Faithful

I have a friend named Simon.
He’s eleven.
I remember the day his family arrived here for the first time, Simon struggling to breathe and weak from the anesthesia of his first esophageal surgery. I remember the fear in his mother’s eyes as she left him here with his grandmother and me for middle of the night feedings through his new feeding tube and daily tracheotomy changes. They needed a place to stay that was near the hospital, just in case.
I remember when his surgeon first showed me all of his scans and my staff and I realized that we were looking at a miracle – a real, true miracle. How does a child live for ten years with out any ability to swallow food? I remember the certainty I felt that God wouldn’t have brought him this far unless He had an unbelievable plan.
I remember all the times I bumped into his grandmother coming out of her room to prepare food in the middle of the night as I got up to check on Betty. We nursed our patients and we swore when the power went out and we couldn’t use the blender to puree his food, and sometimes we just stared at each other through too-sleepy eyes. We whispered of God’s grace and we whispered of our sorrows. We reminded each other of the call to of God to longsuffering. I remember the way they held me when they learned that Betty had gone home to Jesus.
I remember all the things that went wrong. The moments of panic and the consistent, pleading prayers over Simon’s young, fragile life. His mom came to live with us when it got to be too much for his grandmother. We both learned to do things that we never imagined we could. We watched and prayed through eleven failed surgeries. Eleven. I remember the weight of our exhaustion that just settled down over my home and my heart. Would he ever get well? Ever?
I remember the day I realized with full clarity that Simon just Couldn’t get better in Uganda. We had the best surgeons and equipment our country could offer and it just wasn’t working. I remember his squeal as he took off on his very first airplane and his mother’s wide eyes as we entered the Atlanta airport over 30 hours later.
I remember the great delight I knew in watching my biological family welcome in members of our Ugandan family and the love that Simon and Anna felt everywhere we went. I remember how surreal it was to be back here in Uganda and know that they were safe and sound at the homes of my parents and closest friends in Nashville.
I remember the email that said that Simon’s surgeries were over and had been successful. Attached were confirmation numbers of his plane ticket home. I remember the elated, disbelieving faces of our dedicated staff when I shared the news. I remember my children counting down the days until they got here – our friends, now family members. And I remember her tears of gratitude on my shoulder as we embraced for the first time in months back where it all started, “God saved my son’s life.”
It is 20 months later. It feels like eternity.
And today they drove away smiling and laughing, arms excitedly waving out of van windows, as my children chased and waved just as hard. I stood in the driveway and let tears of joy well up in my eyes. They are well. They are well. Simon can swallow food just as well as any other eleven year old. He can play soccer with the best of them. Tomorrow, he’ll go back to third grade. Anna will be able to go back to work after completely surrendering all her dreams to take care of her son. They will wash dishes and do homework and laugh and sing and pray in their own little home just like so many other happy, healthy families. And we will stay here and do the same.
I stood in their room long after they left and ran my fingers of the words of Hebrews that I painted on the wall, mostly as a reminder to myself, “He who promised is faithful.” I can hardly believe His faithfulness to us, the fullness of all His promises unfolding right here before my eyes. I breathe deep relief. I allow myself to remember just how crazy hard it all was, just how long it has been, just how tired I have felt, and just how faithful he has been to each of us through all of it.
People ask me how we do it – all these people living, and sometimes dying, in our home. Most days I shake me head, I don’t know. Lots of days it’s just down right hard.  Some days it is more than exhausting. But today I remember. We hold out for the happy ending. Because where Jesus is, the happy ending is possible. It doesn’t always come, and that doesn’t mean He is not present, but still, it is possible.  Redemption is coming. And we don’t always get to glimpse His redemption here and now, but sometimes we do.
Today I remember. There isn’t always a happy ending… but sometimes, there is.

And He who promised is faithful.

75 thoughts on “Faithful

  1. I wanted to let Katie know I was impressed by her story. Her work with children in Uganda challenged me to work harder on being more generous with my mind after studying the Bible for nearly 30 years. Thank you. I look forward to getting one of your famous hugs in Heaven when this is all over…because He is faithful!

