Explore
Follow Us

20 years-old and running an orphanage

All Katie did was say “yes” to God. What would happen if we were to say “yes” to what he’s asking of us? Here is Katie’s story in her own words.   I have just turned 18 and find an orphanage online. I beg my parents to let me visit over break, just three weeks. A month later I am on a …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
All Katie did was say “yes” to God. What would happen if we were to say “yes” to what he’s asking of us? Here is Katie’s story in her own words.
 
I have just turned 18 and find an orphanage online. I beg my parents
to let me visit over break, just three weeks. A month later I am on a
plane. I am so excited. I am so scared of being, but I know He is going
with me. I fall in love.

I graduate high school having made the
commitment to teach Kindergarten for a year at a school in The Middle of
Nowhere, Uganda. In August I get on the plane. I’m apprehensive and I
cry most of the way because I miss my Mommy and my boyfriend. I am
eager, but so uncertain. I trust Him. I teach 138 children how to speak
English and to love Jesus.

It is October and I am just not sure I
can do it anymore. I live in the smallest room I have ever seen in the
back of a pastor’s house. I am more uncomfortable than I had bargained
for. No one understands, not people here, not people at home. I am
tired. But I am prideful and I am not going to quit. I don’t like this.
But I know He has a plan. I learn, I grow, He is there.

It is
December and God has spoken very clearly about opening a ministry that
sponsors 40 of the orphaned children in the village where I am working.
This involves moving into a different house, ALONE. It is big and I
cannot imagine how God will fill it up. I am lonely and I am anxious.
But I am still trusting. He fills the house, and we now have 400
children sponsored.

It is January and I am looking at a little
girl, crushed under a brick wall with no one to care for her or her
younger siblings. I offer to take the three home with me until we find
them a better placement. I am not really sure what to do with them, but I
know they are God’s children. They stay.

It is three days later
and the littlest looks at me and calls me mommy. My heart might break in
two. Something clicks. I am even more scared than I was the day I
stepped on that plane, but I KNOW. Today I have 13.

I have to
deliver a baby, give a boy stitches, pull a tooth, give and injection. I
am petrified. But no one will do it if I do not. He is present, He
holds my hand, they are all fine.

It is August and I must get on a
plane back to America to go to college, as I have promised my father. I
do not remember how to be a teenager or what it is to be normal
Brentwood, Tennessee. I will have to leave my babies. I will have to
make new friends. I am sad and I am terrified. He wraps His arms around
me. He puts just the right people in just the right places, and they
help me and they make me feel at home.

First semester is over and
He speaks clearly to me that I cannot serve two masters. “Go HOME,” He
says, “and stay.” I am uncertain, but I want to be obedient. He squeezes
tighter. I am thankful.

I have to look at my loving parents who
have given me everything and tell them that I will not go to college
right now, because I feel God wants me to be in Uganda. I know how
disappointed and how angry they will be. I am more scared than I was
when I got on the plane and more scared than I was when I took my first
children. But I know that this IS the Plan. They love me anyway.

It
is February and my daughter’s biological father comes to take her away.
My heart breaks in half, and I am not sure I will ever be able to get
out of my bed again, let alone foster another child. I am more than
devastated, but I want what is best for her, what He wants for her. She
comes back and her biological father learns about Jesus.

It is
March and a lame little girl is brought to my gate. She is undoubtedly
mine, but I am still anxious. What if I can’t do it? I don’t know what
to do with a special needs child, especially as my 13th child. I am
criticized and ridiculed. I wonder. I trust and praise God for her sweet
little life. She starts to walk.

I find myself in a village full
of starving people that for some reason seem to want to kill me. God
says to serve them anyway. I am not sure how it is going to work, or if
it is safe. I can’t figure it out, but I know He can. 1,200 Karamajongs,
the poorest of Uganda’s poor, are now served hot meals daily.

We
keep taking in more children until there are 400 in our program. There
is no way we will raise enough funds, but by now I have stopped
worrying. He has always provided. Blessings rain from the sky, and all
400 children go to school.

I am 20 years old and have 13 children
and 400 more who all depend on me for their care. 
 
All she did was say “yes.” What could you do for God if you were to say “yes?” The possibilities are limitless.
 
Follow Katie’s journey on her blog.

Comments (39)

  • I’m amazed by the works of God through you. I’m told to take care of orphans and widows in my dreams but I don’t know how and where to start I’m praying for God’s direction I’m burdened by this call I want to obey please help me

  • this girl is absolutley amazing!! I definately became her blog stalker over these last few months!

  • What a life?!! Thanx for this Seth. Had a refreshing morning devotion with this one.

