Images of naked children covered in flies, stories of mothers abandoning unwanted children or testimonies of child oppression, slavery and prostitution often prompt Americans to donate money or turn the channel on their TV. Imagine hearing their stories and deciding to get involved directly in their care. Now, imagine doing that right out of high school.
Katie Davis did just that. In 2007, after graduating high school in Tennessee, where she was senior class president and homecoming queen, Davis left for Uganda to teach kindergarten at a nonprofit orphanage for a year.
Four years later, she is fighting to be the adoptive parent of 13 children, runs a nonprofit called Amazima Ministries and just published a book, Kisses From Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption.
Eschewing the normal track for a young adult, Katie fought past her parents’ disappointment, her brother’s heartbreak and her friends’ shock to pursue a radical path in Uganda.
“As I read the Bible more and fell more in love with Jesus, I felt compelled. I wanted to love the poor, the hurting and the oppressed in the way Jesus loved them,” Davis said. “I visited Uganda in high school and experienced this poverty, hurt and oppression on a whole new level and knew I had to do something, anything, to help.”
Surprisingly, there are others like Davis, young women such as Abby Tracy, who started the nonprofit A Perfect Injustice in Kampala, Uganda, or Alyssa Magnusson, who founded Fikisha to get boys off the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, and back into school.
Motivated by their own “adoption” into the family of God, these young women are part of a growing evangelical movement prompting people to adopt children from foreign countries, get involved in orphan care ministries or move to foreign countries to care for street children.
These women, claiming inspiration from God for their involvement in the lives of children in East Africa, are part of a larger evangelical Christian orphan care and adoption movement that has grown over the past decade and is becoming more mainstream.
“Ten years ago, this movement did not really exist, and if it did it was in seed form,” said Dan Cruver, co-founder of Together for Adoption. “Today, there are over 1,000 orphan and adoption ministries in the evangelical world, and it’s growing.”
But there has been conflict along the way. People fear that these women are in danger. Others question their motives.
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SOURCE: The Houston Chronicle