review: Kisses from Katie: a story of relentless love and redemption by Katie Davis

kisses from

Kisses from Katie: a story of relentless love and redemption by Katie Davis with Beth Clark is a moving memoir about a twenty-something’s experience working with children in rural Uganda. Katie, a middle-class white girl from Nashville, Tennessee was in high school when she first felt called to serve God in a unique way. When information about serving an orphanage in Uganda came across her computer, she couldn’t stop thinking of going there. Her parents relented and let her go over Christmas break during her senior year of high school. From her first day at the orphanage, she was enamored with the spirit of the children, the need of the community, and of her heart’s desire to stay.

I quit college; I quiet cute designer clothes and my yellow convertible; I quit my boyfriend. I no longer have all the things the world says are important….I cannot fathom being happier. Jesus wrecked my life, shattered it to pieces, and put it back together more beautifully.

Katie credits her faith in God as the driving force behind her intense desire to stay in Uganda past those two weeks. Upon graduating from high school, she forewent the college life she had anticipated, and instead returned to Uganda to serve for one year at the orphanage. She picked chiggers out of children’s skin, nursed babies back to health, bathed and prepared food for the wards, but most importantly, she fell in love with them.

Katie was still there, seven years later. She adopted 14 girls, all of whom live with her in a large rented home that sometimes has power and running water, but always has happiness, laughter, and love. Throughout the book she describes challenges she saw families face, such as sickness, hunger, and no money to send their children to school. After their basic needs were met, Katie saw to it that hundreds of children could attend school. She started a charity called Amazima Ministries that raises money to support and send Ugandan children to school.

I knew I could not change the village or the country of Uganda, but educated children could.

Katie is passionate and free with her love, but she is also pragmatic. She works hard to raise funds necessary for the education of the hundreds of children in her village. But sometimes things go wrong, and she has to endure the pain of being helpless. Helpless that is, except for the power of prayer.

I still have to sit with the Father in my sadness and brokenness over all the hurt in this world. Sometimes I still have to cry to Him and ask Him why innocent children must suffer and beg Him to move people to action.

Her faith in God and her ability to follow in the footsteps of Jesus is remarkable. She sees her behavior something she must do, instead of a selfless sacrifice that so many Westerners would never consider making.

People who want to make a difference get frustrated along the way. But if they have a particularly stressful day, they don’t qut. They keep going….They don’t do anything to call attention to themselves, they simply pay attention to the everyday needs of others, even if it’s only one person. They bring change in ways most people will never read about or applaud. And because of the way these world-changers are wired, they wouldn’t think of living their lives any other way.

Katie will probably never return to the United States. She will raise her daughters in Uganda, and when they are grown women doing remarkable things, she will adopt more orphaned girls and teach them to love and praise God, and to study hard, and to dream. I wonder if Katie realizes that she has become a version of her idol, Mother Teresa.

I will not change the world. Jesus will do that. I can, however, change the world for one person.

Recommended for:
Young men or women who may be struggling with the decisions they must make regarding their future. Some teens just don’t know what they should be aspiring towards, or what God has planned for them. This memoir will remind them that their lives are not their own, but the Lord’s, and that He will guide them if only they open their hearts to Him and His plan.

Life Without Limitations: inspiration for a ridiculously good lifby Nick Vujicic, the true-story of a man born with arms or legs, and how he turned that disability into a life that inspires thousands.

Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. John 9:3. Disease is certainly not a sin. And poverty is not a sin; it is a condition, a circumstance that allows God’s work to be displayed.

Adoption is wonderful and beautiful and the greatest blessing I have ever experienced. Adoption is also difficult and painful. Adoption is a beautiful picture of redemption. It is the Gospel in my living room….Adoption is a redemptive response to tragedy in this broken world.

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