Did you ever wonder, when you were a little girl, if God might call you to be a single missionary in some far away place like Africa? I honestly thought it was a real possibility for me. But He hasn’t, yet. It is, however, the life that one young woman from America, called Katie Davis, has chosen. Why?
I want to give my life away for Christ. (Kisses from Katie)
Katie was seventeen when she visited Uganda for the first time on a short-term mission trip. Now, six years later, she lives in Uganda and is the mother of thirteen adopted children, as well as the founder of a ministry that, through sponsorship, cares for almost six hundred children. Amazima Ministries provides schooling, school uniform and supplies, food, medicine and discipleship for orphaned and vulnerable children. The ministry also reaches out to their families and communities. And behind it all there is a young woman who has a passionate love for God and the people He’s put in her world.
I believe there is only one truly courageous thing we can do with our lives: to love unconditionally. Absolutely, with all of ourselves, so much that it hurts and then more. (Kisses from Katie)
There is a sense in which Kisses from Katie reads like an autobiographical sketch by Amy Carmichael or Gladys Aylward. Most young women don’t do the things that she considers “normal”. Things like moving to the other side of the world and adopting thirteen little girls who need a mother. Things like sponsoring a half thousand of the two and a half million orphans who live in Uganda. Things like opening heart and home to broken and hurting people of all ages.
Every day, we have a choice. We can stay nestled in our safe comfortable places … or we can take a risk, do something to help someone else, make a person smile, change someone’s world. (Kisses from Katie)
Katie writes in a very heartwarming, vulnerable style. She lets her readers into her life. She lets them see her world through her eyes of compassion. She’s honest about her decisions and the impact they had on her family — and not all readers are going to understand or support her decisions. She’s also honest about some of the difficult and painful things that happen in a country like Uganda — and there are a few “eww, gross!” moments in her story.
These are, in my opinion, balanced by the beauty of her writing and the lovely presentation of her story — I really liked the journal entries and the way they were printed in the page as if they’d been written by hand. I also liked the pictures of her family and friends that are included — that bring her words to life in colour and glory.
Through the highs and the lows of her story, however, Katie writes with passion for God. It’s not a passion that says that everyone should live her sort of life. It’s the sort of passion that inspires my faith in God and my love for Him and the people He’s put in my world.
Kisses from Katie has earned a place on the bookcase by my bed, but not because I still think that God has called me to be a single missionary in Africa. Instead it reminds me to get up every day and, because I love Him, ask, “What can I do for God today?” It reminds me that He might call me out of my comfortable life — maybe not to Uganda, but maybe in my own city, here in England. And it reminds me that He’ll give me everything I need to live with passion whatever sort of adventurous, crazy, all-for-God life is going to glorify Him.
God has a way of using inadequate people and sometimes He calls us to reach a little higher or to stretch a little further, even when we feel we can’t do any more. We simply trust Him. And then, He gives us everything we need to do the “more” that He is asking of us. (Kisses from Katie)
(photo used with permission from Katie’s blog)