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2 Year Olds in Prison

These past few weeks my prayer group and I have been studying how disciples are to respond to the needs around us. What does God call us in the name of mercy and justice to do? We have had good discussions. Personally, I wondered what it was I could do.

Then I got a phone call this morning.

I could hardly believe my ears when my friend, Chad Hawk told me 2 year olds are in prison in Uganda. Often sold by their own parents! He has a heart for ministry in Africa. He travels there regularly. He asked for my help. needs our help – actually the children need our help. I never ask you all for anything like this because I know each of you have places you give to but I want you to be aware of this particular need. Chad is one of the good guys. A servant’s heart. He is not building a kingdom but The Kingdom. Let’s help him. When you have done it for the least of these…

I will let him speak for himself:

I will be leaving for Uganda in one month. The opportunities for this year’s trip have opened in ways I did not expect for several years. What has happened is that the part of the Ugandan government that is responsible for the children’s prisons has decided to give me clearance to all six of the prisons. This is unprecedented! The Ugandan government has historically only given very limited access to foreigners. The prisons are a black eye for the country and they hate admitting that they exist. The prisons are normally treated with secrecy and miles of red tape to gain access.

However, thanks to the efforts of several NGOs and a wave of new political climate in Uganda, I have been granted the first access to all of the prisons for any outside health related organization. Even the UN has been denied this level of access at once! This is a monumental step for Epik Missions and has received this permission from the Vice President of Uganda.

While I am humbled and in awe of this opportunity, it has one major hurdle that I need help with.

I need to raise nearly $10,000 by April 20.

Each prison requires just over $1,500 in “fees” to be granted access. These fees are various bribes that must be paid to many branches of governmental officials. Everyone from the regional Minister of Health to the local warden has a fee. If you have ever done work in Africa, you understand that this is how everything gets done.

Each prison houses about six hundred children between the ages of two to twelve. Each prison has at least four halfway houses that have a total of 250 children. This means that 850 children will be cared for at each location. Over 5,000 children will be served on this trip plus most of the support staff.

These children live in the most horrific conditions you can imagine. I have been there. I have seen first-hand their struggles. I have held the young girls that are dying from AIDS. The deadly HIV was given to them from guards that rape them. I have cared for young boys who have collapsed skulls where metal clubs have beaten them into submission because they did not move fast enough for a guard. Broken arms, open wounds, keloid scars on their backs from beatings are everywhere.

So how can you help?

The simplest way is to go to the Epik Missions web site, www.epikmissions.com and donate online.

Time is short and I really need your help.

God has opened this door and I am confident of His provision. I know I must take quick and immediate action. Will you help me serve the children?

These children feel abandoned and forgotten. The only touch they know is a hurting touch. Abuse. Beatings. Harshness. What has life done to them? Does God care for them? You know He does.These are the ones Jesus referred to as “the least of these”. If we do it for them He sees it as being done for Him. Picture Jesus as a two-year old sitting in a filthy prison in desperate need of a tender touch.

I plan to help…will you? Ask God about what He would want you to do. This is an opportunity to make an eternal difference for “the least of these”.

0 replies
  1. Karen J. Fitzgerald
    Karen J. Fitzgerald says:

    Praise The Lord for opening the prisons to Dr. Hawk. My heart breaks for these babies! I donated.
    – Ruth, you recently spoke at a church on Hilton Head Island. I had the privilege to attend. Your story moved me and opened up my own broken heart – I purchased your book and it has been a tremendous help to me! Thank you

    Reply
  2. chadwickhawk
    chadwickhawk says:

    Ruth,

    Thank you for posting my request. Of course, faith and prayers go further than anything, but funds help action occur! I will send you and update after the trip and let you know the impact the Lord had on the children. Blessings.

    Reply
  3. donmiles3710
    donmiles3710 says:

    This is a tough one. There are many passages that condemn the taking of bribes, but only a couple that seem to imply the same for giving a bribe. For example: Act 24:25 As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became afraid and said, “For the present you may go. When I get a chance, I will send for you again.” Act 24:26 At the same time he was hoping to receive a bribe from Paul, and so he would send for him frequently to talk with him. (ISV)

    Presumably a bribe would have freed Paul from prison, but his dependence was on God. Might this apply? Might prayer be a better answer? Might both bribes and prayer be better yet? Situation ethics is sometime a tough go, especially where children are involved. Don Miles

    Reply
    • ruthgraham
      ruthgraham says:

      I honestly had never thought about that side of it. I hesitated to publish the comment but I know Dr. Don Miles and his integrity is unreproachable. He knows what it is like to minister in a corrupt foreign culture so he is not being naive. I decided to publish it because I wanted you all to see his thoughts and make your own judgement.

      I will give a gift to the ministry and I will pray for the team to have great wisdom.

      Reply
    • chadwickhawk
      chadwickhawk says:

      Don, I understand where you are coming from. However, these individuals have become savvy and the transactions no longer are under the table shady deals you would imagine. In fact they are are called use fees, courtesy fees, licensing fees, etc. The art of bureaucracy consummated in government. I even receive little slips of paper noting the payments. I still see it as a bribe because I witness the funds going directly into the pocket or desk drawer of the official. So is it a bribe? I would have to say no. Yet, I cannot do the work until the fees are paid.

      Reply

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