Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption
"What would cause an eighteen-year-old senior class president and homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee, to disobey and disappoint her parents by forgoing college, break her little brother’s heart, lose all but a handful of her friends (because they 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 and didn’t even speak the language?
A passion to follow Jesus.
Katie Davis left over Christmas break of 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 of Uganda and the needs she saw that she knew her calling was to return and care for them. Katie, a charismatic and articulate young woman, is in the process of adopting thirteen children in Uganda and has established a ministry, Amazima, that feeds and sends hundreds more to school while teaching them the Word of Jesus Christ."
"I have absolutely no desire to write a book about myself. This is a book about a Christ who is alive today and not only knows but cares about every hair on my head. Yours too. I'm writing this book on the chance that a glimpse into the life of my family and me, full of my stupidity and God's grace, will remind you of this living, loving Christ and what it means to serve Him. I'm writing with the hope that as you cry and laugh with my family you will be encouraged that God still uses flawed human beings to change the world. And if He can use me, He can use you."
Howard Books, A Division of Simon and Shuester, 2011, Updated and Expanded Version
Katie Davis moved to Uganda straight from high school to take a gap year before college. When she prepared to go back to the States from college, she left behind eight daughters. After a semester, she realized God was calling her to Uganda for the long haul, adopting six more daughter over the next two years. Katie truly accepted Christ's call to care for the poor and needy, for the widows and orphans.
As one can imagine, Katie said moving across the ocean without friends or family was difficult. This was great for me to read, as God has recently called me to a new place, absent of friends. Katie was confident that this was what God was calling her to do, as I am confident that this is where God is calling me to be. Katie is gaining her strength not from her own ability to be in a new, scary place, but from Christ. I need to remember to take my strength from the reservoir of Christ's love.
The other idea that stood out to me is that, not everything God brings into our lives is for our good. Katie experienced a lot of things in the poverty of Uganda and the system of adopted children that made her wonder, "How in the world is this for my good? for my loved ones to die, for my child to be taken back to her birthmother?" She learned that sometimes God uses us and asks us to deal with hard things for the good of others. And because she loved Christ and loved others, Katie did, for the the glory and the kingdom of God.
When God moved my missionary and brought a new one to my city, I struggled to understand how taking one of my favorite people could be for my good. The Lord taught me that the world doesn't revolve around me. When He does things, it's not just for me and my good. It's for the good of the people Sister A is teaching in her new area, it's for the other people in my city that needed Sister D2, it's because Sister A and Sister D2 needed things, because I had something to teach Sister D2. While Sister D2 and I were in the same city (only 6 weeks), she taught me about charity, and she helped me learn that not everything is about me. So this move was for my good, for Sister A's good, for Sister D2's good, for Sister M's good, for the good of the members in Sister A's new ward, for the good of the people in my city, and most importantly, for His glory and the good of His kingdom.
Favorite Quotes from Kisses from Katie:
"My candle is lit; I am on fire for God, for this place, for these people. My purpose here is to spread His light. One candle can light up an entire room. Jesus can light up this entire nation, and my flame can be a part of that. I am blown away that my God, who could do this all by Himself, would choose to let me be a little part of it."
"Everywhere I have looked, raw, filthy human need and brokenness have been on display, begging for someone to meet them, fix them. And even though I realize I cannot always mend or meet, I can enter in. I can enter into someone's pain and sit with them and know. This is Jesus. Not that He apologizes for the hard and the hurt, but that He enters in, He comes to us in the hard places. And so, I continue to enter."
"I sensed that God was calling me into my own kind of 'Canaan," a land I had never been before, a place full of His promises and barren of all things comfortable and familiar. I had to let go of my life at the children's home and let God fulfill the promise, His perfect will. I chose to believe that, like Sarah, my adventure would lead to laughter and joy."
"I believed, and still believe, that the God who created the universe did not create too many children in His image and not enough love to go around."
"I have learned along my journey that if I really want to follow Jesus, I will go into the hard places. Being a Christ follower means being acquainted with sorrow. We must know sorrow to be able to fully appreciate joy. Joy costs pain, but the pain is worth it. After all, the murder had to take place before the resurrection. I'll be honest: The hard places can seem unbearable. It's dark and it's scary, and even though I know God said He will never leave or forsake me, sometimes it's so dark that I just can't see Him. But then the most incredible thing happens: God takes me by the hand and walks me straight out of the hard place and into the beauty on the other side. He whispers to me to be thankful, and that even this will be for His good."