Hello Journey followers! The good news is you get a blog, the not so good news; it’s not from Katie. This is PAPA, formerly known as Scott and Dad. Katie’s girlsasked what she called her grandfather and she said PAPA, so guess what? PAPA it is, and I must say after spending the week with these 13 beautiful girls,I hope I am their PAPA forever.

If you are looking to read an unbiased story about Katie, you should probably not go on. The Dad in me just can’t be unbiased, especially after what I’ve seen and expereincedthis week. What I want to tell each of you is THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Each of you through your prayers, donations, words of encouragement, etcmake a difference EVERY DAY! Yes, it is physically through Katie as she touches these people, but Amazima is not possible without you. What I can assure you is; it’s not just one life you touch every day, it is literally hundreds. Allow me to share with you a week in the life of Katie as seen through the eyes of herearthly father.
To set the stage realize that I brought Katie to Uganda in 2007 as a 18 year old. I left her at the baby cottage which certainly was a safe haven with other North Americanvolunteers. While hard to part with her I had a sense of her safety. Of course I didn’t realize that in a very short time she would venture out from the safety of the baby cottage to the village of Canaan where the real life of Amzima began.

Brad and I arrived Friday near midnight to Kate’s house in Bukaya. I don’t know what I expected, but I can tell you this; there is not much I’m going to complainabout from this point forward! At 6:00am Saturday the first child came through the gate for worship, play and food. Over the next few hours over 300 children filled Katie’s small yard, first greeted with a single boiled egg (you ever seen 350 boiled eggs in a pot?). Then play and worship led by Katie and Raoul, a terrific young man giftedwith beutiful music and words. This was followed by lunch where all 300+ children formed and orderly line to be served rice, beans and CHICKEN! You can’t imagine thelooks on their faces when first biting into the chicken. I don’t have the words to express the satisfaction. It’s at that point a young girl came crying to Katie. She had fallen from a tree and her head was bleeding. We watched Katie magically perform minor surgery, patch the girl up and send her back on her way. I promise youI’ve never seen anything like it. Then Bashir came in the house only for Katie to say; “I think he has scabbies, I have to run him to the clinic”. Off to the clinic she and Bashir went as Katie’s girls handed out bags of food to each child filled with flour, beans and rice (bags they had filled that morning separating by hand each ingredient. Enough for each child a week’s worth of meals, although I’m quite sure it actually fed the children’s family. Katie and Bashir return, and the diagnosis is scabbies. Katie announced that Bashir would be staying with us for a few days while she treated him. You should have seen the look on the faces of me, Brad and Ben!!. .Surely she was kidding, Nope! The day was not over…off to the Karamonjongs for Katie and Ben to check on little Michael, You’ve read that story.

Did I say it was still Saturday, day 1 of our visit?

I won’t bore you with a day by day account, but thought day 1 would set the tone.
On day 3 it was determined Katie has solved the age old marital problem of raising and lowering the toilet seats. Hers are broken and she simply removed them.When I suggested I would buy her new ones she looked at me like I had three heads. She asked if I knew how many children she could feed for the costof toilet seats? I looked at her like she was nuts, but I can tell you that you can adjust to life without toilet seats when all you can think about isfeeding another one of these children.

The week has continued with more of the same. Today is Thursday and I believe it is the first night Katie has not hosted another sick child spend the night. The power has been outsince last night, but it didnt not stop us from attending a meeting at the school where Katie feeds the Karamonjongs. I watched my daugter masterfullycontrol a meeting with 7 school administrators and determine solutions for arrising conflict. PRIDE moment. Then down the hill to Karamonjongs. You simply can’t imagine the poverty unless you see it. The smell is undescribeable. The looks on the faces. I cannot get the pictures out of my head. Walking up the hillKatie, Brad and I had as many hands touching us on each arm and our waists as humanly possible. From our elbows down you could see nothing other than brown little fingers just doing anything to touch our white skin as we headed up the hill for lunch.

To finish our week Katie wanted to take us to Sumini’s village; how she ever found this place is beyond my wildest imagination. After a 3 mile walk down railrod track, into the jungle, turn right at the dirt path we came upon this tiny little village. Sumini’s biological parents greeted Katie with the joy and enthusiasm I’ve seldom seen. I had no idea what they were saying so I just smiled and nodded until the witch doctor showed up appearing drunk and begging for us to come to his house. That was enough for me!!

