I have page upon page of books in my cart on Amazon. Books that I want to eventually buy. But in talking with a young friend the other day, I was inspired to finally buy one, Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption. This is an amazing story of a young girl, just out of highschool, who loses her heart to Uganda. The story that she is living out for Christ is beyond incredible. I have only read the first three chapters and already I feel my heart being stretched by Jesus.
This is a girl putting love into action. She blogs and has created an organization where we can get involved. I urge you to read her book, but be warned, reading her book or blog will change your life. God is using her in so many ways.
This quote she wrote in her book stopped me and really made me think. “I’ve had people ask me why I think Africa is so impoverished, but these children are not poor. I, as a person who grew up wealthy, am. I put value in things, they put value in God. I put my trust in relationships, these children, having already seen relationships fail, put their trust in the Lord” (Kisses from Katie, p.26).
They are the rich ones, the ones who don’t even have running water, the convenience of a toilet, or often enough food to keep their tummies from rumbling. They are the ones growing up rich. “They rejoiced in what the Lord had given them, this tiny house and a few kilograms of food for the day, and they were happy to share. I wondered what could happen if the rich of the world would share with the poor the way this darling family had shared with me; without holding back, giving their all and believing that the Lord would provide more as needed” (Kisses from Katie, 31).
So as a mother, as a child of the King raising children of a King, what is my responsibility? How am I to raise children who are rich in Christ in a place that is rich in things? We don’t live extravagantly by any means, but we do have much. Some would say we are blessed, but are we? Does living in the United States of America actually make us the ones who are poor? And if so, how do we raise children who are in the world to not be of it while raising them in one of the God poorest countries in the World; where culture seeps in so slyly that often we don’t even notice it is there? How do we fight the culture that surrounds us and all of the “stuff” that tempts and entices? Stuff that isn’t necessarily bad, but that can so easily, one small step at a time, place our value in things rather than in our God?
I don’t have the answers. I’m writing only to process all of this and to ask you to share any of your thoughts. The only certainty I have, is that I must be on my knees before God, asking Him for guidance in what this looks like for my family. And I pray that He changes me and molds my heart to follow where He leads. I don’t think Christ is asking each of us to sell all we have and move to Uganda. I do believe that each of us has our own path that He wants us to take. I believe there is much service to be done in the “Uganda areas” in our own backyards. I don’t think He’s even asking us to live with very little, or is He? I don’t know. I would love to hear your thoughts on this…