Sunday, April 11, 2010
...she was thirteen and pregnant. Tall for her age, she was a Dinka girl of Sudanese descent. While not her birth name, she responded to the title, Hope, which was ironic considering how small the amount of hope had been spared for her.
At the age of ten, Hope had been kidnapped by her Uncle and taken to Uganda in order to serve as the family's slave. Trapped in a house born of mud and clay, her job was to tend to the needs of the five adults and ten children of whom she shared residency. She cooked and she cleaned. Seven days a week without fail. Like a modern day Cinderella, an ocean away from Happily Ever After.
Miles from home, Hope was unfamiliar to Ugandan culture. She couldn't speak their language. She struggled to adapt. What she could understand was the order given from a pointed index finger. An angry shout. And the endless beatings.
She was repeatedly kicked and punched in the stomach, in hopes of terminating the life she was carrying. Because of the pregnancy, she was considered damaged goods, as useless as a homeless wanderer living under the shaded canopy of a rickety bridge during the rainy season. And she was treated as such.
Neighbors could hear her screams from behind closed doors. They grew concerned for Hope's safety and alerted the police. In time, a standoff took place, in which the adults blocked passage for the authorities to rescue Hope. The police prevailed however, and Hope was taken away.
Weeks later, the Sudanese Embassy ruled on the case, and rewarded custody of Hope back to the Uncle who had originally kidnapped her in the first place.
The beatings resumed.
At last, with the help of a concerned neighbor, Hope managed to escape in the middle of the night with nothing more than the clothes on her back, but freedom standing before her.
She was quietly moved from one home to the next, her exact whereabouts a mystery, and therefore remaining one step ahead of her uncle's search party.
And it was during this time, when her story was heard by the person known as "Auntie Katie." Hope didn't realize it just then, but her life was about to change.
Still in her early twenties, and known to the locals only as Auntie Katie, she is the adoptive mother of 16 African girls. In association with Amazima Ministries, this slim-figured brunette, born in America, now living in Africa, is saving lives and turning heads from across the globe.
Her blog, The Journey, kissesfromkatie, is now read by a multitude of followers worldwide. She is not a writer, and yet her words possess an awe-inspiring sense of urgency for all who treasure the experience. It's been said that if the Bible were still in the process of being written, Katie's name would surely appear in passage in the New Testament. The Book of Katie.
It causes one to think...if a simple twenty-something girl from the states can do so much, what if...
Hope gave birth to a healthy baby boy two weeks prior to her due date. One day after Christmas she was rescued by Auntie Katie and her ministry. Mother and son are currently living under Katie's care while her original family from Southern Sudan are located.
The link to Katie's blog and Hope's entire story are located under "The Journey," on my blog list, or go to kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com.