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  2. Reminds me of an Alan redpath sermon quote….“There is nothing – no circumstance, no trouble, no testing – that can ever touch me until, first of all it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose which I may not understand at the moment. But as I refuse to become panicky – as I lift up my eyes to Him – and as I accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret – for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is. That is the rest of victory.”

    -Washingtonian medical student

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  3. Katie,

    I just emailed the amazima ministry and am hoping I used the correct email address. Is there any other way I can get in touch with you or email you personally? I love what you are doing for God's kingdom and how you show such love to His people. You have such a beautiful heart for Christ.

    –Whitney

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  4. Katie,

    I just emailed the amazima ministry and am hoping I used the correct email address. Is there any other way I can get in touch with you or email you personally? I love what you are doing for God's kingdom and how you show such love to His people. You have such a beautiful heart for Christ.

    –Whitney

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  5. Katie,

    I just emailed the amazima ministry and am hoping I used the correct email address. Is there any other way I can get in touch with you or email you personally? I love what you are doing for God's kingdom and how you show such love to His people. You have such a beautiful heart for Christ.

    –Whitney

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  6. Thank you so much, Katie! This is so beautiful. It is awesome sometimes to just get a glimpse into what the Lord is doing to pick me up when I am stressed. It puts it all into perspective.

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  7. Katie, I am so encouraged by your words. Two weeks ago, I spent my weekend reading over the entirety of your blog archives. I am absolutely blown away in awe of our Father's hand over your life and your unfailing trust in whatever task he puts in front of you. You are such an incredible vessel of God's grace and love to the nations.

    I'm graduating high school next year, and God has been pressing on my heart the desire to help developing nations for a while now, ever since I first heard Proverbs 31:8-9 and I could not stop it's truth – that I am so blessed in comparison to millions in our world – from weighing down on my heart. I'm thinking of spending a year after school volunteering in Africa, then seeing where God leads me.

    So finding your blog came as a timely answer to prayer as I'm considering my future, and maybe another hint from God for me to seriously consider how I can use my abundant blessings to love and serve all of God's people.

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  8. The way the Lord has used you and is using is so beautiful. Your heart is a treasure and one that shows how great our God is. I read your book over a year ago and it still has been one of the most influential books I've read. I've shared it with many of my friends who have a heart for the Lord and for mission work and we all look up to you very much. You have taught me how to be faithful to what the Lord calls us to and I am very thankful for that. I have been praying for you and for all your sweet girls and kids in Uganda. You glorify Him in such a wonderful way. Thank you for your heart and for sharing His word.

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  9. Katie, you have such a beautiful heart. I absolutely adore you and and your heart. I read your book about two years ago and it has continued to have a lasting impact on me. I continue to share your sweet words and your book with many people that I hold dearly in my heart. I am not a senior in high school and plan on entering into mission work myself soon. I've been praying for you continuously throughout your journey of pouring into the lives of those in Uganda. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, experiences, and heart with me and so many others through your book and blog. The Lord truly works through you in such incredible ways. Your story is such a strong depiction of how He can work through us to further His kingdom and bring glory to His name. Your selfless actions and humble heart are something I look up to so greatly. I hope you and your girls have a very merry Christmas and an awesome new years. Praying that the Lord can continue to restore your people in Uganda and that this new year is full of new joy. God bless, and thank you for all you do.

    with lots of love,
    Bailey Frederking from Atlanta, Georgia

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  10. Dear Katie,
    I just finished reading your book after my aunt insisted on it. It was absolutely amazing. Afterwards I decided to look up your ministry. What you are doing is truly amazing. The way you help people like Simon is leaving me speechless. But the most amazing part to me is that you don't take any credit. You give it all to the Lord. He is moving you in incredible ways. You are so courageous to give up everything so you can follow the Lord. I am only 13 but you have changed my life and I hope, by Gods grace, I will be doing something like you are doing now, one day. You have really strengthen my relationship with Christ. I am praying for you. Thank you.
    ~katie

