From the book I just finished...
May 7, 2008
"Amazima, in Luganda, means 'the truth'. To be honest, it was chosen quickly without much thought, because we had to provide the government with a name for our nonprofit. God said to me, 'You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.' I opened my Bible to John 8 and it said, 'You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.' I went to church that Sunday and guess what the pastor said? Yes. 'You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.'"
Today, about a year after naming this ministry Amazima, I stand in awe of the truth with which God has presented me. In Uganda, I strive to teach my children and all children in our program and in our villages 'the truth' of Christ. I know I cannot walk into a village and tell a child that Jesus loves her. She cannot comprehend that because, chances are, she has never been loved. I have to feed her, clothe her, care for her, and love her unconditionally as I tell her that I love her. Once she can understand and see my love, I can begin to tell her about a Savior who loves her even more. That is the truth for these children- that they are loved, that they are valuable, that they will not be left as orphans but that they have a plan and a hope for the future. What a beautiful truth.
I have a young friend named Maria. The truth is that Maria had never taken a bath before I took her home and gave her one. The truth is that Maria has no one who cares for her. No one tells her she is loved. The truth is that Maria is sent from her home in the slum outside of Jinja to beg on the streets for food, and no one in Uganda wants to touch her or help her or cares that she is sick. The truth is that Maria is just like you or me. A person. Real. A child of the king.
Meet Rose and Brenda. The truth is that they are orphans. Abandoned and living in an orphanage. Now two of 143 million. The truth is that when they go to bed at night no one tucks their blankets in around them and kisses their foreheads. The truth is that when they wake up, frightened, in the dark, no one runs to comfort them. The truth is that due to someone else's carelessness, Brenda will die of AIDS.
Meet David and Bashir. The truth is that these precious little boys were child soldiers, abducted, sold as property, and forced to kill. Now that the war is winding down, they are not permitted back in their villages because they are seen as traitors, so they beg on the streets.
And the truth is that these are only the children I know, in a very small fraction of a very small country. The truth is that there are children like this all over the world, sick, starving, dying, unloved, and uncared for. The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children.
And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians. The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.
This is the Truth. I have the freedom to believe it. The freedom, the opportunity to do something about it. The truth is that He loves these children just as much as He loves me and now that I know, I am responsible."
Excerpt from "Kisses from Katie"