“Kisses from Katie” & “Money from Tammy”

“A picture is worth a thousand words”, right? According to the author Ivan Turgenev, ” A picture can tell you at a glance, what it takes dozens of pages in a book to expound.”. Right? A book could never speak louder than images, right? I agreed with all those statements until Katie Davis’ autobiography, Kisses from Katie, made it’s way onto my must read list.

I know if you watch any television at all, you have seen the starving children in Africa commercials. I know you know the one, were an older, chubby, bald man begs you to sponsor a child in Ethopia for the amount it would cost you to spend on a cup of coffee a day. The commercial shows bone thin children sitting in trash filled alleys with flys swarming them. They are so weak from starvation that they can’t even raise their hands to swat the flies. See these commercials left an impression on me, but not enough for me to donate money.

I know it sounds awful, but I just had a hard time believing that they were really hundreds or even thousands of children literally starving to death. People wouldn’t let other people starve to death, right? How naive I once was amidst the comforts of my plush American life.

I know what you’re thinking. Poor Naive girl! I bet she’s never been outside the United States. I bet she’s never went hungry a day in her life! I bet her parents could afford to send her to school. I bet her mother has never given her alcohol to numb the pain of hunger. I bet her mother has never changed her little sister’s diaper and found worms. I bet her mother never sold herself to feed her children. I bet she weighed more than ten pounds when she was two. I bet she doesn’t even know anyone that has HIV, let alone see whole families die from it.

All those statements are true. I have never ever felt what it’s like to be truly hungry. My pantry is always stocked. When I was two year old, I was considered slightly overweight! I have always had a roof over my head that doesn’t leak and clean water to drink when I’m thirsty. All my needs are consistently met and most of my wants as well. For most of the Ugandan population, their wants and needs are not different, they are the same. They want for what they need; food, shelter, clean water, education and medical care. I am sure for the children of Maese their wants have never ever went beyond their basic needs.

I must say I cried huge crocodile tears of shame and guilt while reading Katie’s book. I have been contemplating buying the new iPad 3 and somewhere in Uganda children are taking their last breathes, because they didn’t have food to eat or access to decent medical care. Katie’s book has been a slap in the face for me, but in a good way!

Despite all the horrific tales of Starvation, Filthe, and Desperation, there is hope and inspiration. Katie’s light shines so bright, you almost need sunglasses to block the glare coming from the pages of her book. Katie is a Modern Day Mother Teresa. She loves the Lord with all heart, and has made sacrifices, and carried crosses so heavy, that most Christians would find what she bore unbearable. She doesn’t have Faith the size of a Mustard Seed.
She has faith the size of a Grapefruit.

Katie grew up in Brentwood, TN. She was Homecoming Queen and drove a
Convertible. She had a boyfriend who she planned to attend college with, and eventually marry someday. However, God had other plans for Katie. He put a calling so loud and so close to her heart for The Ugandan people that she defied her parent’s wishes, dropped out of college, gave up her boyfriend,and started a life in Uganda.

By the age of 19, Katie had founded an non-profit organization called Amazima Ministries. US donors help support the organization which helps 400 children go to school, provides community health programs and feeds more than a thousand children five days a week. Davis is a foster mother to thirteen children. She bathes them. She feeds them. She clips 130 nails. She braids 13 heads. She sends them to school and teaches them about a man named Jesus. She loves them as if they were her own and does it all because as a Christian, Jesus instructed his followers to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1:27) Katie is just doing what has been asked of her, nothing more, nothing less, right? We who consider ourselves Christian do the same, right?

Even though Katie has entered places that most of us only read about in books, it doesn’t stop the world from criticizing her. Despite the fact that she has held Ugandans of all ages as they have passed from this world, nursed dying children back to life, and fed the mouths of thousands, people still question her logic, her intentions, her motives. They say it’s not good for such a young girl to be a mother. And, to so many! Thirteen children!

Oh, if they only understood! God knows no reason! We are all the same to him, his children. Katie is a woman after Gods own heart. Katie has shown us all where we are WEAK and he is STRONG! Maybe if more of us Christians lived our lives like Katie, just maybe no one would EVER go hungry. Maybe no one would EVER die alone. Maybe mothers wouldn’t EVER have to abandon their children because they can’t feed another mouth. Maybe. Just Maybe.

You can follow Katie’s journey @ http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/

To Donate to Amazima Ministries: http://amazima.org/