Saturday, March 10, 2012

On a Mission: Asking the Hard Questions

One girl. About the age of most of us. One countercultural decision. One crazy awesome God and one heart surrendered to His wildest ideas.

The result? Thousands of orphans given homes and cared for, thousands of ways for the Gospel to be shared, one amazing ministry begun, one beautiful book written, and thousands of hearts inspired.

The girl? Katie Davis, now young mother of 13 orphaned girls and founder of Amazima Ministries. The book? Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption, the exciting and heart-wrenching story of her adventures in Uganda. My advice to you? Read it.

Kisses from Katie is Katie Davis’ telling of her own story, how she turned her back on the traditional American life of college and career and chose a radically different life than the one she had grown up with and expected to live. But more than that, Katie’s book is the story of the people, and particularly the children, of Uganda; it is the story of the approximately 143,000,000 orphans around the world today, voiceless and alone; it is the story of a God big enough to use a little girl to do great things.

Reading Katie’s story is not exactly the kind of book you want to read curled up in a comfortable chair, sipping a $4 latte… without seeing the complacency and self-centeredness of our culture mirrored in yourself, that is. Because Katie’s book is like that. Unless you’re reading it from the depths of Africa or somewhere where you are engrossed in full time mission work with orphans up to your ears, Kisses from Katie raises interesting, and convicting, questions. As high school girls, wrapped up in activities and friends, are we truly living for anyone other than ourselves? As college students, busy with heavy course loads and meeting new faces, are we living with an eternity-mindset? As 20-somethings, moving on with life and careers and schooling, are we so focused on the next bend in the road that we forget the crying, hungry world around us?

Not everyone is called to leave their home, families, friends, and the beaten path of classic American life to directly minister in hungry and sick, poverty-stricken third world countries. We can be missionaries wherever we are [we all know that right? the whole ‘bloom where you’re planted’ thing?]. But in the face of thousands of children who live in conditions so desperate our minds can only imagine, that platitude, although truthful, can seem to fall a little flat.

Three girls, each with a passion for children, orphans, missions, and the voiceless, are here to share their thoughts with you on this topic, and why it has become a passion for them.

Why do you have a passion for orphans/children/missions?
I didn’t originally have a passion for this issue. I mean, my heart would hurt when footage of starving children came on the TV screen, and I’d feel compassion for children without families--but mostly I didn’t think of them. I tried not to let them cross my mind too often because I doubted that there were real, tangible ways I could help. 

If you could tell people of one way they can make a difference, what would you tell them?
Prayer. This should not be disregarded or downplayed. Jesus speaks repeatedly on prayer in the New Testament--He uses strong imagery to emphasize how we should appeal to Him boldly and often. These kids are under His watch. He loves them more than we do. So why would we hesitate to appeal to Him to care for their needs, and equip us to help them?

To the girls who have grown up reading missionaries biographies and have always dreamed of the missionary life, what would you say? To the girls who are pretty much happy with their American life and “don’t feel the call”, what would you say?
To the girls who (like me) were raised on missionary stories--don’t downplay your involvement. You might not be in a place in life where you can drop everything and go overseas. You may never be given that opportunity. That doesn’t mean you’re powerless. Mother Teresa emphasized that all we can do are “small things with great love.” I would add--I don’t think anything done for the Kingdom is truly small. Everything matters. Everything is seen by God. 
To the girls who don’t think you’re called...I would suggest reconsidering. The truth is, if we love Jesus, caring for orphans isn’t a question. James 1:27 says it is a mark of “pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God.” The question isn’t whether you’re called. The question is “how.” How can you specifically help love these kids? Prayer? Active involvement in a local orphan ministry? Fundraising for orphan ministries or places that support potential adoptive families, like the Abba Fund? But mostly...I’d encourage those girls to dare to see yourselves in these children. But for the grace of God, we’d be there too. How can we possibly bear to live without giving them a second thought? If God’s heart breaks for them, why should our hearts remain whole?

check back soon for part 2... 


  1. This post is amazing and I highly reccommend the book - her story is life-changing, her dedication eye-opening,and her passion inspiring. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. This book changed my life. I would recommend it to anyone, whether you have interest in orphans or not.