Enough rambling, but I want all of you to know, to see, to smell and to feel the impact you are having on this world. Our President can come to Africa for photo opsand talk the talk, or Katie and her team can come to Africa and WALK the WALK. She and YOU are making a difference in peoples lives every single day!I can’t begin to tell you the number of Ugandan people that have approached me in town this week to tell me how much they love and respect Katie. Howmuch they appreciate the impact she is having on the children of their country. It’s all possible because ALL of you continue to express your love.

As Brad and I prepare to depart tomorrow I can feel the tears beginning to well up. I will leave my precious Katie for another year, a time period I have a hard time imaging. I know she is in God’s hands and he will continue to watch over her and keep her safe.

Thank you dear Katie, Auntie Christine and my 13 beautiful grandaughters for sharing your home, your lives and your love. You have changed my life forever when I didn’tthink that was possible. I will miss you everyday!!

36 thoughts on “

  1. Scott, I pray that we will be so open with our children- that they will feel our blessing to go anywhere and do anything. I know coupled with pride must be fear but your little girl is changing lives- and not just in Africa. Blessings to you and your wife- as I know the cost is great for you as well.


  2. Yes, I'm a stalker – complete stranger that follows the blog…I live in the midwest far from all the strifes Katie goes through…

    There are no words for me to express how much your story and the stories of Katie's journey have touched my heart. She is a woman of grace beyond her years! I truely wish I had more monetary gifts to offer the ministries, but always know my heart and prayers are with you all. Katie is truely proof of the good that is still on this Earth.


  3. Scott,

    Your daughter and her daughters, as well as Uganda and the rest of Africa:) have and continue to remain in our families hearts and prayers. I can't imagine the combination of sorrow and joy you must be feeling as you leave your beloved daughter, Katie…yet, somehow, you have to smile big realizing she is the Mama of 13 precious Treasures, which does make you their Papa!!!

    Praying daily for your sweet girls, Papa!!

    Diane and family:)


  4. As a daddies girl, this post is just precious to me. How proud you must be to see your child being obedient to the Lord and walking the walk!!

    I saw the video Kristin made and it made me cry- she is so talented, though she had such beautiful subjects to photograph. I loved it. πŸ™‚


  5. There aren't appropriate words for me to express how moved I am, thank-you for posting a blog about this. I know blogs take time , but do allow almost instant publication for prayer, praises, and concerns. I have listed this blog in the sidebar of mine in hopes many more can read, see, pray..thank-you. Praise God!


  6. A gorgeous story giving us a picture of reality, but still a partial blank canvass as we cannot possibly truly see the picture unless we experience it ourselves. I look forward to one day seeing the entire picture for myself! Katie is amazing and truly inspirational!


  7. what beautiful words from a loving and wonderful father. I cried just thinking of you having to leave her. I know in my heart what wonderful things katie is doing and how many lives she is touching, That is why I became a part of it by giving what I can. She is {the amazing} -in amazima. God Bless her and you. From a faithful (prayerful) stalker.. Big Big Hugs to you all.


  8. Oh that all our daughters could be used by God the way your's has! Katie is truly glorifying the Lord…that is all we are asked to do!

    Mother to 4 precious daughters, and 1 precious son


  9. Papa, thank you for sharing your heart. We love your daughter, even though we have never met. We'll continue praying and cheering your girl who is passionately serving the Lord in Uganda!! xoxo


  10. Katie,

    Every time I think I can't possibly leave your blog more touched than the last time – POW! It hits me so hard and I feel beyond blessed by reading the words that are shared here. Your father is a blessing and such a sweet man!

    You are truly blessed Katie!

    I can't even imagine what you face each day and you did it with so much confidence and grace!

    I know that is all the power of the Holy Spirit teaching you, speaking to you, lifting you, holding you, pushing you and most importantly loving in you and through you!

    One day – just one day Lord is all I want to spend face to face to this precious daughter – my sister of Yours!

    Oh you are a breath of fresh air Katie!

    Keep holding onto Him – the plans He has for you are too numerous to count!

    Love and hugs,


  11. Ok, NOW I'm crying! Yay for Dad getting to be there and see it and be proud of his baby girl!!!!!!!

    I'm so thankful my heart is just welling up!

    Scott, you have a precious girl there. I can't wait to be closer. . .

    katie, LOVE that your daddy posted! LOVE that He got to see you living exactly how God created you. oh. .and LOVE being your friend. So thankful God chooses to use us and He is most certainly using you my dear.



  12. I was reading the blog entry today and I looked over and saw that it was 6:00am where you are… I began to pray for you and the children about to arrive. May you be blessed.


