Today’s post testimony of Katie Davis. Recently Catalyst conference couldn’t keep her book on the shelves! It has become a NY times best seller. Read her story to find out why:
Katie Davis, beautiful girl next door from Tennessee. She was homecoming queen, drove a convertible, and planned to go to college.
After high school she went to Uganda for an opportunity to teach kindergarten at an orphanage in a small village.
It was supposed to be a 10 month commitment.
She experienced poverty, hurt, and oppression on a whole new level. She knew she had to do something, anything, to help.
“Mothers feed their children dirt or the dregs from the local alcohol distillery, or they sneak out at night and sell their bodies in order to put a little food on the table in the morning. Babies are left in pit latrines. People are degraded, robbed, raped, and lied to, and a large yellow sun sparkles on the vast expanse of the Nile River. It is horrifying. And yet God is before all things and in Him all things hold together, and even in the hard and the ugly there is beauty.”
-Katie Davis describing Uganda (source)
One night, in January 2008, a mud hut down the road from the orphanage collapsed on three small orphans during a rainstorm. Davis couldn’t find any living relatives willing to take any of the girls, and she refused to send them to an overcrowded orphanage.
Three days later, the youngest called her mom.
Davis then rented a house to accommodate the three girls. Over the next 18 months, 10 more girls moved in, all from different circumstances.
Today, 22 year old Katie is the mom to 13 girls and living in Uganda. Believe it or not, that is just the beginning of Katie’s ministry!
She has established a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Amazima Ministries International. In the Luganda language, Amazima means “truth.”
Amazima offers a child sponsorship program, matching orphaned and vulnerable children who are unable to afford schooling with sponsors anywhere in the world. Sponsors pay $300 per year to send one child to school, providing school supplies, 3 hot meals each day, spiritual discipleship, and medical care.
Originally planning to have 40 children in the program, today the program sponsors over 400 children.
Katie also reached out to the Karimojong people of the Masese community. The poorest of the poor, and losing their children to malnutrition and starvation at an astounding rate. She started a feeding program to the community, nourishing over 1,600 children. This allows the children to attend school and therefore not go to the street to beg. Also provided is medical care, Bible study, and general health training.
As friendships developed with the Karimojong people, Katie wanted to help the women in the village provide for their families. She initiated a self-sustaining vocational program to empower these women to make unique Ugandan magazine bead necklaces. They are also taught money management skills. The necklaces made by the Karimojong women are purchased and sold in the United States. (Christmas gifts anyone??)
Katie says, “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.”