Reading: Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis with Beth Clark

CIA World Factbook map of the country of Uganda.

Katie Davis was 18 when she first made a mission trip to Jinja, Uganda--a place I called home for seven years with my family--and decided to return for a year that has now stretched into three years. She went to Uganda with no college degree or nursing certificate but with a heart of Christ.

What would cause an 18-year-old homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee to forgo college, lose her friends, and break up with the love of her life--all to move thousands of miles away from her family?

Her trip to Uganda turned her life inside out. She was so moved by the Ugandan people, particularly the children--that she gave up a comfortable life to fulfill her calling to care for the poor who cannot afford basic necessities and school fees for their children.

Katie is now 22 and has published a book that will be available in October 2011.

The following are some excerpts and observations about her book and her work.

My heart was on fire with a passion to say yes to God's every request--to do more to help the people around me. Starting a ministry in Uganda wasn't something I had in mind when I came here, but it seemed the only logical next step as people approached me needing help and I said yes to meeting their needs. As I prayed about what to do next and sought counsel from friends and family, I realized the only way to really be able to meet all the needs I wanted to meet in this community--to pay for children's school, keep their bellies full, offer medical assistance, and most important teach them about Christ's love for them--would be to start some kind of nonprofit organization.

This would be the first of many, many times we would invite disease-ridden people into our home (p 97)

People from my first home say I'm brave . . . They pat me on the back and say, "Way to go. Good job." But the truth is, I am not really very brave; I am not really very strong; and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am simply doing what God has called me to do as a person who follows Him. He said to feed His sheep and He said to care for the "least of these," so that's what I'm doing, with the help of a lot of people who make it possible and in the company of those who make my life worth living.