An Adventure? Now, I don’t imagine anyone west of Bree would have much interest in adventures. Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things. Makes you late for dinner.

So said our beloved Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and if I’m truly honest with myself I can relate. The autobiography “Kisses from Katie” reminded me that adventures might be just as uncomfortable as Bilbo suspected, but that there really is no other way to live than following God into the unknown.

That’s exactly what Katie Davis did.

In her senior high school year, Katie went on a short mission trip to Uganda, and was never the same again. From that moment she says she, “fell in love with a beautiful country full of gracious, joyful people and immense poverty and squalor that begged me to do more.”

So after high school Katie returned to Uganda to work at an orphanage, and teach the pre-school children from a neighbouring slum. Here Katie came face-to-face with the great needs that existed in the community, and over time, God led her to start a ministry sponsoring the most vulnerable children and allowing them to receive an education. This ministry, Amazima, has grown to the extent where hundreds of Ugandan children now benefit. It also sees to the physical and basic medical needs of countless others in the community, all the while teaching them about the love of Jesus.

Over the years, many orphans ended up on Katie’s doorstep. Where she was unable to find relatives to care for them, she took them into her own home and acted as a foster mother. Katie (now aged 22) is in the process of adopting thirteen girls. Her love for her adoptive daughters sparkles out of each page of the book.

“Kisses from Katie” is a book that affected me deeply. Filled with mature wisdom and child-like faith, it shows just what God can do with a single person who is obedient to His call and day-by-day direction, and the deep joy and purpose that comes from such obedience.

Katie’s philosophy of ‘loving the person in front of her’ reminds me to open my eyes to the needs of those around me and then to take even small actions to meet them.

Ultimately the book’s resounding message to me personally was—be courageous! Bilbo and I might like to stay in our comfortable lives and never be late for dinner, but that’s not what God wants for me. He wants much, much more.

Katie puts it beautifully in a passage I’ve quoted a couple of times since I read it:

“People often ask if I think my life is dangerous, if I’m afraid. I am much more afraid of remaining comfortable. I am living in the midst of uncertainty and risk, amid things that can and do bring physical destruction because I am running from things that can destroy my soul: complacency, comfort and ignorance. I am much more terrified of living a comfortable life in a self-serving society and failing to follow Jesus than I am of any illness or tragedy.”

“Kisses for Katie” inspires me to be courageous and to follow God where He leads me, and love those He puts in my path.

Kisses from Katie is available on Amazon