February 14, 2018 | By Ann Voskamp
“Katie graduated high school – and then got on a plane for Uganda. Serving at a Ugandan orphanage was to be short-term. One year – and then back home to “normal” and the shimmer of the American dream.
But Katie watched rag-poor parents hand over their children to the orphanage so they’d get three meals a day and education. She was witnessing the ripping apart of families. She waited on God. She didn’t wait for someone else to do something. She saw a need and said to God, ‘Here I am – Use me.’
By His grace alone and out of her offered weakness – she ended up pioneering a sponsorship program, including meals and school fees, to keep kids in families — over 600 of them. She started a school feeding program for a few thousand more. When a storm toppled a house on to a 9-year-old down the street, and Katie discovered that her, and her 7 year old and 5 year old sisters were all living alone, orphaned, and fending for themselves, she said they could sleep at her house until God made it clear what came next.
What came next is that they called her Mommy.
We want clarity; God wants us to come closer. Life is always clear when you press closer and see it through the sheer love of God.
That’s what Katie did. And that’s how it began – one surrendered girl right out of high school finding herself mothering 13 little girls.
. . . Love doesn’t happen when you arrive in a certain place. It happens when your heart arrives in a certain place – wherever you are, right where you are, dirt road Africa or side street America.
Because it isn’t where we love. It’s how we love. It’s who we love.
The reward of loving is in the loving; loving is itself the great outcome of loving. The success of loving is in how we change because we kept on loving – regardless of any thing else changing. The value of loving is in the value of being like Christ.
People are starved for Christ everywhere; there are poor too down our streets and down our halls and downs our pews. . . .
I look at Katie Davis and she is this: She is one mother. She is us. . . . She is one mother who lives the welcome of the Gospel. You can look into the eyes of her children and see resurrection. You can see how her door is an open welcome to the wounded, her couch an open welcome for the drunk, her garage an open welcome to the homeless, her bed an open welcome to the sick, her table an open welcome to anyone – her smile an open welcome to every one of her children, every stranger, every guest.
Because her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, said, ‘I was a stanger and you welcomed me’ (Matthew 25:35).