My Well Worn Copy of “Kisses from Katie”.
I am an avid, unapologetic reader, and always have been. Finding myself lost somewhere in another world, real or fictional, is one of the true joys in life. I love it! Recently, I picked up the book “Kisses from Katie, A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption”, by Katie Davis. And yes, I found myself lost in a world I had never known.
From page one, I was captured. While still in the introduction, the author makes the astounding statement, “I quit my life”. Since that is not something people often do, and I personally had just quit my life, I had to find out how it worked out for her. In all honesty, I am not sure if I read on to find out how her life turned out. Or because I cared about Katie. Possibly I wanted some sort of reassurance that “quitting your life” would turn out well.
In both cases, Katie’s and mine, it ends well. It ends incredibly well. “Kisses from Katie” is the story of a young woman, who at age 18 takes a two week mission trip to Uganda. This short term trip plants a seed in her heart that develops over the next few years into a garden of love. Katie tends this garden daily with extraordinary care, tenderness, and faith. Oh, and the garden is a garden of happy, healthy children.
Katie returns to Uganda
After her initial visit, Katie returns to Uganda to live, and work, and grow the children of Uganda. I am not sure she had any idea when she left her life, the scope of God’s plan for her in Uganda. Sometimes I think God shares only glimpses as we might be overwhelmed if we knew the entire plan. Katie’s is a huge task as half of Uganda’s population is children under age 18. The country is riddled with HIV, Aids, disease, and poverty. Children are simply left as one or both parents go off in search of work or food.
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Faced with this daunting task, Katie makes the following statement, “I’m not here to eliminate poverty, to eradicate disease, to put a stop to people abandoning babies. I’m just here to love”. And love she does, fully, completely, and with full abandon. So much so, that it makes the reader, myself included, want to do the same. To love with full abandon and give every part of myself away, until everything is okay in the world. Until all children are fed, and clothed, and clean. Until homes are not broken, disease and illness are stopped, and children have the benefits of love, education, and freedom.
You will be forced to take a self inventory of your giving
The journey of love that Katie travels as she begins to adopt orphaned girls in Uganda is beyond inspiring. In addition she builds a feeding program, and helps the hopeless find hope. As you read, you will be forced to take a self inventory of your giving, volunteering, and basic loving habits as I did. You will learn more than you wanted to know about the plight of the hungry. You will come to know the hopeless children and families of Uganda. And finally, how one young woman’s commitment to make a change in their lives can be accomplished through small gifts from those of us in a very fortunate first world existence.
The diary pages are where you will need a box of tissues…
Every chapter concludes with Katie’s diary pages, which will tug at your heart, while inspiring you to love more than you currently do. “Kisses from Katie” is worth every minute it will take you to read it. Have a box of tissues handy, and a notepad to scratch notes on what you can do to help someone, somewhere in the world. I have read, and reread this book numerous times. When I am frustrated with the hunger, sadness, and broken state of much of the world, I pick it up, read, and am inspired. If you are like me, you will close the book with a few happy tears, a determination to be more than you currently are, and the inspiration to make it happen.