Friday, October 21, 2011

Kisses From Katie ... and negative purity

I have watched this video numerous times and have been struck by it, in a slightly different way, each time.

If I am being honest, what I keep coming back to is the fact that the girl in the video, Katie Davis, the one who has left her home in Tennessee to feed the hungry, to care for orphans, to sacrifice all to do unto others, is now just 22 years young.

At 16, she knew God was calling her to missions.  At 18, she left home for Uganda for what was to be a one year commitment.  

At 19, she founded Amazima, a ministry that feeds, educates, and encourages orphaned and vulnerable children and the poor in the country of Uganda.  A ministry that now, just three years after it's founding, has a $700,000 a year budget, sponsors 500 children and feeds 2,000 more.  

Now, at 22, she is the mother of 14 children.  

Please take several moments to view this video clip if you will.  
The music may first be paused by scrolling down to the gray music player in left sidebar.  
Simply click the round pause button.

Of all things, why is her age what struck me most?  

Just moments after watching the video for the first time, I had to run to the library- where, by the way, I did a quick search to request the book this young woman has recently authored about her experiences that has just landed on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Walking up to the library, the door was blocked by teenagers who had just gotten out of school.  I covered the ears of my eight year old son as we walked in.  The language too crass to repeat.  The discussion more vulgar than I care to recall.  One girl tossing a fake wooden rifle.  Others calling disrespectfully to their classmates who were walking down the street.  Teens smoking, making fun of the older folks trying to make their way in and out of the library.  

A stark contrast.

Why are there not more teens like Katie Davis?  Why can they not see beyond themselves?  How have they not learned that the world is so much bigger, that they are not the shining star around which the earth revolves?

Some may say that Katie is special, with a special calling.  I believe that is true.  
I also believe that we expect far to little of what we have come to know as "adolescents".    

Take a good, hard look at the children and teenagers around you.  

Take a look not just at what they are not doing, but what they are.

What do you see?  
Charles Spurgeon, the great preacher of the nineteenth century, commented, "Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you - Is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God's Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand - your best companion and hourly guide?" If not, Spurgeon said, the blessing of Psalm 1 does not belong to you.  
--Alex and Brett Harris, Do Hard Things

Do the young people in your life know Jesus?  
Do they know what it means to look beyond themselves?  
Is there really true, abundant fruit in their lives?  Do they really show self-control?  Do they respect authority?  Do they obey and honor their parents?  Are they kind?  Are they responsible?  
Are they accountable?  How do they conduct themselves?

How about your expectations - the expectations you have of them as a parent?  
As a teacher?  A friend?

What wonderful things teens can accomplish when they are trained, taught, guided and discipled by the Word, and by those God has placed in their lives.

More about Katie and Amazima, and how you can support this ministry can be found at

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
(Psalm 1:1-2 ESV)

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