By: Susie Davis
Dacia Hamby and her husband, Josh, oversee a home for fifty-seven darling babies as well as managing a secondary school for nearly two hundred students in a ministry called Arise Africa International. After seeing Dacia’s colorful IF:Table photo pop up on Instagram, I knew I needed to interview her and ask her about why she decided to host an IF:Table in her small town of Jinja.
Susie: What was it that promoted you to add a little something more to your plate and host an IF:Table where you live?
Dacia: While you would think would be easy to find community in a small town filled with “missionaries” – it’s really not. Mission work is actually somewhat isolating. I think in part because we are far from the comforts of family and friends, and so we become introverts. But another reason is because we often exhaust ourselves in daily ministry then come home to a husband and children that still need us and so when it comes time to pouring into another woman, whew, it just seems too exhausting to put forth the effort. But I realized that creating environments that invite community and encouragement where a woman can just show up at and not feel pressure is so important. So I thought: Why not host an IF:Table?
Susie: Tell me a little bit about your evening …
Dacia: There were three big picnic tables under the trees. Each woman was seated next to someone they didn’t know so well. After letting them dialogue a few minutes, I asked them to introduce the woman to the left of them and to share one thing about them that immediately blessed them or encouraged them in some way. To hear the introductions was a beautiful picture of how women can intentionally encourage each other, like a breath of fresh air. I love what what my friend, Asher, who was also at the table said about the evening:
“And so we took a break from our busy lives of mothering, mentoring and running non-profit businesses to gather as a community of women and connect. Tonight I was reminded of how important it is to intentionally come together. I want to love others well, better than I do now. I want to serve my friends the way I serve those that seem to be ‘lost’ in my community. I want to be a part of community that reaches out to one another in a way that is a reminder that whoever you are, wherever you are … you are loved and cherished and have a friend.” Asher Collie of Sole Hope.
Susie: Gracious, that is beautiful, especially this part, “I want to be a part of community that reaches out to one another in a way that is a reminder that whoever you are, wherever you are … you are loved and cherished and have a friend.” I know that’s something we all long for whether you’re a missionary or not.
Dacia: Yes, I totally agree. And I actually don’t even like using the term missionary because I am just a normal girl doing what God has called everyone to do, serve where planted. I just happened to be planted on the other side of the world. Community is important all over the world, no matter where we are in the world: Uganda, India, New York, Austin or Instabul. God has called us to create homes and atmospheres that draw others to Him. And I found IF:Table is one way to do that.
Susie: Love this, Dacia. And appreciate you. How can we pray for you?
Dacia: Our desire is that we not only connect and encourage one another as women on mission but that we would connect even more and go deeper with those that He has called us to serve and live among. Please pray that we can pass this culture of intentional community to the beautiful women of Uganda. How beautiful is the body of Christ.
All photos by Whitney Runyon Photography