It is my 16th Birthday and I am eating sushi at my favorite restaurant with my parents when I tell them that I would like to explore the possibility of taking a year in between high school and college to do mission work. This is unheard of in my family and they say they are not sure and will think about it. I am nervous, but somehow I know it is right. He changes their hearts.

I have just turned 18 and find an orphanage online. I beg my parents to let me visit over break, just three weeks. A month later I am on a plane. I am so excited. I am so scared of being, but I know He is going with me. I fall in love.

I graduate high school having made the commitment to teach Kindergarten for a year at a school in The Middle of Nowhere, Uganda. In August I get on the plane. I’m apprehensive and I cry most of the way because I miss my Mommy and my boyfriend. I am eager, but so uncertain. I trust Him. I teach 138 children how to speak English and to love Jesus.

It is October and I am just not sure I can do it anymore. I live in the smallest room I have ever seen in the back of a pastor’s house. I am more uncomfortable than I had bargained for. No one understands, not people here, not people at home. I am tired. But I am prideful and I am not going to quit. I don’t like this. But I know He has a plan. I learn, I grow, He is there.

It is December and God has spoken very clearly about opening a ministry that sponsors 40 of the orphaned children in the village where I am working. This involves moving into a different house, ALONE. It is big and I cannot imagine how God will fill it up. I am lonely and I am anxious. But I am still trusting. He fills the house, and we now have 400 children sponsored.

It is January and I am looking at a little girl, crushed under a brick wall with no one to care for her or her younger siblings. I offer to take the three home with me until we find them a better placement. I am not really sure what to do with them, but I know they are God’s children. They stay.

It is three days later and the littlest looks at me and calls me mommy. My heart might break in two. Something clicks. I am even more scared than I was the day I stepped on that plane, but I KNOW. Today I have 13.

I have to deliver a baby, give a boy stitches, pull a tooth, give and injection. I am petrified. But no one will do it if I do not. He is present, He holds my hand, they are all fine.

It is August and I must get on a plane back to America to go to college, as I have promised my father. I do not remember how to be a teenager or what it is to be normal Brentwood, Tennessee. I will have to leave my babies. I will have to make new friends. I am sad and I am terrified. He wraps His arms around me. He puts just the right people in just the right places, and they help me and they make me feel at home.

First semester is over and He speaks clearly to me that I cannot serve two masters. “Go HOME,” He says, “and stay.” I am uncertain, but I want to be obedient. He squeezes tighter. I am thankful.

I have to look at my loving parents who have given me everything and tell them that I will not go to college right now, because I feel God wants me to be in Uganda. I know how disappointed and how angry they will be. I am more scared than I was when I got on the plane and more scared than I was when I took my first children. But I know that this IS the Plan. They love me anyway.

It is February and my daughter’s biological father comes to take her away. My heart breaks in half, and I am not sure I will ever be able to get out of my bed again, let alone foster another child. I am more than devastated, but I want what is best for her, what He wants for her. She comes back and her biological father learns about Jesus.

It is March and a lame little girl is brought to my gate. She is undoubtedly mine, but I am still anxious. What if I can’t do it? I don’t know what to do with a special needs child, especially as my 13th child. I am criticized and ridiculed. I wonder. I trust and praise God for her sweet little life. She starts to walk.

I find myself in a village full of starving people that for some reason seem to want to kill me. God says to serve them anyway. I am not sure how it is going to work, or if it is safe. I can’t figure it out, but I know He can. 1,200 Karamajongs, the poorest of Uganda’s poor, are now served hot meals daily.

We keep taking in more children until there are 400 in our program. There is no way we will raise enough funds, but by now I have stopped worrying. He has always provided. Blessings rain from the sky, and all 400 children go to school.

I am 20 years old and have 13 children and 400 more who all depend on me for their care. Who are all learning to love Jesus and be responsible adults and looking up to me. The reality of it all can be a bit overwhelming at times. However, it is always pure joy. There is a common misconception that I am courageous. I will be the first to tell you that this is not actually true. Most of the time, I am not brave. I just believe in a God who will use me even though I am not. Most mornings, before I even get out of bed I am overwhelmed with His goodness, with His plan for my life; I stand in awe of the fact that He could entrust me with so much. Most days, I don’t have much of a plan. I don’t always know where this is going. I can’t see the end of the road, but here is the great part: Courage is not about knowing the path. It is about taking the first step. It is about Peter, getting out of the boat. I do not know my five year plan; even tomorrow will probably not go as I have planned. I am thrilled and I am terrified, in a good way. So some call it courage, some call it foolish, I call it Faith. I choose to get out of the boat. To take the next step. Sometimes I walk straight into His arms. More often, I get scared and look down and stumble. Sometimes I almost completely drown. And through it all, He never lets go of my hand.

175 thoughts on “

  1. I am reminded of Hebrews 11:1 when I read this entry.

    Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.

    And you are the hands and feet of Jesus Katie. I am in awe of your journey. I am a parent, though our children are younger. I can only imagine that your parents are from upset! They must be bursting with joy and pride (not the bad kind 🙂 for the person you are and are becoming.

    Be blessed today!


  2. Katie, this post was so encouraging. I graduated college in May and just moved to Uganda to spend 9 months of my life serving here. I'm still at that point you were at when you lived in the small room in the pastor's house, wondering why I am here. You are such an encouragement to me. You are definitely doing what God has called you to do. It may not be logical by the world's standards, but things with God never are. He's bigger than this world He created. Thank you for following him and for posting these updates to inspire and encourage the rest of us. God bless!