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  11. I have a daughter who was born with esophageal atresia and a tracheoesophageal fistula (among other issues). She was hospital 6 months before coming home with a tracheostomy and a g-tube. Now she turns 11 in a week. She can breathe on her own, eat anything she wants to, and is a healthy, growing girl. My heart sings for Simon who didn't have access to all the amazing medical care we did; yet he had a God who wanted to do amazing things for him and through him. Either way, what a blessing! ❤

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  12. This post blessed me today Katie- be blessed dear daughter of the King! Praying Ephesians 3:14-19 for you daily!!
    “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:14-19

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  13. Katie, you are SO inspiring. I have read your book and loved it. I am 10 and starting the path of God, my group leader recommended Kisses from Katie so I read it. This book helped me with my relationship with God. I loved when you talked about Daniel and your children. I wish I could go to Uganda and visit you and everyone that is enrolled in your program, I would also like to meet your kids. I live in Missouri, Kansas and would love if you read some of my books. I am an author and just love reading other books. I hope you check out my school blog, http://alainaf.blogspot.com/

    Your admirer,
    Alaina F.

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  14. Katie. I'm literally crying. You just can't even comprehend the impact that you are making! Not only in these lives in Uganda, but also in the hearts of your readers ♡ I haven't even finished “Kisses from Katie ” yet and I'm already so blessed by it. Just thank you. There simply is NO ONE LIKE OUR GOD ♡ † and I hope He brings more happy endings than you can ever imagine or pray for in 2015 … all my love (because love WINS) Xx ps: hope to meet you one day 😉

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  15. How marvelous God is in all His doings. I was hoping to meet you in person when I was visiting Jinja last month but it wasn't God's time. I praise our Lord and Creator for what He is doing through you. Thank you for opening wide the door to Jesus. With heartfelt prayers, (Rev.) Steve Watson

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  16. I read your book recently and I was greatly challenged, as well as, tremendously inspired. Your leap of faith into the unknown led you to be used of God in some incredible ways. I know that you've faced some hard things but I'm sure that you would say it's worth it.

    I was thrilled to see recently on the Amazima Facebook that you are now married. This is very encouraging because I am a single woman who gets discouraged at times. It's great to see your life as you lived in the unknown wondering how long your singleness would last. You didn't allow that thought to take you down. You kept going and obviously God has brought an amazing man into your life to walk with you in the ministry He has for you.

    So thank you, Katie, for living for Jesus Christ.

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  17. Thank you for sharing this, Katie! I am just now logging onto your blog for the first time. I have been on one mission trip, and have been reading your book. I relate so much to your heart, and feel a strong connection with you, through our God! Reading your book the other day, the Holy spirit spoke to me, and so my husband and I decided to contact a Christian adoption agency. When I pray about adopting, the Lord shows me a beautiful dark-skinned child. We already have one child, a 3 year old girl, who would love a sibling! Thank you for obedience to the Lord. You have inspired me! I will be praying for you and your family, as well as Uganda as a whole.

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  18. Truly inspiring and beautiful. God has surely touched so many lives through you and your stories. May He continue to bless and brighten the lives of all of those around you through you.

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  19. I love following your blog. I read your book and it is humbling and inspiring. I wish you would give us more updates on what's going on in your life in Uganda. It's so uplifting to read your stories. Thank you for your testimony.

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  20. Katie, thank you so much! One day I hope to be just like you! Please keep me in your prayers 🙂
    I'm praying for you, your beautiful children, and your new husband!:)
    You and Jesus have changed my life

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  21. Thank you so, so, so much for sharing. Thank you for following God and keeping your faith. It's amazing how God is using you. Reading your blog posts brings tears to my eyes, and I loved reading this one. God is SO good!
    I recently have felt the call to go to Africa. I should be able to move there permanently in maybe 7 years, though to be honest, I would LOVE if God could somehow make it sooner. Regardless, I'm trusting Him every step of the way. I'm currently reading your book and your story is just amazing to me. Honestly, you're an inspiration to me. I hope I can follow Him just like you have and have that faith and trust.
    Everyone there is in my prayers. God bless you all!

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