Katie is one of my heroes.
Here's the thing. Katie is 22 years old.
Read that sentence again. Katie is 22 years old and lives in Uganda.
Okay, one more time. Katie is 22 years old and lives in Uganda with her 13 daughters.
During the summer of 2007 (right after she graduated High School), she went over to Uganda to teach at a Kindergarten for a year at an orphanage. She thought that she would go for a year, and then return home to Tennessee to go to college and live a "normal life". Not so. While she was there, she learned about the many needs that Uganda has. She saw many school-aged children sitting by the road when they should have been in school. God laid it on her heart to start a Child Sponsorship Program for some of the children. So, she started up Amazima Ministries International. As their website says, "The organization seeks to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people of Uganda who need it most. In the Lugandan language, Amazima means 'truth.' "She also started up a food program to feed some of the Karimojong people. From Monday through Friday of each week, they feed 1,600 children and provide them with medical care, bible study, and and an education. She began working with some of the women in the village and taught them how to make necklaces that the ministry sells to empower these women to sustain their families. Katie says on her website, "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."
I like to use Katie's story to tell people about how we are never too young, never to small, never to insignificant to make a difference. Katie's story started when she was 18 when she took a leap of faith and went to Africa. When she was 19, she began to foster her first three girls. Her ministry has grown because she has allowed God to use her and mold her. She now has thirteen beautiful daughters. Katie has spent the last year writing a book about her experience. I haven't read it myself yet, but if her blog (and other reviews I've read) are any indication, I'm sure that it is amazing.