Friday, June 8, 2012


The scene played out as it has so many times before – a late night phone call and I jump into the van and race toward that little slum and the people that my heart so loves. People step out of the street as I bounce and bump through the dirt road – if you can even call it that. I park and jump out in only the light of the moon, expecting the worst. So many times, it has just been too late to help.

This time, something is different. I can see the woman who is sick, the one they have called me about. But instead of lying alone on the dirt per usual, she has been placed on a mat and is covered with a blanket. Neighbor women – my friends – stand all around her and Scovia puts a cup of water up to her lips. She sips. She is very sick, but stable now, and I whisper thanks.

I ask questions about her illness and her family, and women turn to go get her husband. Moments later they return, one holding her child, another carrying a basin, blankets, soap and some food – all the things needed for admittance to the local hospital. I briefly think that I haven’t even asked her to bring them. A weary looking husband follows, and without missing a beat, Angelina volunteers to accompany her to the hospital to care for her through the night and Sarah steps forward offering to babysit.

“Thank you for calling, Lillian,” I squeeze her neck tight, “and for helping her.” She doesn’t hesitate and says it so simply, “The praise belongs to God,” and she slips into the night. 

It isn’t until after I have slid the van door shut and jumped back into the driver’s seat that the full weight of what has just transpired hits me. My mind flips through the recent scenes, the faces of all these people who have captured my heart. For the first time, the only thing these friends needed me for was my car. They had done everything else themselves. In this place where child sacrifice and alcoholism are more common than friendship, in this place where consideration for a neighbor is so foreign because one must protect herself at all costs, right here in this place God was changing hearts.

They had done everything they could to help. They had kept her warm, hydrated and comfortable while they waited. They had gathered her things, encouraged her family, carried her children and shared of their time and their resources. They had loved so well.

Tears of praise streamed down my face as the van jostled back out toward the hospital. I wanted to stand on the roof and shout it into the dark, loud for all to hear, but instead whispered to the only One who made it possible: The people of Masese are learning to love their neighbors. Are loving their neighbors.

The praise belongs to God.


261 comments:

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Patt said...

That's all God asks...so simple, yet so 'foreign' to them, and to many others. God has used you, Katie, to SHOW them what love looks like!! And now THEY are showing love to each other!!

Cindy said...

Katie, I have just been reading your book and the Lord is breaking my heart over the poor and weak of the world, and breaking my heart over my own materialism and selfishness. I find myself lying awake at night dreaming of living as you do. I am embarrassed to write this knowing that I may never actually experience this kind of life in a foreign land, although it is a great desire of my heart. I got online to find out where I could get the bead necklaces that your precious friends make, to buy and give away, or encourage others to buy in support of these dear sisters in Christ. I found this blog, and read your post from today. It brought tears once again to my eyes as I hear of these women beginning to care for each other in the name of Jesus. You are truly blessed to be a part of His beautiful plan for His children in Africa. We are part of a work that He is doing in India for widows and children. The Lord has used your book to press us to take a heartfelt look at our lifestyle and how we can cut back on our own pleasures and comforts to help these precious children that need a home to live in. Thank you for honestly sharing your journey of love and of a life lived out in the center of God's will. The Lord is using it to spur my husband and I toward a life of greater sacrifice and love. Blessings in Christ. "I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10
Cindy

Tia Plum said...

Katie, what a beautiful, inspiring moment that must have been. Affirmation that you're right where God wants you to be. I believe that the people of Masese are loving their neighbors because through you and your girls they feel the hands and feet of our mighty Savior at work. His LOVE is pouring out through you. Your faith and obedience are evident as you live the gospel..."we love because He first loved us."
Love in Christ, Tia (The Woodlands, TX)

Merrill Swenke said...

God bless you , Katie! Thank you for sharing that story. It is so easy to get cynical about human nature & lack of concern for our neighbors....however , you described a beautiful example of how we are supposed to care & love each other & how the presence of God is felt in those moments.

Merrill Swenke said...

God bless you , Katie! Thank you for sharing that story. It is so easy to get cynical about human nature & lack of concern for our neighbors....however , you described a beautiful example of how we are supposed to care & love each other & how the presence of God is felt in those moments.

Tia Plum said...

What a beautiful, inspiring moment that must have been. Affirmation that you're right where God wants you to be. I believe that the people of Masese are loving their neighbors because through you and your girls they feel the hands and feet of our mighty Savior at work. His LOVE is pouring out through you. Your faith and obedience are evident as you live the gospel..."we love because He first loved us."
Blessings & Love, Tia (The Woodlands, TX)

Merrill Swenke said...

God bless you , Katie! Thank you for sharing that story. It is so easy to get cynical about human nature & lack of concern for our neighbors....however , you described a beautiful example of how we are supposed to care & love each other & how the presence of God is felt in those moments.

Anonymous said...

How awesome is the Lord Most High!! Many miracles, many days, I stand amazed at the presence of our Holy God as I watch people love people. Blessings on you sweet Katie! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. Ps.119:37

Anonymous said...

