One Extraordinary Person
American Katie Davis, at 18 years old, traveled to Africa in an effort to rescue children.
Imagine for a moment you decide to give up your comfortable life, plans for college, say good-bye to family and friends for the African jungle. Could you do it? What if by going there, you would change many children’s lives? One brave young woman did it all–and more.
Mother Teresa Wanna-be
“People would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I always said Mother Teresa, I guess I just loved her heart for children,” Katie Davis explained in Jessica Haberkern’s article, The Embrace of Extraordinary Love, InTouch magazine.
As a high school senior, Katie began applying to volunteer at several orphanages she found online, “A home for babies in Uganda was the first to respond and say they were in need of volunteers,” she states. The trip to Uganda solidified for Katie a deep need to help the children of Africa. Upon returning home, she could think of little else. Katie’s goal was to return to Africa for a 10 month stint–postponing college–to teach kindergarten in Masese. But in reality, she was leaving behind the only life she ever knew: one high school sweetheart, a great family and a sports car. Everything was traded for a small village in a foreign country inundated with abandoned children.
Teaching the Beginning
Katie had 138 children crowded into her classroom in Masese daily, you’d think that would keep her busy. She explains, “Lack of education, as I see it, is one of Uganda’s greatest burdens, and providing opportunities for schooling is one of its greatest needs.” Families must pay for their children’s education in Uganda, making education a luxury most cannot afford. In addition, there are two million orphans in the country–mainly from wars, AIDS, famine and abandonment. These tragic statistics prompted Katie to launch Amazima Ministries International, which meets the needs of her Ugandan community by connecting children with sponsors. The sponsors provide tuition, school supplies, three square meals, health care and spiritual guidance.
Through AMI, Katie educates over 400 children, feeds 1,600 of them from the surrounding communities, and runs her organization out of her home–which she shares with 14 of her soon-to-be adopted children! At 23 years old, not only do all 14 children call her “Mommy” but so do most of the children (and adults) in the village where she lives. The title speaks volumes of the affection and respect they have for her.
Right Where You Are
Moving across the globe to save the world isn’t necessarily for everyone–yet everyone has the ability to do their part, “…right where they are,” states Katie. “Find a need and fill it,” (one of my favorite quotes) entails looking around your own neighborhood for what needs to be done. What is lacking? How can you change that? Who can help you? Where can you start? The world is changed, for the better, by one person doing what they can with what they have, right in their own backyard.
“Life to the fullest exists…It’s available. All we have to do is decide to get up and embrace it,” concludes Katie Davis, who is in my view, one extraordinary person.
If you’d like to read more about Katie’s incredible life see her book, Kisses From Katie. You can also visit AMI, read Katie’s blog, and much more at Katie’sStory.
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