My precious guards, cooks, and washers…they are keeping me alive and well

Damien on his first few days at the Home. We prayed that God would reach into his darkness and bring a smile and hope to this young boy’s world. Damien now…Heaven is the face of this little boy, I know it. Our God is in Control. Please continue to lift him up as he still is adjusting to his new life here.

But now my eyes have seen You…

I have so much to blog. I have found that blogging is a lot of pressure and I struggle to find the words to capture the views I see and the stories I hear. 

I have talked about the babies but the reason why God sent me over here was to work with these precious Pastors that work with Arise Africa. I wish I could post every story, every miracle and every laugh that I have heard from these men but I cannot. 

I will start by quoting what scriptures come to my mind when I see these Pastors pouring out and loving the people of Uganda better than I ever could.

“My ears have heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in the dust and ashes” Is.42:5-6 

I will be sharing more and more testimonies and stories from these men. I see Jesus in human flesh in these men and their ministry and it makes me repent because I do not sacrifice enough for Him. I do not go without food to make sure that people have Bible Study. I do not travel on foot for hours to make sure that the masses of people that were saved are visited by a Pastor to get them plugged into a church and then come home and have to find food for my family, only to get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

If you have already sponsored a Pastor please know that you are God’s vessel in sustaining these men and because of you Uganda is being changed. 

For $50 a month you can provide food for a family of up to 10 and pay for school fees and provide medical care for these Servants who are giving their all to see their country come out of their sin and find Truth that will set this country free.

Please check out our website and I will be posting more testimonies and stories from my friends. 

For all who have prayed…Marvin said his first word today!! Ally called me first thing this morning to tell me. I cannot wait to get there tomorrow and hug him! God’s grace is so precious…Marvin will grow to be a strong and mighty man of God, we are Expecting. 

Oh how He loves He loves us. We are his portion and He is our Prize drawn to redemption with the grace in His eyes.”
I have never sang this song with such passion as I am surrounded with a country and people who depend on that love for their daily portion. Oh that I might love Him more…

Ministry Time Clock

Everyone has asked me what the biggest adjustment for me has been. Has it been the food, the culture, the lonliness? I have thought about this awhile and so far the biggest adjustment is that these sweet servants of God never clock out. 

At home I never stop loving Jesus and I am open to every opportunity He sends my way but it is different here. I have my weekends where I go to church yes, and I love Him just the same as I do on the week days but I plan my weekends according to my social needs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and in fact it is what I miss the most but it’s almost as if I clock in and out of when I am going to do ministry and when I am going to do “me” time. 

Arise Africa staff does not clock out. When they are not doing ministry they are resting with their families. They hold all night prayer services begging the Lord for their prayers to be met. They are constantly bending low to serve others. There are endless request for relief, food, and money…you have to have a spirit of prayerfulness at all times to hear when the Lord would have you meet the need or pray for another answer.

It is the weekend and it’s 7pm on a Saturday night. I have just kissed 52 heads goodnight and I sit alone eating dinner and will not have any adult interaction until Monday. The Dacia side of me wants to check out of ministry and just go find someone to hang out with or be on the internet all night…and then I am reminded my other friends here in Africa are up praying. I am being challenged in every direction.

Please be in prayer for sweet Marvin the two year old who is suffering from neglect and malnutrition. He is starting to become responsive. We are praying for miracles and weight gain. 

Thank you all for holding me up in prayer. I am truly blessed to be serving here. I am being changed more and more each day. I want to fall more in love with Him…

Dacia, my name is Aaron Castellanos. I work with Brittany Avery at the Plains. Just wanted to encourage you to keep going. You are not alone and just as with Moses, when Aaron and Hur held his arms up when he grew tired and weary, so will it be with all of us praying for you. Stay close to God and pray that God continues to help view your time there through His eyes. God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Psalm 62:7

Wow! Thank you so much for sending me this message. I was having a difficult day and this reminded me of exactly what I needed to hear. Love the story of Moses and Hur..and I had just read that this morning. He was trying to remind me again that He is holding up my arms through everyone’s prayer and encouragement. Thank you for being his vessel today.