  13. Scott,
    How wonderful that God has given you the opportunity to go to Uganda and see Katie's life and what it means to so many. It must be so great for her to know you understand why she is doing what she does. She is truly remarkable and God is using her to help so many. Even all of us who read her blog feel the love and inspiration
    coming from her. Thank you for the blog on her behalf, Scott.
    We pray that Sumini is better.
    Cousin, Sharon


  14. I loved the blog, Scott,and can't even imagine how leaving her feels! I pray for her and thank God for her and the work she is doing. How proud indeed, you must be! She is truely amazing! An inspiration to all of us who read her blog. God bless all of you and keep you safe.


  15. Scott, I imagine and feel your joy, your pride in your daughter…my own heart wells and tears roll to read your words. There is a verse that says, “I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in truth” and I believe this is what you are feeling! Your words bless me and express so sweetly the partnership between those of us who love and support Katie with the work she is doing there! thank you for that! Katie is a remarkable, gifted, anointed child of God, who I consider myself blessed to know. Her heart for Jesus touches and amazes me and hundreds of others. Thank you, Scott, for your father's perspective on this special time! Blessings as you travel!!


  16. Papa, thank you so much for sharing your heart and your experiences in the Journey. God has used and continues to use your precious daughter to touch so many, not only in Uganda but everywhere. As a parent, I can only imagine the tremendous pride you and your family have for Katie but also the incredible Praise you have for our King. You, too, have paid a cost. May we all do the same.
    We would love an update on little Sumini and continue to pray for her healing.



  17. Scott,

    I am crying tears of joy and other emotions as I read your fatherly blog. I am so thankful to know Katie, you, and your whole family. I am especially thankful that Ben has been blessed to participate and experience a few days there!

    with appreciation and prayers,


  18. My heart is blessed to read your “eartly father” perspective on how God is using your little girl. We were thankful to be at the Amazima fundraiser and to see your pride and hear you read that letter was beautiful. She is blessed to have a Daddy who trusts God so much that she is free to go to the ends of the earth to follow His call on her life! Thank you.


  19. PaPa, Ben and Katie, you touch the depth of my soul.

    I love the way you are bring these things to life. I was just reading in my Beth Moore Bible study “Esther” how after Hamen issued the decree to kill all the jews Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes. Ester offered up a “quick fix” with sending Mordecai new clothes without knowing why he was wearing it to begin with.(4:4) Once he refused the clothes, she asked what was wrong with him. She did all the communicating through her Eunuch Hathach. Once she heard the news of the decree and what Mordecai wanted her to do, go tell the king and beg for pardon. Esther said, every knows that you just can't enter the presence of the king without being called, he will put you to death, and besides I have not be summoned by him in thirty days.

    All this to say her dillima was more important than the annihillation of the Jews. SHE WAS IN THE PALACE AWAY FROM ALL THE GOING ON, SHE “COULDN'T SEE”!

    Beth goes on to say this, “Esther had also detached from the common man's neeD. We tend to detaach from sights and stiuations that make us feel badly about ourselves – especially when we feel powerless. If we think we can't do anything about a bad situation, we'd just as soon not have seen it. Here is the trap. If we distance ourselves long enough from real needs, we replace them with those that are not. Pretense becomes the new real and suddenly a delay in the delivery of our new couch (or tolite seat) becomes a terrible upset. We are wise to force ourselves to keep differentiating between simple inconveniences and authentic tribulations. The more detached and self-absorbed we become, the more we mistake annoyances for agonies. It happens to all of us.”

    Thank you for giving us eyes in which to “see” with. I wish all belivers had the opportunity to experice it for themselves.These children live lives far beyond common annoyances, it is real like Papa and Ben said.

    Praying for you all.


  20. Katie,

    I've never met you but I cannot begin to tell you how much your blogs encourage, inspire and continue to keep my eyes open to God's picture of true sacrifice and to His faithfulness…A friend of mine introduced me to your blog and when he told me at work this morning you'd posted something I couldn't wait to get home and read it…and as I sit here sobbing reading the new entries I am again reminded of Jesus, what He looks like and calls us to look like, to be. I am praying for you and your girls, for the Karamajong, for Uganda because of you…I am so thankful for Jesus and for His blessing us with you. Thank you for sharing your life and your love with us…all I can do through streaming tears is thank Jesus. All my love.


  21. lol…i'm a stalker, too. πŸ™‚

    I know you must be so very proud of Katie. While some of us search for of ways to glorify the Lord, Katie is DOING thing to glorify Him. She is such an amazing young woman…with so much grace and heart.

