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Brian “Jumping Fire” – Testimony in Song

May 10, 2016

Please take a moment to watch this short 1min video of Brian “Jumping Fire” singing his testimony (note: it is in Ateso but you can read about it below the video)…

To help the ‪#‎FreedomBoys‬ Ministry help boys like Brian, sponsor us in the ‪#‎HairDare‬ fundraiser. We are seeking to raise $15,000 for the building of university-student rental rooms which will provide ongoing financial sustainability for the Freedom Boys Ministry. For more info, click here.

In 2007, Brian’s parents were killed by the Karamojong, a neighbouring tribe. At the age of 6, with no close relatives to care for him except for an older brother who soon abandoned him, Brian was forced to fend for himself on the streets. Now 14, he has become used to, and hardened by, life on the streets. He goes by the nickname “Jumping Fire,” quite appropriate for a very independent, temperamental, untrusting boy who has gone through so much trauma in his short life. To ease his pain, he has spent much of his life on the streets scavenging for scrap metal to sell so that he can buy food to eat and solvents to sniff.

But the Freedom Boys Ministry has taken Brian under their wing, slowly earning his trust and respect, and providing him with food, water, clothing, soap, tutoring, counseling, discipleship, a place to rest and play, advocacy, safety, life-skills training… most of all, love.

The Freedom Boys Ministry is a ministry of Teso Children’s Development Foundation that brings the love of Jesus to boys who live on the streets of Soroti, Uganda by standing up for, discipling and counseling them and by seeking to provide for their spiritual, emotional, physical, educational, vocational needs and to (re)integrate them into society. Ultimately, the ministry’s goal is to love the boys, to instill in them a deep sense of self-value and self-dignity based on who they are in Christ, and to help them become productive members of society and active members of the church, according to who God made each of them to be.

We and our team have been walking alongside Martin Mwanga and Denis Okwera and they alongside us for the past 7+ years, encouraging, equipping and engaging with each other in the development of this ministry and in our personal lives as well. Together, we have experienced many challenges and joys and have learned much over the years… and it is only by God’s grace and strength that we have made it this far, and have thus been able to see the fruit of transformation in the lives of the boys.

Boys end up on the streets for a variety of reasons, though poverty is usually at the heart of the problem. In many cases a boy’s family can no longer afford to care for them properly or may need their help to supplement the family income and help put food on the table. Often what happens is one of their parents dies or leaves, the remain parents remarries, and the new step-parent wants nothing to do with the boys of the parent’s previous married. Ultimately, the step-parent “chases” the boys away through mistreatment and abuse. Some of the boys have lost both parents. Girls are less likely to end up on the streets because parents/relatives keep them for their dowry value.

Life on the streets is a dangerous, harsh existence and most of the boys become extraordinarily resilient and inventive, albeit traumatized, in order to simply survive. On the streets they may earn money in a number of ways including begging, collecting scrap metal for recycling, doing menial, dirty tasks for business owners, and stealing. Many boys are the victims of violence – from each other (particularly the older street kids), business owners who see them only as problems, and police who often act as perpetrators rather than protectors. Drug abuse, mostly solvent-sniffing, is a problem for many of the boys – it’s often the only way of escaping their horrific existence – if only for a few hours. As they grow-up and become adults, if they make it that far, many of them end up in prison and/or dead.

For most of the boys who live on the streets of Soroti, the Freedom Boys Ministry is the only place where they can find freedom from the streets and hope beyond the streets … where they can find value and purpose… where they can grow and learn… where they can find love.

If you would like to help the Freedom Boys Ministry become financial sustainable by giving towards their income-generating initiatives, contact me at sliedrechts@hotmail.com.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Albert Seinen permalink
    May 13, 2016 1:26 pm

    Greetings from Canada, Boy you people continue to have a lot ofis sues to deal with.  We were only going to spend five years in Nigeria and then return to Canada and what we had no idea.  We were not going to send our children to Boarding School.  Margaret was seven months pregnant when we left and it turned out to be 36.  We’ll pray that you will hear His message clearly and know what is best for some many involved in the discussion making process.  Are our own children first but they are all His children?  Yes, well ask that you are given wisdom.

    Smile, He loves you,Dick and Margaret

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