Monday, July 1, 2013

our new and exciting journey...

I've decided to emerge from the land of blog silence. It's funny how when you're going through an adoption, every day there is something to blog about...but once it's finished, there seems to be a lag in the information that one feels should be shared with the entire world.

Although we're not adopting again (yet?) there has been a lot of exciting and crazy things happening in the Seevers' home over the last several months that I've been dying to blog about...but alas, I wanted to wait until things took a bit more shape.

Many of you know that Jeff left his longtime job after 16 awesome years because the Lord was tugging on his heart to "step out of the boat". Jeff has been dreaming over the past few years for a career that would allow him to do what has been burning in his heart...working to help those that need it the most...the least of these. His desire was to work for a faith-based non profit organization, exploring ways to use communication in a way that would help people understand, connect to and ultimately change the world for the better, which in turn would tap into his passion to make a difference for the least of these...children around the world that have no one to stand up for be their advocate.

About the same time, I was feeling a strong desire to pray that wherever the Lord led Jeff, it would somehow include me as heart was also broken for the orphans and widows, as we had met, interacted with, and fell in love with so many of these precious people in Ethiopia while on our journey to adopt.

Mama Catherine with some of the many children Sixty Feet serves.

So pray we did. We prayed that the Lord would lead us to an organization that would be working to help "the least of these" and that somehow we could use our passions, as well as our talents to make a difference.

During that same time, I was asked to write a blog post for Sixty Feet's running team sharing my passion for running. They were planning their first half marathon and were launching a team to participate in the race. Well, one thing led to another and I was privileged to lead the team.

From the beginning we felt a real connection to the work of Sixty Feet. They work with children that are neglected with no hope. Down a winding dirt road in a secluded area outside the capital city of Kampala, Uganda, is a place where children are placed in prisons. Chained to bars, with no medical care or advocacy. No hope or restoration was in their future. Imprisoned? Yes. We can't possibly comprehend what that looks like because we have nothing like that here in the US. But indeed, it happens around the world. Maybe they steal a banana...or pick pocket. If caught, they're sent to a remand home (think juvenile center, but with cells and bars). Yet, in the third world, there are little to no resources to advocate for them or provide due process in court. Yes, there are also children that have actually committed real crimes, but they often end up in these jails right along side small children who are there because they're homeless and have no place to go.

Sixty Feet seeks to provide medical care, education, the Gospel, counseling and justice.
Sixty Feet provides hope and restoration to these imprisoned children, in Jesus’ name. These children are in this place as a result of abject poverty. AIDS, lack of education and medical care provide no alternative than for these children to fend for themselves. What the children need is an advocate. Someone who will stand in their corner and offer them hope that there is a brighter future.

Winston Churchill described Uganda as “the Pearl of Africa”. He was describing the beauty of the land. Indeed it is beautiful. There is no shortage of water in this lush African country. Yet like other African countries, much of Uganda’s water is polluted. Experts say that  that crystal clear, clean water is often less than 60 feet below the ground. Water that changes these people’s lives forever. It is humbling to think that less than sixty feet below the dusty little feet of these orphans is the purest water they could ever drink. However, it is just out of their reach. Everything seems just out of reach of these children, but Sixty Feet is doing something about it.

So, the need is great. But what does that mean for us? That is where you and I come in. You can build a bridge that connects them to their hopes and dreams for a brighter tomorrow. Hope born out of the gospel...being the hands and feet of Jesus.

The Need:

  • We are currently aware of six remand homes around the country of Uganda that are in various stages of disarray and neglect.
  • Our prayer is that through the work that we are doing, in the capital city of Kampala, we can provide a similar model of care that ensures that all of the needs of the children are addressed.
  • In addition to Uganda, other countries have invited Sixty Feet to discuss similar issues and assist them with solutions. 
  • Your support will enable us to equip these centers with the proper tools and structure needed, offering these children a brighter tomorrow.

The Solution:
We can not do this work alone. A holistic approach involving other partners is critical.

  • Ugandan government officials, Ministers of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Justice have provided great insight and partnership.
  • Ugandan pastors and educators have stepped up to ensure that the children are loved and cared for.
  • Sixty Feet team and parters are providing counseling, medical care and judicial support to those who are in great need.
  • Friends of Sixty are community members who include people like you, who believe in developing systems to support the growth of the ministry.

Last month, Jeff left his job to take up the cause for these children. Together, we’ll be working full time with Sixty Feet to develop communities of change...engaging people and organizations alike in understanding the challenges that these children and countries are facing. And to become part of the solution for this and future generations. We will also be traveling routinely to Uganda to minister to these children in tangible ways, as well as helping the in-country staff accomplish the goals together that we have set out to achieve.

We need to gather support for this effort. We are asking you to invest in these children by supporting Friends of Sixty Feet financially. Your contribution will go toward the costs of developing these communities of care as well as the work of solving some of the largest problems affecting the children of Uganda, and other countries in Africa.

If you would like to join us in this effort, please follow the link to donate. Your support is tax deductible. Friends of Sixty Feet and Sixty Feet are 501(c)(3) Corporations, and the ministry is an ECFA member and a Silver participant with the GuideStar Exchange.

If you have any questions about Sixty Feet, please feel free to message me.

Thanks for considering this amazing opportunity to be Jesus to these children.

Katie and Jeff