Thank you Katie for sharing your life with us. Because of your dependence upon our Lord and your willingness - His power, His love is flowing through you and touching others lives. To God be the glory. He is so good to His children. Be encouraged my sister as I am encouraged by Christs' work in you and through you.

James and Aisling Solarek said...

Praise God!!! What a gift to see Him change lives.

Anonymous said...

O heavenly, Holy Father GOD, You alone deserve the praise! You have blessed the people of Uganda with Your willing servant Katie! Through her You are changing people - their hearts, their minds, their attitudes, their very lives. I pray You will continue to bless these people. I pray for strength and endurance and encouragement and support for Katie and her children and Your ministry through her! Grant Katie peace and the serenity of Christ as she grows in You, grows in faith, grows in wisdom and discernment. Continue to love her and use her for Your holy plan! Post protection around her and her family. O, to GOD be the GLORY!! In Christ!

Courtney said...

Katie,

Thanks so much for your book and blog. I am going to Russia in 2 weeks to work with youth, and while battling fear and anxiety mixed with incredible enthusiasm, your book and blog have greatly encouraged me and renewed my call for missions and adoption. Keep pressing you, you are making an impact and God is using you immensely!

alicia marbury said...

Oh Katie !! What a GREAT story :) I can only imagine how this encourages you. God is GOOD and FAITHFUL !! I continue to pray for you and the people of Jinja and Masese.

Love,
Alicia

Julie said...

Katie,

I spent the weekend reading your book, and God has used it to change my heart.

My desire is to thank you for your example of obedience, but I know that
"the praise belongs to God."

Because of His Great Grace,
Julie

Cherise said...

That is an amazing story of just how much God has used you to not only help others, but teach them his principles. Thanks for sharing your life on this blog. I really enjoy reading what God is doing through you!

-Cherise

Courtney said...

Katie,

Thank you so much for your book and blog. I am leaving for Russia for the summer in a week and in the midst of being both terrified and brimming with excitement, your book has been a great encouragement to me to press on and go love the street children there. Keep pressing on for the Lord, you have shown me that women our age can make a big impact if we are fully surrendered to the Lord!

Courtney

Cherise said...

That is an amazing story of just how much God has used you to not only help others, but teach them his principles. Thanks for sharing your life on this blog. I really enjoy reading what God is doing through you!

-Cherise

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful! God makes all things beautiful!

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful! God makes all things beautiful!

Anonymous said...

My heart rejoices with you, Katie, in the Lord, our God, you is changing hearts all over the world!

May he continue to build his kindom through you, bless and strenghten you!

Love and Prayers,
Jo

km said...

Thank you, Katie, for writing. I am always encouraged and inspired by you and your love for the people you serve!

Ragnhild said...

wow. it is so inspiring how you recognize Gods work in the people around you. you really see with His eyes!! blessings from Norway, Ragnhild

Anonymous said...

Amazing, just amazing!!! He is SO good!!!

Michelle said...

And what a difference you have made!!

Leah said...

So so so wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Katie :) He IS at work and it all DOES come to fruition! It can just be such a long time before we get to see it... This is encouraging indeed :)

Patty said...

God is so good!

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful! Sister helping sister. Looking forward to meeting you next month. I loaded up with so much children's Ibuprofen that I had to have a prescription! Also got a ton of Benedryl, small gloves, tape, etc... God bless... Jesse Jones, Houston

Nikki said...

I just finished your book, and I was most struck by your stories about these specific people. What an encouragement to read this post. I have been challenged beyond words at all that God is doing in and through the people there!!!

Anonymous said...

How humbling! May we always say this very thing whenever people commend us for simply being "unworthy slaves doing only what we ought". Glory to God indeed!

Unknown said...

Beautiful acts of love and kindness. I leave for Uganda in 25 days and cannot contain my excitement!

Denise Dilley said...

God is so good! Love hearing about life change happening in Africa. This is true discipleship in action. Praying for more fruit on Masese! Blessings on you Katie. :)

Shan in Japan said...

I just finished reading your book after being introduced to it by a friend. I am a missionary in Japan and resonated with so much of your book that my eyes were constantly filling with tears. Thank you for sharing your love for God and your heart. May God continue to grow you and shape you into the image of His Son.

Shan in Japan said...

I just finished reading your book after being introduced to it by a friend-one who gets my heart, I am a missionary in Japan. Thank you for sharing your love for God and your heart. May God continue to grow you and shape you into the image of His Son. Blessings!

Chuck said...

excellent

Chuck said...

excellent

Chuck said...

excellent

Anonymous said...

You have been the hands and feet of Jesus over and over and over again. They have watched you and now they have done what they only knew to be the natural response...they have been the hands and feet of Jesus. What a precious community and a sweet "sussy" from the Lord to your heart. Thank you for sharing.

Honey said...

You have been the hands and feet of Jesus over and over and over again. They have watched you and now they have done what they only knew to be the natural response...they have been the hands and feet of Jesus. What a precious community and a sweet "sussy" from the Lord to your heart. Thank you for sharing.

Unknown said...

