Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What?! Children's prison? (The post about 60 Feet)

This is a blog post I've been mulling over in my mind for months. Seriously. I learned about this children's prison on December 24th. I remember vividly. I was so moved, I couldn't sleep. I spent the night on my knees by the Christmas tree crying out to God with a wrenched heart for the least of these.

Before I get too far, let me show you what in the world I'm talking about.

The Dance from Sixty Feet on Vimeo.

As you can see, this REALLY DOES EXIST.

I think of a beautiful quote from Mother Teresa...

"Each of them is Jesus in His most distressing disguise."


"At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by, "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in."

The prison was discovered by a woman named Nathalie (you can read about her and watch her videos on their site) when she chased down a rumor that this place actually existed. As many of you know, we just hosted the precious Mwangaza Ugandan Children's Choir here a little over a week ago. I had a precious Ugandan friend in my home. We spoke about this place and she too, knew of it from the reputation it has.

You see, Ugandan parents often scare their children into obedience by threatening to take them to this place. Sixty Feet refers to it as "M" but that's not its actual name. And indeed, my friend knew of this place. She had never seen it, but her parents too joined the many who threatened a trip to "M" if she didn't behave.

Many times the children who come here are simply orphans. They are brought here and dumped off. Sadly, as I've learned more about the atrocities in Uganda, babies are often discarded in swamps. Their mothers were 14 or 15 and had prostituted themselves for food. They cannot possibly feed another mouth.

The "M" facility is overcrowded. The children often go without food. When they do eat, it's one time a day. They are sleeping on 22 year old mattresses soaked in urine and feces. Many children sleep directly on the cold cement.

Fortunately, Nathalie and my friends at Sixty Feet are working hard to change this. They hope to get the younger and crippled orphans out and eventually to establish a sustainable longer term living environment where the orphans of "M" can earn about Jesus and be loved upon and receive healing. A team from Sixty Feet leaves for Africa today. Please be in prayer for them. No doubt the enemy does not want any good to happen in this situation.

Another harsh reality that the Sixty Feet team has discovered: M is not the only children's prison in Uganda. There are others. You can read about a boy named Justice and his first few days at "M2" here.

Children have actually been getting involved in helping 60 Feet change reality for these precious souls. The Cupcake Kids started last year and was a very successful fundraiser! This year the sale is going nationwide with the goal of at least one sale in each of the 50 states! We are hosting a cupcake sale for Sixty Feet right here where we are as well. If you are interested in hosting a cupcake sale, please clink on the above link and connect with them about getting your sale on the map!

In our family, we have joined with our group of mom-world-changers (The Water Girls) in collecting change in a jar for 60 Feet. We believed at the outset that if they could get access to clean water, this would make an enormous positive impact. We created a "water jar" and it has been humbling to watch our kids take Tooth Fairy money, birthday money and any coins they find in parking lots and joyfully add it to our jar.

I share with you about these places because they have been working on my heart. The whittling away of what I THOUGHT I wanted to do in adoption and slowly coming to an awareness of what God might be wanting to do through and in our family. Nothing is done yet. There is no announcement. Just a profound new understanding of the depth of the need.

Truly, our adoption is only the start. I pray He will use us to change the reality for many, many children who live trapped in lives they did not choose for themselves. Are YOU moved by what you read? You may not be able to move to Uganda and change the whole system but could you help out by making a donation? Any amount will help. No one asked me to ask you. Well, I guess that's not true...God had me add this part on to the end of my post. Please, if you feel led, click here and learn about ways you too can get involved in making change happen for the least of these.

I leave you with a well loved quote from Mahatma Ghandi:

 Be the change you want to see in the world.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this, Amy! You are such a missional mom yourself! My prayers are with you as you continue this journey of adoption, and I love how you are challenging us all with your heart and passion for Jesus!

  2. I really had no idea these kind of places existed until reading your blog ... simply unbelievable ...

    I love the quotes ... especially the one's by Mother Teresa. I've been reading her words over the past several months and they have changed heart and my life.


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