Catalyst 2011 Katie Davis

On learning to trust unlikely leaders and mentors

I realize I'm surrounded by young Christian leaders, but I have a confession to make: as a general rule, I haven't always fully trusted leaders under 29. I know many who are brilliant, creative, fun, and spiritually deep, but I guess my predjudice is two-fold. First, they haven't suffered or failed enough. Second, I can't get over how immature I was at 29—or even at 39! (I finally started to grow up largely under the tutelage of two great mentors: suffering and failure.) But, alas, Catalyst is messing with my long-standing assumption about young leaders.

Here's a good case in point: Katie Davis. In 2006, at the age of 18, she took a short-term missions trip to Uganda. Then she returned to Uganda for a year. Now, at the age of 22, she's already established Amazima Ministries, a non-profit ministry in Uganda that seeks to meet the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of over 450 children. Most of the children are orphans. On top of that, she adopted 14 Ugandan children.

But I was most ...

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