach them of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Uganda