It was love at first sight for Katie Davis—not an abnormal feeling for a senior in high school. But for Davis, it was life-changing, not merely emotional.
During a three-week trip with her mother to volunteer at an orphanage in Uganda, Davis immediately fell in love with the country’s people.
“We held babies and cared for hungry, hurting, beautiful children,” says Davis, now 22.
So in 2007, when she was invited to return after her high school graduation to teach kindergarten at the orphanage, Davis ditched her plans of a conventional life and moved overseas. She hasn’t left.
Now Davis is the director of her nonprofit organization dubbed Amazima Ministries, which provides schooling and food for impoverished children in Uganda.
She is also the legal foster mother of 13 young girls, one of which has cerebral palsy. She plans to start adopting them all when she’s 25—the minimum age required under Ugandan adoption laws.
“While we look different to the outside world, God has truly made us a family,” Davis says. “Our house is full of love that flows from a source that never runs dry,”
Through Amazima’s child sponsorship program, more than 400 children are able to afford schooling.
“School fees are about four times more costly than water or electricity—and most families go without both,” Davis says.
Amazima also feeds more than 1,600 children near a slum community.
Davis’ new book, Kisses from Katie, tells of her life in Uganda and her desire to live a life in service to God.
“I have to laugh a little when people consider my life radical because I do ‘ministry,’” she says. “Our very lives, these are our ministries, and every aspect of them are our acts of worship.”