“We are not called to be safe, we are simply promised that when we are in danger, God is right there with us. And there is no better place to be than in His hands.”
– Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie
To be completely honest, I actually attempted to read this book long before I decided to make it this month’s Simple Spirit Reads. Like, years before. A very close friend of mine was reading Katie’s story and felt very strongly that I should read it as well. I could tell that the Lord was revealing something precious to my friend via this book, so I “gave it a try.”
My heart wasn’t ready. I read the first handful of pages of this story about a girl, only a few years younger than I was at the time, who walked away from her wealthy American lifestyle in favor of a life of disease, poverty, and suffering. At the time, I just couldn’t connect with Katie. What I didn’t realize was that the disconnect was not because the kind of life Katie was building was not my “calling.” I had a hard heart. My eyes were dry and my prayers were cold to the suffering of these children, and I didn’t even think I was wrong. I didn’t make it through the first chapter.
Things are very different now.
I’ll quickly (and to be honest, unjustly) summarize the events of Katie Davis’ life up to the point of the writing of Kisses from Katie. After a three-week missions trip to Uganda, Katie knew that she wanted to spend a year after high school in that region of Africa. Once there, she volunteered at an orphanage and taught kindergarten. As time went on, the Lord began revealing to Katie the full truth of His call and purpose for her, and she couldn’t help doing more and more for the hurting and desperate community around her. As of 2011, Katie was in the process of adopting thirteen Ugandan girls who, without Katie, probably would not have survived. Their family is joyous, humble, chaotic, and exists for the purpose of serving the Lord.
Where I had responded to the ignorance, complacency, and affluent gluttony of the American church in bitterness and anger, Katie fell to her knees in desperation and submissive servanthood. Her frustrations at the injustice of seeing the people around her die of illnesses and injuries that would have been easily treatable in the States only caused her to rely more and more on the sovereign provision of the Lord.
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
– John 9:1-3
This book is so much more than just the story of one girl. It’s a call to action. The poor, the orphans, the needy – they are our responsibility. We are ambassadors of Christ.
“People from my first home say I’m brave. They tell me I’m strong. 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 people who make it possible and in the company of those who make my life worth living”
– Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie (emphasis added)