I don’t think it’s possible to read Kisses from Katie and remain unmoved and unchanged. Nor is it easy to put the book down once you start reading it. Katie’s engaging writing draws you into her life with the thirteen delightful children she’s in the process of adopting and takes you along as she visits and ministers to all sorts of people. People who are struggling with situations most of us couldn't even imagine, but who have the same kinds of fears, hopes, and dreams we all have.
Written by Katie Davis, who went to Uganda at age eighteen for a one-year mission trip and has lived there since, this book opened my eyes to some of the most economically destitute, but often spiritually rich, people there are in this world. I’ve heard all my life of people starving in Africa, but I have never been introduced to them as individuals with faith, fears, and longings I could relate to. Katie puts her arms around them and shows them God’s love with food, medicine, tears, gentle care, and the constant message of Christ’s love for them. She listens to their stories and helps each one experience the dignity of being a valuable person created in God’s image, precious to the Lord and to her. She also learns from them, as she sees their gratitude, faith, and joy, despite the losses and hardships they have experienced.
Young though she is, Katie lives more selflessly and wholeheartedly for Christ than most of us would think possible, and she also experiences deeper communion with Christ and more joy in him than most of us know. Throughout the book, she is honest about her own struggles and doesn’t put herself on a pedestal or even think that what she is doing is extraordinary. She shows by her life how one person, relying on God’s strength and following his leading, can do an extraordinary job of bringing Christ’s love to those who are often least valued in the world.
I finished reading this book last week, but it is still in my thoughts every day, as reading it has challenged me to rethink my priorities and examine the depth of my faith and how I live it out. I am pondering how to follow Katie’s example in my own life. It is unlikely that I will go to Uganda or possibly anywhere overseas to do missions work, but I know I could live more closely with Jesus, more selflessly following him and loving the people he brings into my life.