“Every day we have a choice. We can stay nestled in our safe comfortable places…. We can let fear of something that really is small compared to the greatness of God cripple us. Or we can take a risk, do something to help someone else, make a person smile, change someone’s world. “ (pg101)
Some books I read immediately go on my “need to reread this every year” shelf, such as Mountains beyond Mountains. These books help clear away the cynicism and hopelessness that can come from living in a country that is very poor. Kisses for Katie is one of those books.
At the age of 19, Katie Davis went to Uganda for what was supposed to be a year of teaching kindergarten. Four years later, she is still there. She has started a non-profit organization to care for her town. She has adopted 14 (!) little girls, and cares for many more sick and needy every day. She has arranged for the sponsorship of over 200 children, so they can go to school. Oh, and she also feeds 1600 children every week. And yet in the day to day it is the little things she focuses on, such as feeding one street child, visiting one sick elderly lady. She starts with one person, and God takes it from there.
In society’s eyes, there is nothing spectacular about Katie. She comes from a nice family, had a lot of friends in high school, but then dropped out of college after her first semester and never went back. Her one amazing gift is her ability to love. And that gift is changing the world around her. Katie is an example of what an ordinary person can accomplish. She has no huge following, no famous connections, only friends and family at home who support her and a few locals who help out. If she can do this, anyone can. And that is what is so wonderful, and so scary, about her story. Scary because it makes you think hard about your own life, and how it could be different.
I have to admit was a bit disappointed in this book, for the sole reason that much of the content seemed to have been recycled from Katie’s blog (http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/). Since I’ve been following her for a while, nothing in the book was really new. I was looking forward to learning more about Katie and her life, such as what a normal day is to her, what kind of struggles she goes through with her 14 adopted daughters, or even some background on the area she is living in. I think this book would be more satisfactorily approached as a reflection/ prayer book. Katie has a gift for taking stories from her life and showing how God is working in the world, and how people can work for God.
Even though I wish the book was a bit more in depth, I still recommend it, especially if you are not familiar with Katie’s story. I also recommend her blog, which has many wonderful pictures. It is a wonderful reminder of how much one small person can help, using only determination and faith.