These are some of the faces I get to kiss!! 🙂
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.
It is almost Saturday here in Uganda…June 18th. This marks the day of my sweet friend Casey’s birthday, she would be 28 today. I can’t believe she has been gone a little over a year…it seems like yesterday. I wanted to share what I wrote right after she went to be with Jesus. I love that I am celebrating her in Uganda because the Lord revealed His heart to me this time last year with Casey and Africa. I hope you are encouraged.
I was so upset and disappointed to get on a flight to go to Africa, only to have to turn around and come back home due to the volcano is Iceland. I did NOT understand why God would allow our team to get prepared and head over, only to have to let people in Africa down and wonder what the reason was. Jesus, who is so precious to give us the desires of our hearts…not only sent me back to Austin, but I was going to be missing a weeklong meeting in Lubbock, so because my trip got cancelled I went to Lubbock to work for the week. On Monday Casey had the stroke and I was able to spend Monday-Thursday with her. He took care of the smallest details and gave me the most precious gift I have ever received, being able to hand my friend over to our Father.
Casey fought with incredible strength until her last breath. For over 2 hours I along with her parents and sweet boyfriend and another best friend stood beside her bed and prayed over her as she prepared to meet Jesus. At one point it was just her other best friend Ann and I in the room with her and I asked her if she could hear and understand me to squeeze my hand and she did. I was able to tell her how much I loved her and what an inspiration of strength and courage she is, I got to tell her to go home and meet Jesus but to tell him to hurry and come get us as well. To see her eyes, made me wish more than anything that I could see what she was seeing!! About 6:00pm she had finally calmed down and was starting to sleep…I was about to leave when her dad asked that I would pray over her again…and so I did, and it was about 15 minutes later she left this earth. We had Chris Tomlin playing all day and when she passed “Amazing Grace, My chains are gone” was playing. I was able to go back into the room after the doctors left and I was very leery to go but I am so glad I did. It was just her and I and there is no words to describe my last moment in that room with her body…this is what was playing in the background,
“There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring
And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling
How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing
I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives
And I will walk with You
Knowing You’ll see me through
And sing the songs You give
How can I keep from singing your praise? How can I ever say enough, how amazing is your love? How can I keep from shouting your name? I know i am loved by the king, and it makes my heart want to sing
I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing ‘cause You pick me up
Sing ‘cause You’re there
I can sing ‘cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I’ll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne
I sat there with her earthly body and it was overwhelming to hear this song playing and knowing that 5 minutes before she was here with us and now she was singing with the saints and angels around the throne. I could not get my head around it, and more than ever I wanted to talk to her to see what she saw, how He came for her and see her in her healing. Casey texted me just over a month ago saying..”I don’t believe God is done with me yet, I believe He is going to heal me” well He healed her in the fullest and at her funeral yesterday…He was not done with her story.
She left a precious piece of her here, her daughter Ashlyn…I watched her during the service yesterday and with a child like faith she sang at the top of her lungs when we sang “Amazing Grace” and cried when the slide show of her and Casey was played. She expressed yesterday that she wants to be baptized because she wants to be able to go and be with her mommy. He is so sweet…even in the storm.
I have learned so much….the value of friendship and how God really does care beyond our imagination about the desires of our hearts, that he would literally shake mountains for me to be in His presence with my sweet friend when she made it Home.
Thank you all for praying and I ask you continue to pray for Casey’s parents and Ashlyn in the coming days and years…I am now even more ready and excited to hear the trumpets, Casey and I will have a lot to catch up on!
Be encouraged…for He is in the details and He comes for us, always.
I woke up this morning to people yelling. It scared me so I sat straight up a little disoriented. The walls in our guesthouse are paper thin so I could tell it was coming from the room next to me. After being in several church services here in Uganda, I have come to recognize the prayers of these people. I laid my head back down and had a waive of conviction come over me. I have never prayed like what I was hearing. Even though I had no idea what they were saying I could hear the dependency in their voice…it was like they were begging God to save their children.
I started to get dressed and I went to turn on my iTunes for a little P&W music but I could not drown out the sound of these precious souls in the room next to me pouring out there hearts in prayer. It reminds me of how Jesus said in Luke. “If you do not cry out the rocks will”. That thought made me stop this morning…
I do pray. I do believe in the power of prayer but do I pray like I honestly mean it. Do I get up even before the sun rises and start speaking to Him like my day depends on it? I know there are many days that I do not than so, where I just give Him my little prayers throughout the day. So in my silence…the rocks are crying out.
Their prayer went before the team that is here from Virigina. They did Medical, Primary & Secondary, Prison, Pastor and Wives conference and University Ministry today. I was able to attend the University Ministry. We traveled to a University of the Arts here to share the Gospel by opening up a discussion with them. As one said it best today….God is not only the God of America and the God of Uganda…He is the God of the whole universe. We had such amazing discussions with these University students, who asked us very challenging questions. Questions that I have thought about many times. ( I will share one of the questions tomorrow that I get over and over here and I think it will break your heart like it does mine.) The background of the school is Catholic so we as humbly and bent low as possible presented them with the Relationship with Jesus.There was one who was a believer and we left Bibles with him and he is going to start a weekly Bible Study. 🙂
I want everyone to ask me on Facebook tomorrow if I got up and joined the intercessors in prayer. I want to pray like a woman who has my whole life depending on that one prayer….everytime.
Jambo ya’ll! Thank you for praying for me!! I leave to go spend the weekend with the precious babies tomorrow.
Eat more Chikin…you know I love me some chicken…
I met a sweet young lady yesterday at the Guesthouse. Her story testifies to His faithfulness and how He is always working for our good, even when we are far from Him. She had a son named Moses at a very young age. She had nothing to sustain this baby moreless herself. She did not want to see her son die on her own hands and so she left the baby Moses in the Sugar Cane fields. God in His goodness allowed Moses to be found shortly after and they delivered Moses to the Babies home in Bukalaba. The mother went to Prison for leaving her child abandoned.
While she was in prison God was working together for the good of her and her child. Her baby was adopted by a wonderful family in the states and when she was released from prison she accepted the Lord as her Savior. Now the family that adopted her son now supports her to go to school. I met her yesterday and she is such a beautiful girl. What a testimony of the Lord’s grace even in the midst of our failure. It is in those moments of sin, the sin that haunts you and feel like you can never overcome the weight of what you did, it is in those moments and that sin that He went to the cross. It wasn’t for the moments when you had it together…when you are on the mountain top. It is for those moments where our hearts are so dark that He overcame and saw you in that moment and wanted to go to the cross for that sin.
Romans 3:21 But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight-not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we ALL can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.
I hear story after story of God’s faithfulness here. I often have wondered why do we in the States have such an abundance of everything? Food, comfort, homes, cars, good things…what have we done to deserve it? Why does Africa not have the same? The answer is so clear to me…It is his grace and faithfulness. I will never look at my meals the same. It truly is God’s faithfulness to you that you have options and abundance in food so when we are full and we still have much on our plates, it is His faithfulness to us. Here in Africa they are thankful for little and they never cease to amaze me with their thankfulness. They truly depend on Jesus for EVERY provision…they have nothing else to lean on. My heart struggles with how our blessings become our enemy in the States.
As you start your day I hope you remember as I am remembering for every single thing that is given to me today…food, protection, water, shelter it is only His faithfulness and mercy upon us.
“Great is Thy Faithfulness! Morning by Morning new Mercies I see! All I have needed Thy hand has provided…Great is Thy faithfulnes Lord unto me.”