  3. I just linked to your blog from mine. I hope you don't mind but the writing you posted on courage spoke so strongly to me. I wanted my readers (just the few I have) to find your blog and read it as well.



  4. Katie, I am so touched and blessed by your testimony of God's Eternal Faithfulness. I am praying for you and your ministry –for all the dear ones He puts in your life, for His provision of your every need. I rejoice with you in all the Lord is doing! To Him be the Glory!


  5. I appreciate the recap so I feel like I know you know. I just wrote about what you speak of on my blog yesterday. How God wants us to listen to His calling and even when we don't know how, just take pne step, one step, one step…and He shows us the HOW. Bless you!
    You are the ultimate testiment of obeying Him. I love it!



  6. Hi Katie:)
    My heart is like yours, I love being overseas!! He has not called me to leave yet. Keep up your hopes!! Ps. 37.4 Bless you
    much love



  7. Katie,

    You don't know me, but a friend of a friend recommended reading your blog. I saw you are from Brentwood. I graduated from Lipscomb Univ. last December and I'm a high school history teacher now. I teach at a christian school. As part of my job, I work as the Asst. Director of Missions–plan trips, motivate kids, give them the opportunities to be missionaries for a couple of weeks. This blog is amazing. I am going to share with them what you've written. We've never met, but I am compelled by what I read. Thank you for being faithful and trusting in our Father. My 7th period class said a prayer for you today.



  8. Katie – you are truly doing the Lord's work. You are an inspiration to many. I will pray for you and your children that you will be blessed in all your days. Keep your eyes on the Lord and focus on the path He has set before you.

    I don't know why I found your blog (maybe a gift from God) You see, I am a single mom of 7 children. While my days and nights may not be the same as yours, the love for children that we both share is deep in my heart.

    I believe that not only are you a gift to those children but also a gift to the many who read your blog.

    While I can't offer financial assistance – I will offer something I hope will be just as cherished – my daily prayers.

    Keep up the good work Katie.

    Susan, Riverview FL
    (By the way, my youngest is named Kattie as well – just with 2 t's!)


  9. Hey, my name is jocelyn and i spent one month last summer in Uganda. One of my friends saw this blog and sent me the link. I know how you feel with your heart getting so attached to the people and the children. It was the most life changing experience i ever had. I have so many stories and photo's i'd love to share with you. I am only 17 now but i know i will be back in Uganda one day. here is my email- or you can search me on

    I'd love to hear more about your experiences (:


  10. Wow. I'm completely and undeniably late in coming across this glorious blog. My friend actually posted this link on my FB wall. I like you have the call to go to Africa, Kenya to be exact. I made the decision to not go to graduate school and to follow God's leading to Kenya. I have no idea what's ahead but there is so much peace and joy inside of me. Thank you so much for your encouragement. God's timing and promises and provision are utterly amazing. This is exactly what I needed to read today….so maybe I'm not late at all in reading this post. Maybe I'm right on time.


  11. Katie, I don't know you and just ran across your blog by chance, but thank you so much for putting up this beautiful story. I'm 20 and struggling where to go in life. God is certainly leading you down an incredible path, keep going 🙂 He'll never leave you or forsake you.
    I'll be praying for you


  12. Katie, Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I am awed, inspired and humbled by you. Your faith astounds me and makes me want to live my life differently. More sacrificially, more courageously, more for others, more for Christ. My prayer is that you will live each day in His PLAN – whatever that may be and wherever that may lead you.


  13. Oh my heavens, I just discovered your and your friend Renee's blogs and my world is blown. For hours I've been reading, entranced, and know it wasn't a mistake I came across this site. To say you are inspiring is a VAST understatement. I love how your writing makes me love Jesus even more – and want to do something good because of it. Thank you.


  14. Courage is not about knowing the path. It is about taking the first step. It is about Peter, getting out of the boat.
    Wow- that speaks to me. I wish I could get out of the boat.


  15. Katie,
    I'm blown away by all that God is doing in you and through you. I am just about to turn 18, and I would love to be like you when I get older. (I say this in all sincerity) I'm learning what it means to radically follow His call in my life. I'm learning to stray away from America's definition of being a Christ follower and I'm learning what it truly means to follow Him. I'm called to do the same kind of ministry you are doing in Uganda.. Though I'm in Guatemala for the next couple years, God's called me to move to Uganda when my time here is up. Your radical obedience to Him is encouraging for me to see. I absolutely love how selfless you are and how much you bring glory to our Maker. Your blog is very refreshing for me to read when I'm seeking wise counsel of those older than me who have left all they had to follow Him.


  16. Wow…what you are doing is exactly what I have been praying to be able to do, for years. Specifically in Africa… Can I please somehow come into contact with you? I am in college rightnow, but ready to leave at any time if I know the Lord can use me to help in any way. Please email me –


  17. My daughter who will be graduating from the University of Texas this May shared your blog with me. I celebrated my 10 year spiritual birthday just 3 days ago & I completely understand why you're doing what you're doing. It's because of the gift of Faith & God leading you all the way. It's a precious commodity more valuable than anything or anyone on earth, right?! I hope you have some Brothers &/or Sisters interceding for you regularly. I believe my daughter who sent this to me might do a similar thing one day, so it's no accident her friend showed her your site. Don't be surprised if you hear from a UT student who turns 22 this month, my daughter! Some lyrics for you: “In these times we've got to help the children, because they're the future. Invest in the best.” Song is “Crisis” by Sounds of Blackness


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s