    For Christmas this year (yeah, i plan that far ahead, lol), instead of giving gifts, we are doing donations for Katie in their names. We all so very much…


  22. Yes, she is nuts, but I wish I was too! I just bought a new computer and I wonder how many kids I could have fed with that money. You must be so thankful and proud!


  23. I just don't know what brings the most tears…hearing a proud grandfather of 13 Ugandan girls, or hearing of the poverty and overwhelming need…
    May we all be found faithful in “walking the walk”.
    Thy Kingdom come, Lord Jesus…


  24. I just found this blog and would like to say that I think it is incredible what God is doing through Katie! I think it is amazing how she has followed God's call on her life, and believe me next time I go grocery shopping I will be thinking about more than my stomach! It's crazy how little it takes to feed a child!


  25. This post really made me cry. Thank you for sharing, Scott. It was very touching to hear your point of view, as Katie's father. Thank you so much!!!!!! I also loved hearing you talk about your granddaughters! It was so sweet!



  26. What a GREAT post! Sounds just like something my dear husband would write if he were to visit his 20 year old daughter in Argentina. (I was able to visit last September, but Papa hasn't had the opportunity to go yet.)

    Scott … you've raised a BEAUTIFUL daughter who shines with the love of Christ.

    We have had children serving the Lord all over the world the past few years, and when people ask, “Don't you miss them?” I just tell them that “My excitement for what the Lord is doing in them and through them so far outweighs the fact that I miss them. I just can't be sad … I'm too excited!”



  27. I first found this blog about a year ago while reading about Katie on another blog written by a golfer from Nashville who is a friend of a friend of Katie's. My daughter had been in Uganda just a year prior, so I forwarded the blog to her. Turns out my daughter not only knows Katie, but was at the Amani baby cottage with Katie at the same time! While my daughter returned home after a few weeks then finished college at UCSB, Katie amazingly remained!

    I only now returned to Katie's blog because my daughter is back in Jinga at the baby cottage as of yesterday, bringing along 2 other girls she led in Younglife at college. She's been in touch with Katie this past year and hopes to visit her during her month stay in Jinga. She's already talking about staying longer! She feels like she's home.

    As her father, I just can't imagine what it would be like if my own daughter stayed on and took on anything like what Katie has. I'd be so proud, yet so sad at the same time! I just want to share how much I respect Katie and her entire “American” family! You're trust in her and ability to truly let go are so very instrumental in all Katie does. She couldn't do it without your love and support! Blessings to all of you!!


  28. Scott,

    My husband, Gary, forwarded me the beautiful video Katie made…sent out by Janet Warren. It so touched my heart, that I immediately “googled” her ministry so I could find out more. That's when I found her blog and stumbled upon your post. Most of us think we “sacrifice” when we write a check out to various ministries when, truth be told, we hardly even miss that money. Reading your post gave me a glimpse of real sacrifice…being willing to give your child to God's service. It reminds me of Hannah in the Bible who took her long-awaited and much-loved two year old son, Samuel, to live in the temple and serve with Eli, the priest. I know what it is to love a child deeply…I have four and my heart has ached over even small separations; I can only imagine the heartache and worry over sending your daughter so far away and for so long. My prayer for you and the rest of your family is that God will continue to give you great peace as you rest in the knowledge that your daughter is living out a very meaningful and useful life, and that she is totally in love with and dependent on Jesus. What more could a parent ask for really? Gary and I have a 9 yo son, Jacob, who has felt called to be a missionary since he was 3 or 4, praying often that God would make him a missionary. I think I need to be praying daily that God would make me a “missionary's mom”…

    Thank you for sharing your heart in such a beautiful way. And, for sharing your daughter with a lost and hurting world.

    Julie Pederson
    Parker, CO


  29. I had the privilege of meeting Katie at Ondrea Harrison's house and have been following her ever since. I am touched with everything that she does and her passion is tireless. But, as a parent, my heart breaks for you. I often think of the sacrafice you, too must live with. Your entry brought me to tears because I just can't imagine the depths of how this effects you. Thank God for someone like Katie who is so willing to follow God's plan and thank God for you and your wife for allowing Katie to step out of the boat.


  30. Scott, thank you so much for this beautiful post. Tears roll down my face as I write this. I am a single gal Katie's age, and I am hoping to move to southeast Uganda in the spring. I have always wanted to adopt my own little Ugandan girls just like Katie has. I pray constantly that my Daddy will support me and love my daughters just as you love your granddaughters. This is so close to my heart, and reading about you and Katie gives me hope for me and my father. May the Lord bless you richly!


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