I tried to push back the tears, but I just couldn't. Katie pulled on my heartstrings and brought emotions to the surface of my heart that I haven't felt in a long time.
I can't begin to imagine being a single mother to 13 girls at the age of 22, but Katie is. At the age of 19, Katie went to Uganda, on a short-term trip, not knowing that she would end up making a lifetime decision.
While teaching kindergarten in Uganda, Katie not only fell in love with the Ugandan people, but she saw a desperate need for change. She could have finished her time teaching, come back to the U.S., and gone on with her life. Instead, she chose to follow Christ--wholeheartedly, passionately, unashamedly, and with her whole life.
Katie decided to stay in Uganda and adopted 13 girls while starting a ministry, Amazima that sends over 400 children to school, gives over 1,600 kids meals, hosts Bible studies, provides jobs, gives medical aid, and partners with parents in Uganda.
"People tell me I am brave. People tell me I am strong. People tell me good job. Well here is the truth of it. I am really not that brave, I am not really that strong, and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am just doing what God called me to do as a follower of Him. Feed His sheep, do unto the least of His people."Katie's faith is unshakable. Looking into her eyes, I saw the honesty in her words. She truly believes that all she needs is Jesus. After hearing Katie's story at Catalyst, I picked up a copy of her book and was completely engrossed in her blog....story after story of what God is doing in Uganda kept leaping out at me, her words echoing in my mind.
Katie's story shook me to my core. A large part of that is because we are just two years apart in age. I keep thinking through life, right now, in this season, and what she has decided to follow Christ in. I want to follow Christ like that. I am done being a fan on the sidelines of life. I'm ready to step into my Uganda and not look back. I'm ready to follow Christ to do the unthinkable, the unimaginable....I'm ready to dive into what I could only do under complete & total surrender to Him.
Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you. ~Mother Teresa
I am so thankful to have met Katie several days ago and see the passion and love in her eyes. Amazima partners with Ugandan women, offering them an opportunity to work for their families by making and selling jewelry. I had the privilege of buying one of their necklaces and every time I wear it, I will be praying for Katie and her family in Uganda.
"Jesus does not ask that we care for the less fortunate. He demands it."
Connect with Katie & Amazima:
Katie's Blog: Kisses from Katie
Facebook: Amazima Ministries
*All pictures and videos are from Amazima Ministries.