These are some of the faces I get to kiss!! 🙂 

Auntie Daci

I have 52 kids!!! And I love them all..every single one of them, even though I am still learning names and stories..every single one of them I have a heart for like they are mine. I love walking down from my “house” in the morning and being welcomed with an overwhelming hug that knocks me off my feet. They range from 3 months old-10 years old. 

I love teaching them to sing “God our Father” for prayer and hearing it everyday. I love them to just come and crawl in my lap while I am working at the desk. So here is my day…for those who are wondering.

It’s breakfast and then school for the older kids. I love this because it gives me a chance to love on the babies and there is one named Marvin that breaks my heart each time. (I apologize because I left my camera at the babies home so I will post pictures later) Marvin is suffering from severe malnutrition and neglect. He is 2 years old but the size of a 6 month old baby, who is not walking yet. He does not respond to anyone. I love the time just holding him and praying knowing that Jesus’s affections can break through any heart at any age. 

Then I do some work…there are tons of reports to do so as much as you want to just play with the children all day there is business to take care of. I laugh because you don’t just get to run to Wal-mart for diapers, food, toothbrush…well anything. I am instead thinking about what crops we have to increase the menu for the children, are the cows going to produce enough milk? This city girl is out of her element for sure but Jesus is so sweet to give me wisdom beyond my years and I am positive that He is laughing at me as I wing it. Then it’s time for lunch…52 hands washed…52 plates while feeding the babies. Then it’s bath time and nap. Then it’s dinner and we repeat. Yesterday I sat with sweet Rachel as she was diagnosed with Malaria and running a 104 temperature and I cried as she cried trying to find a vein to start an IV. We had two diagnosed yesterday. I try to place myself in their shoes and I remember as a child and even now when I am sick, I just want my mom. They have no mom to hold them and place a cold wash rag on their head…I try my hardest to stand in but my heart breaks not only because they are sick but because there is no mommy.

The best part and most trying part of the day is bath time for all 52. The greatest is that the electricity goes out around 8 so if you are not done giving baths, then it’s quite the experience to give 52 baths in the darkest place you can imagine. But we do it, with one flashlight. The other night it went out a lot earlier and I had about 15 little boys from 2-5 running around me with no clothes on in the dark yelling Auntie Daci Aunti Daci…I just had to laugh as I tried to cloth them all and there is no telling what they went to bed in that night. I am almost ready to lock myself in a closet by the end of getting all pj’s, changing diapers, brushing teeth one at a time, and putting sheets on but all is worth it when it comes to this. We all sit in the dark before we get into our beds and sing together…I have taught them “I love you Lord” and then they started singing “I surrender All” I cry. I would do this every day. I would tuck 52 to babies into their beds and tuck their mosquito nets in and want to pull out my hair to have precious hugs goodnight, to hear I love you Aunti Daci and to see Jesus starting to make an orphan His own.

I am learning more and more about how Christ will pour you out and fill you up. I can’t imagine going back to the normal. I can’t imagine not feeling this tired and exhausted every day but so fulfilled and overwhelmed with purpose. I know so many people think you have to come do something like I am doing to find this overwhelming since of purpose. But I think it’s just looking around where the Lord has placed you and living out the Gospel. Go to the dark places, get out of your comfort zone…look outward instead of inward. 

I promise you this, I am seeing it everyday in the eyes of children who have been abandoned, whose parents have passed down to them HIV, who have watched their fathers kill their mothers…their worlds could be very dark but this is true..”I will give you the TREASURES of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you may know that I am the Lord” Is. 45:3

I see it in the eyes and smiles of these children. He is coming into our darkness, darkness that He has allowed into our lives so that He can give us the treasures that can only be found there. Days can be overwhelming here with darkness and wondering how He will rescue but He is has taken us into darkness so we can know that He is Lord. May you find the treasure in the darkness today, and find the riches of Him there. Live out the Gospel. There is nothing like it.