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20 years-old and running an orphanage

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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 p…
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.
 
katiewithchildrenI 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.

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