Katie Davis traveled to Uganda for a short mission trip over the Christmas break of her senior year in high school. She found herself so moved by the Ugandan people and their needs that she knew it was her calling to return to care for them. She is now in the process of adopting thirteen children there, and has established the ministry, Amazima, that cares for hundreds more. Here, she shares her story.
Katie is not your average girl. She feels a calling much greater than maintaining a relationship with her high school sweetheart and attending the college of her dreams. This 18 year old, Tennessee native walks away from her near perfect life for one as a missionary
With a heart full of faith and compassion, Katie takes her readers on her journey through the orphanages where there are many needs among the African children. Along the way, she endures heartache and a feeling of being overwhelmed by it all, but relies on God to use her servants heart and hands to truly make a difference in the world.
I really enjoyed this book and was amazed by the strong character that this young woman has. It was a true blessing to be invited in to her world. She is very brave to go against what we consider 'normal' society to follow her dream. Her service and dedication is truly admirable.
This book will definitely make you step back and analyse yourself and your own faith. Could you do what she has done? Would you give up your own life to be of service to others? I know what my answer would be. Read this book if you want to find out yours.
When I began this book even I wasn't sure I'd finish it because of its oozing Christianity; I, a Christian, doubted anyone could love God this much. But I was won over by how genuine and modest she is. She wrote the book to get out the message that children are starving and dying and that so many could be saved by what an average American regularly spends on entertainment. By the time I'd finished this book (in one sitting) I didn't just feel I'd read an inspiring story, I felt challenged to examine my life. In that she was successful.
I have now read the book and found it better than the audio. The lady audio narrator tells the story in such a sickly sweet and overly emotional manner that I found myself cringing all the way through and skipping over the last third of the book, which actually turned out to be the best part of it.
The good: Katie is obviously sincere in her desire to share the Gospel and to help people. She makes huge personal sacrifices, effectively giving up her life in the USA, her education and her relationship with her boyfriend in order to go to the mission field. She perseveres and is still working there. She set up an organisation which carries on a wide range of work including livelihood, education and Gospel work. There are testimonies on her website of some whose lives have been changed.
She finds herself in seemingly impossible situations that make her heart ache. She never refuses to help and always finds practical solutions. The people know that they can turn to her. I don't know how someone of her age and life experience managed to endure all of the suffering that she describes and am sure she would have been overwhelmed but for her trust in God. There are some incredible stories of people being nursed back to health from death's door.
The question marks: Katie set about fostering/adopting numerous children as a single within a year of being in Uganda without really knowing the people or the culture and with an outstanding promise to her parents to return to the USA and complete her studies. Throughout the book she speaks about God leading her to do these things as if her refusal would be disobedience. She doesn't refer to taking counsel or advice from anyone else. She doesn't appear to be accountable to anyone or to a local church. This leaves a lot of room for subjective decision making and error. We all need accountability and we can all mistake the will of God at times. The fact that God appears to have been gracious to her does not mean that this is a good example for others heading to the field. The end doesn't justify the means. We need to make wise decisions and take counsel.
I felt also that the focus was too much on help/education and not enough on the transforming power of the Gospel. Katie said this
Obviously, the key to eternal life is Jesus, but the key to a better life here is education.
I disagree with this statement. The key to both our lives on earth and in heaven is Jesus. We can raise the living standards of a community through education but the Gospel still needs to be the focal point of the entire operation--help without hope is the ultimate tragedy.
I guess my main problem with the story isn't so much what is said but the style of writing. I found her account full of emotionalism and her personal spiritual experiences and what she is learning from God. When someone says repeatedly that they will die if something or other happens or doesn't happen, it loses its effect and sounds fake. I believe that Katie probably did feel strong emotions and she writes part of the book like a journal so it is her thoughts and feelings. However, I would have preferred to have learned more about the actual things she was doing on a day to day basis and the lives of the children and the ministry rather than so much about her emotions.
I didn't think it was a good decision for Katie to go to court to try and keep one of the children she had fostered when the biological mother claimed her. Katie had only had the girl for two years and already had thirteen children. Her goal should always have been to try and re-unite the children with their biological families where-ever possible. She describes the court's decision over this issue as unjust and unfair although she accepts it in the end as being part of a fallen world....but what about the best outcome for the child, we know nothing about the birth mother.
I am pleased that I re-read this and am able to rate it slightly more highly as it seems a shame to give a fellow missionary a low rating. I hope Katie continues her work for God in Uganda, I see that she is now married which is great news both for Katie and for the continuation of her ministry.
I recommend this book for those who need to be reminded that God can do the impossible if we are willing. There is no bad language, sexual content or violence.
Some of the reviews bashed her choice and writing. Even though some of the tactics are a bit problematic, I don't know many 18 year olds doing the