audio - read by Jaimee Draper
Synopsis from publisher:
What would cause an eighteen-year-old old senior class president and homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee, to disappoint her parents by forgoing college, break her little brother’s heart, lose all but a handful of her friends (because the rest of them think she has gone off the deep end), and break up with the love of her life, all so she could move to Uganda, where she knew only one person but didn’t know any of the language? A passion to make a difference. Katie Davis left over Christmas break her senior year for a short mission trip to Uganda and her life was turned completely inside out. She found herself so moved by the people and children of Uganda that she knew her calling was to return and care for them. She has given up a relatively comfortable life - at a young age - to care for the less fortunate of this world. She was so moved by the need she witnessed, she’s centered her life around meeting that need. Katie, a charismatic and articulate young woman, is in the process of adopting thirteen children in Uganda, and she completely trusts God for daily provision for her and her family.
Despite the rough conditions in which Katie lives, she has found a life of service to God to be one of great joy. Katie’s children bring constant delight and help her help others by welcoming whoever comes to their door. As the challenges grow, so does Katie’s faith and her certainty that what she’s doing in Uganda, one person at a time, will have far-reaching rewards. It isn’t the life she planned, but it is the life she loves.
My thoughts -
I think if more people who identified themselves as Christians chose to allow themselves to make a difference in the way Katie Davis has, the world would be a profoundly different place. She doesn't advocate changing the world - she's not trying to start a revolution. She believes in loving unconditionally, always and in every situation. She believes in making a difference for the person who needs help that is right in front of you, wherever you happen to be. She believes that we are not promised tomorrow, so our best option is to do as much good as we can today, because we don't know what the future will bring.
Katie obviously has a passion for caring for the orphaned, and in her story she remarks on it again and again. I have always known that there are millions of children in the world that need parents, but I think this was the statistic that blew me away:
“The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians. The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.” (Katie J. Davis)
And I know it's not always that simple - and I know there are many wonderful families around the world who would love to help one of these children and are caught up in red tape and governmental regulations, but that still stops me in my tracks. We, who call ourselves Christians, could make that much of a difference - if we chose to.
I admit that I spend a fair amount of time feeling sorry for myself. Circumstances in my family's life have left our current situation difficult, in ways that are completely out of my control. Reading this book has re-adjusted my perspective in ways I couldn't have anticipated. I am sure there will still be times that I feel scared and abandoned and alone, but as I remember Katie's story, I won't feel helpless, and I won't feel hopeless, because this, too, will pass.
"Sometimes I want to spend hours talking with my best friends about boys and fashion and school and life. I want to go to the gym; I want my hair to look nice; I want to be allowed to wear jeans. I want to be a normal young woman living in America, sometimes. But I want other things more. All the time. I want to be spiritually and emotionally filled every day. I want to be loved and cuddled by a hundred children and never go a day without laughing. I want to wake up to a rooster’s crow and open my eyes to see lush green trees that seem to pulse with life against a piercing blue sky and the rusty red soil of Uganda. I want to be challenged endlessly. I want to be taught by those I teach, and I want to share God’s love with people who otherwise might not know it. I want to work so hard that I end every day filthy and too tired to move. I want to make some kind of difference, no matter how small, and I want to follow the calling God has placed on my heart. I want to give my life away, to serve the Lord with each breath. At the end of the day, no matter how hard, I want to be right here in Uganda." (Katie J. Davis)
I know this book won't be for everyone, but it was certainly the right book for me at this time in my life. I don't generally promote charities or causes on this blog, but if something about this post or Katie's story has peaked your interest, I encourage you to visit her website, Kisses from Katie, or Amazima Ministries, where you can learn more about what she is doing in Uganda.
Source: audiobook from the library
MPAA Rating: PG for some scary situations
My rating: 9/10