Uganda Update 6–Juvenile Detention Center
January 2, 2016
by Jackie Care, #LoudounUganda Team Member
Pastor’s Conference for Saint Gate’s
This morning we had the wonderful experience of getting to sit under the teaching of Cyrus and Dave at a pastor’s conference for Saint Gate’s. Cyrus taught us lessons about grace through the stories of his personal experiences. Dave gave a sermon on marriage that got us all thinking about how we can better our relationships.
Juvenile Detention Center
After the conference, we went to the government-run Juvenile Detention Center. The youngest age of a prisoner there is 12 years old and the oldest is 17. Many of the kids get sent to the detention center because of small things like petty theft.
Picked Up Off the Streets
This facility also houses kids who were picked up off the street but didn’t necessarily do anything wrong. These children are significantly younger – some as young as 4 years old.
I visited this detention center 2 years ago. At that time, the buildings were gray, the floor had large chunks of concrete missing, there were not enough beds, the kitchen had been involved in a fire, and all of the walls and doors were distorted and falling.
Today when we drove up to the center, the walls were painted bright colors, the kitchen had been renovated, and there were new mattresses on the beds. It was an incredible contrast and it brought us a lot of hope as to what ministry can do to influence some of the poorest places in Uganda.
Sharing the Gospel
Vijay shared the gospel and several children decided to respond by accepting the Lord. We spent a long time there playing with the kids. Several girls have babies at the prison because of getting pregnant there, which was very hard for us to see. Many of the kids seem so depressed and needed the hope that the gospel and playing with them delivered.
It was such a blessing to be able to visit this facility. They only get a few visitors per year (we signed the guestbook and found only 8 pages of visitors separating our names from Dave’s name last year). We were so glad that we were able to go. And we look forward to what the Lord is going to do in the future.