Katie,
You are truly a model of God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works. I am so encouraged and challenged by your story. My prayers are with you and those you minister to as my heart is strong for orphans as well. God is holy and worthy of all the praise!

Unknown said...

Katie,
You are truly a model of God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works. I am so encouraged and challenged by your story. God is holy and worthy of all our praise!

Unknown said...

WOW it's so amazing and profound the way God changes our hearts. It's so touching and inspiring to read that this is what is happening there to the people around you. God is Awesome! Katie I pray for you and your family every morning while I'm praying for my family and for the blessings of the day. you are doing such an amazing work and you are such an inspiration to so many!

Laurie said...

I giggled with joy when I read this post. God is good & he is ALIVE.

Kathy R. said...

You will never know the impact you've had on the world. It is exponential...and contagious and the praise does belong to God, but I am also praising Him for your willingness and faithfulness to TEACH us all how to "fish".

Laurel said...

Wow!

Powerful!

Thanks for sharing.

Keep up the good work, Miss Katie.


Laurel
mama of 12 (ages: 10, 10, 12, 13, 15, 18, 21, 23, 23, 25, 26, 27)

RaVae Erickson said...

Amen! Hallelujah!

pouredout4him said...

Thank you, Katie. Just for reflecting some of the Father's Light, and His Love. I can relate to wanting to shout into the night, (and I sometimes do, to the momentary embarrassment of perhaps my kids or others near me ;), when I see how wonderful God works, how His Word is fulfilled powerfully through the faithfulness of a few, or even one.
Your love for the Father and His little ones has captured my heart. Thank you, my sister. I expect nothing great from you, other than to keep listening to the Father's quiet voice, and let Him do His work, His amazing, powerful, and captivating work of Love and Life.
I'm simply a fellow soldier, fighting God's battles in my own life and circumstances, both in Alaska and down south in Arkansas. I'd love to help with a work where there are such needs as where you are, and to learn from a ministry like the one our Father has placed in your loving hands, hands strengthened and enabled, as we know, only by the amazing Creator and Giver of Life.
I hope to do a blog and website also, when I find time while finishing a house and raising four kids on my own...and I'll be teaching about evidence of the flood and creation.

Thank you for obeying our Dad, my sister.

Jamie

Anonymous said...

The praise belongs to God! Thank you for being willing to sacrifice and a light in the darkness...what brave courage he has exemplified in your life!

jodinoah said...

Katie, I just love to hear how God is working through you to help those around you! God is SO great and thanks for stepping out of your comfort zone to do His work! Great job at working with and teaching the people there! Amazing story! God bless you Katie!

jodinoah said...

Hi Katie! What a blessing to be a part of! God is doing great and mighty things through you. Even though it is hard, you are persevering through it! Praise be to our creator, our God, the Almighty One! Thanks for your service in helping these communities and showing them God's love through your actions! God bless you!

Anonymous said...

God changes me through your blog.

Hannah said...

katie, thank you for allowing the Lord to speak and work through you. you have encouraged me to simply obey God's commands, and for that, i am forever thankful.

jamiewhitewyatt said...

Your blog makes us mindful of the importance of loving our neighbors, wherever we are! I was just at a nursing home this morning, visiting a friend. There are a lot of "forgotten" people there....

Anonymous said...

You, your children and your work are inspirational. It has opened up a whole new world for me as I have read your book and must also congratulate you on your recent Christopher Award. This will ring out your word and his to thousands more. You give others courage as you walk His path every day Please know that others try to follow the right path even in baby steps during their daily lives.
Thank you.

john opiyo said...

praise the lord men of God .am fine in the lord ,am borne again .i thank the lord for good work you have been doing there.may the lord prepare a good crown for you in heaven .after call i have search children that needs my support but i don't have financial break through and it has been my prayer that may God give me partner ,who has a heart like you .may God bless you , i need to hear from you.apostleopiyo@mail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Kattie, I am MiKyung Lee from Korea and I read your book in Korean. You really inspired me and it is so nice that you share your daily life with people through this blog. This blog will be my favoriate one from now.. See you again~

Anonymous said...

This brings tears to my eyes and delight to my soul! To God be the praise...He is present and working. How encouraging!!!

Mikailah Autumn said...

This touched me so much, Katie. Thank you for sharing this. The praise belongs to Him. Everything we do, everything we get recognized for--the praise belongs to God.

Many blessings!
-Mikailah

Vera said...

Amazing story. In small steps, the difference you and the Lord have made in their lives is evident. May God bless you and keep you safe, Katie!

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Ja limanilton said...

katie, que o amor de Deus pai a paz de Cristo Jesus e a luz do Espírito Santo esteja com todos vocês de Uganda.comprei seu livro pensei que fosse ficção mas me surpreendeu sua estória de doação. fiquei muito emocionado com este seu sim. gostaria de saber se o valor das joias estão no valor da moeda Brasileira que é o real($), pois ao colocar a tradução não sei se o valor também passou para a moeda Brasileira. Obrigada pela atenção e que Deus abençõe a todos voçês.

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