I love to read. As someone who loves to write, this is probably not a shock to anyone. I used to just assume that others loved to read as much as I do, but as I have grown I have realized this is not entirely true. In fact, there are people (I may even be married to one ) who can go incredible lengths of time without reading! For pleasure that is, I mean I assume everyone has to read things from time to time, right? The reason for this intro is because if books do not interest you then I apologize but this post may bore you as well. Because I have read a fantastic book and I need to tell someone, or everyone, about it! So here it goes…
You may end up wanting to read after this…..
A few weeks ago at Barnes and Noble I picked up a book I had never heard of entitled “Kisses from Katie”. Now I am not normally a “cover shopper”, I don’t buy books based on their appearance. However, the image of a young woman surrounded by a number of young African children caught my attention and I had to see what it was about. I am a person with a heart for children’s ministry in any form, and I love hearing about the wonderful things others are doing in that field around the world. Here is the cover….
Those children’s smiles are so precious….
What I found after reading the back was that this is the autobiographical account of Katie’s journey to Uganda, teaching Kindergarten, starting a children’s foundation and adopting 14 little girls. Sounds courageous doesn’t it? Then comes the truly amazing part, she started all of this the year she graduated from high school, and she is only 20 years old when the book is published. She may be 21 as I am writing this, I don’t know for sure. I had to read this book and find out all about her journey! So I bought it right there, full price in Barnes and Noble, something else I have not done in a long time! Let’s face it – Amazon is cheaper if we can have the patience to wait for it to come in the mail right?
This book was AMAZING to read! I laughed, cried and felt incredibly encouraged through both the book itself and her journal entries which are interspersed throughout the book as well. This young woman lives a life most of us would shutter at the thought of, yet she is completely confident that she is living God’s will for her life. She has faced hurdles and obstacles some of us will never experience, and allowed each one of them to draw her closer to the God who loves each one of us so much. This was not only an incredible story to read, but her writing is filled with encouragement for all of us to find God’s will for our own lives, right where we are, and to strive to stay in the center of it. Even though I had never personally experienced some of the things that she has gone through, I found it so relatable because as children of God we all experience the same spectrum of emotions in our lives.
“It’s a small world, after all…”
Furthermore, this book has really pushed me to think outside of myself and my family and to consider what is going on in the world around us. We get so wrapped up in our daily lives that the rest of the world seems so big and so far removed from us that it is easy to just not even think about it. But it isn’t that big, and we were all created by the same God, and He loves those in far away countries who are struggling just as much as He loves us and those around us that we know. We are not all called, as Katie was, to pack up our belongings, quit our jobs and move to Africa to help those who are hurting there. The Lord has placed us where we are at this time for a purpose. However, we are called to reach out to those around us and help the weak that are in front us, to serve those in need by using what we have been given. James 2: 15-17 states “15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. “ At the same time 1 John 3:17 says :” If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? “ and Luke 3: 10 – 11 says: 10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. 11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” This is just 3 of the many occasions in the bible where we are called as followers of Christ to help those in need around us.
While this was not new information that I was learning while reading this story, it was something that I think needed to be stirred up in me again, and it was by reading this book. At the same time, I was introduced to the plight of the people of Uganda, a people that I knew were struggling but I had never taken the time to find out what was going on. Though I have never been there, and I may never get the chance to go, Uganda and the issues that the children there face daily will continue to be on my mind as I look at the life the Lord has chosen to give my children and I am reminded how truly blessed we are in this country.
If you are looking for an encouraging book to read, or just want to learn more about the ministry in Uganda and about the issues that the children there face, this book is an excellent choice. To learn more about the ministry started by this young woman you can visit www.amazima.org – this site really explains the work that is going on over there and the plans for future endeavors.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend! I need to run and go give a bath to this little baby who has decided to smear her food all over her face while I was writing Good thing she LOVES bath time!
“Maybe I did it just to get the chance to go in the tub, either way you have to clean me .”