Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kisses from Katie by Katie J. Davis

Kisses from Katie
Katie J. Davis
304 pgs, 2011

Summary from Amazon

What would cause an eighteen-year-old old senior class president and homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee, to disappoint her parents by forgoing college, break her little brother’s heart, lose all but a handful of her friends (because the rest of them 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 but didn’t know any of the language? A passion to make a difference. Katie Davis left over Christmas break 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 and children of Uganda that she knew her calling was to return and care for them. She has given up a relatively comfortable life—at a young age—to care for the less fortunate of this world. She was so moved by the need she witnessed, she's centered her life around meeting that need. Katie, a charismatic and articulate young woman, is in the process of adopting 13 children in Uganda, and she completely trusts God for daily provision for her and her family. 

Despite the rough conditions in which Katie lives, she has found a life of service to God to be one of great joy. Katie's children bring constant delight and help her help others by welcoming whoever comes to their door. As the challenges grow, so does Katie's faith and her certainty that what she's doing in Uganda, one person at a time, will have far-reaching rewards. It isn't the life she planned, but it is the life she loves.

To further her reach into the needs of Ugandans, Katie established Amazima Ministries. The ministry matches orphaned children with sponsors worldwide. Each sponsor's $300/year provides schooling, school supplies, three hot meals a day, minor medical care, and spiritual encouragement. Katie expected to have forty children in the program; she had signed up 150 by January 2008; today it sponsors over 400. Another aspect of the ministry is a feeding program created for the displaced Karamojong people—Uganda's poorest citizens. The program feeds lunch to over 1200 children Monday-Friday and sends them home with a plate of food; it also offers basic medical care, Bible study, and general health training.

Katie Davis, now 22, is more than fascinating; she's inspiring, as she has wholeheartedly answered the call to serve. 
My Thoughts

I started this book apprehensively, fully prepared to roll my eyes frequently; spine stiffened in preparation for constant harassing to give my life to God.  I’ll also admit that while I did submit to the occasional eye roll overall, I was genuinely moved and inspired my Katie’s story. 

This book is Katie telling her story, exactly how she wants to tell it.  God has worked in her life and she doesn’t care who she turns off by being up front.  In other books by authors of the same persuasion I have found this to be annoying.  But since Katie seemed so genuine to me I wasn’t as bothered by it (I still had a few of my impatient moments).  She doesn’t preach, she lives.

I won’t say this is a favorite book.  I think it proves that no matter how unconventional a person’s life choices are, reading about their day to day life is monotonous, just a different sort of monotony.   I’m moved by what Katie sees daily to investigate what I could do to make things better, but I’ll admit to skimming sections where I got the “didn’t I just read this” feeling.  I also felt some of Katie’s analogies to how God was working in her life to be a stretch.

One thing Katie suggests that I really liked was the idea that you should be looking for the one thing you can do right in front of you that will make things better.  Instead of looking at child poverty as an epidemic that you can’t possibly make a dent in, see what you can do locally to make sure one more child has enough food.  I never felt like Katie was trying to convince me to give up everything and move to Africa (although I definitely felt like I’m not doing enough).

My Rating
Enjoyability – 4 out of 5
Relationships – 5 out of 5
Writing – 3 out of 5

This book will stay with me for a long time.  Next time I’m deciding where to give charitable funds I’ll highly consider Amazima.

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