    “I don’t like this. But I know He has a plan. I learn, I grow, He is there.”

    “I am petrified. But no one will do it if I do not. He is present, He holds my hand…”

    “He puts just the right people in just the right places, and they help me…”

    “I am not sure how it is going to work… I can’t figure it out, but I know He can…”

    “…possibilities are limitless.”

  • I heard about Katie and saw her blog several months ago – but I did not see her whole story laid out like this… wow. YES, YES, YES Lord. Incredibly inspiring…

  • You are such a beautiful soul! I am in tears and can’t stop them. Praise God for your obedience and STRENGTH!!! My goodness, it would take so much strength to do whet you’ve done. You and your children are in my prayers and thank you SO much for doing something I only wish I could do!!!

  • I’ve enjoyed her blog for the past year or so. I check it every day to see if she has posted somthing new. BTW, if I’m not mistaken, she has 14 girls now. (AND A MONKEY!!!)

  • Wonderfully inspirational story! For many people, the world is so noisy we have trouble hearing what God wants us to say “Yes” to. That’s been my challenge, but I’m learning slowly.

    Saying “Yes” to God, means learning to say “No” to lots of other things–and not always the things you’d think.

  • So many things jump out at me about Katie that we can all learn for ourselves:
    – She was scared, but she went anyway, because she was sure of the call and sure of God.
    – She made a commitment and honored it.
    – She was uncomfortable, tired, lonely, but yet still listened to the voice of God to do something more uncomfortable, tiring, and lonely(–a genuine rockbreaker!)
    – She wasn’t afraid to grow up and away from her family and go out on her own, the call was *that* serious.

    She is inspiring.

    I wonder if there is any way she can break away from what she is doing and visit Spain for a few days. We need more of that spirit!

  • Thanks Seth for a sampling of real sacrifice. Her internal “conversations” were real and Brentwood, TN like other pleasant environments would be a hard place to leave. Bluntly younger people inspire me more these days than older age groups where faith is frequently still a “concept”, sacrifice is often “managed” and matters of the heart sometimes stay polluted.

    I pray my son meets someone like Katie.

    He and three sisters have the same kinds of heart.

    Love you friend.

  • How inspirational. Katie is DOING what I feel called to do. At 50, I can’t quite figure out how to leave my life to make it happen.

  • You are a truly amazing girl Katie! and you are an excellent example to follow! Praise the Lord! He is great and mighty!

  • Katie,
    You are my Inspiration! I am still in high school, but for years now I have wanted to be a missionary and help orphans in other countries! God is so pleased with you! After all you’ve been through, all the trials you’ve endured, you have never left the faith and He has never left you! That is a lot to go through for such a young woman in the Lord, but all things are possible through Him! I will keep you in prayers and may God bless you and your family in ways that you could never have imagined!
    God Bless! -Janna

  • I on the way to protect few more ….. you are on the way to become yet another Mother Thressa… God bless you…

  • Mona – not “voices” – God’s voice. There’s a difference. A majority of people in America say they are Christians and Christ said, “my sheep hear my voice.”

    I’d say that anyone who forecloses the possibility that God might speak is far more dangerous than someone who is listening to him.

    Beyond that, have you considered the possibility that in Uganda, orphan kids often don’t have anywhere to go? Your options are a lot more limited there.

    What’s more, check out her fruit. It’s amazing. The kids feel loved and are being raised in a healthy way.

  • Prakash Tamang Lama

    Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. ~1 Cor. 2:9
    God bless you!

  • i am pastor Amose from india,i am coming to America,next month,i am thinking to see your orphen ,if your will god bless you. Amose

  • Wow! May Katie’s work and fruit be a testament and inspiration that will ignite us all. I will send positive thoughts towards Katie and her children and monkey.

  • Ray Lienmal Nmalapane Malapa

    Thank you Lord God for Katie. What an amazing great example!!! Thank you! Ray

  • Ray Lienmal Nmalapane Malapa

    Thank you Lord God for Katie. What an amazing great example!!! Thank you! Ray

  • I am concerned that no one is bothering to address the fact that she has admitted to hearing voices, yet they still allow her to be near children. What if those voices start telling her to do bad things? I think it is pertinent that she see a mental health doctor. Sounds like schizophrenia to me.

  • I am so glad you found Katie! I have reading and sharing with her for about a year and think she is amazing! Some days I want to run away and live with her and her kids for a while! Praying I run into her somewhere in Uganda someday!

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Radical Living:

Receive updates on the latest posts as Seth Barnes covers many topics like spiritual formation, what if means to be a christian, how to pray, and more. Radical Living blog is all about a call to excellence in ministry, church, and leadership -as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



© Adventures In Missions. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy