Author Archives: Katie Emery

Katie Emery

The Lord has invited me on a great adventure this year: I will be gone from September through May to make new friends, heal the sick, and bring freedom to broken places. We will be going to Honduras, Thailand, and South Africa and spend three months in each place. These are the stories of the work the Lord is doing all around the world.

I’m Home!

Well, I’m home!

Back in Tulsa, Oklahoma: the place I was born & raised, the place my family and friends live, the place I know inside & out, but somehow it feels very different.


My friend Kaci said it well, “once you say yes to the Lord you don’t really go back.”

When I said yes to leave home, I didn’t realize that the life I was leaving I would never really have back. And it dawned on me that I wasn’t going ‘back’ home but I moving foreword and it just happened to be home.


It’s been an interesting few weeks, and I’m not sure I’ve fully reconciled all the ways I’ve changed with my old familiar place here.

But one thing I do know is that the Lord has been so faithful in taking care of me. Even on the loneliest days he has sent people who understand, when I feel lost he has sent me voices of truth, and when I need to celebrate all that he has done he has sent ears to listen to the stories.


Home is another adventure that is unfolding, and I know that for as long as I’m here it will be good, because the Lord is good.

My heart is expectant.

Dancing on the Water

I was looking through my journal the other day and I found an entry from January that talked about a vision that The Lord had given me.
I was wake boarding and my knees were shaking and I was terrified. I was scared because I didn’t know when the waves were coming, because I wasn’t controlling the speed of the boat, and because I don’t even know how to wake board..
I was so terrified that I couldn’t enjoy the ride, I was just miserable.


I remember how scared I was after Ashley & David told me that I would be squad leading, it was almost crippling. I felt like I was being pushed of to the edge of a cliff and everyone that I loved and that supported me was being taken away and put in new roles on new teams leaving me out to dry. I was absolutely petrified, but I agreed to do it, I didn’t even really have an option.


And that’s the thing, if I feel that The Lord calls me to do something, then ill do it. Sometimes willingly, sometimes not, sometimes screaming through the whole thing.
It was like when we went shark cage diving last month, I didn’t want to go but I went because I thought that if I didn’t go then I would regret it.
So I went and I spent the whole trip minus about 10 minutes I was in the cage leaned over the side of the boat sharing my breakfast with the sharks. The guide had me get in the cage first because he said being in the water would help with the nausea, so reluctantly in I went.
This was seriously one of the most exhilarating things that I have ever done, the sharks come right up to the cage ready to attack the bait. I was completely terrified. I was trapped in this tiny cage with 5 other people screaming and puking and trying not to cry. Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome and I’m glad I did it, I’m just trying to paint a little picture of how scared and pathetic I really was.


I remember getting out of the cage and thinking, this is exactly how I live. I am following The Lord and living an exciting and adventurous life, but I’m terrified the whole time because I don’t fully trust him. It was like, I could see the problem but I didn’t know how to not be scared.


Last week I was talking to Samantha and wining about how scary the future is and how scared I am of what’s coming next. She took my shoulders and looked me in the eyes and said, ‘you are not fear. God has not given you a spirit of fear.’ And something clicked, I actually don’t have to be afraid, I can actually trust God.


We’ve been listening to a song called Oceans by Hillsong in worship and it sings about walking on the water. We were listening to it before school one day and God gave me a picture of myself, no walking, not running, but dancing on the water.


And I feel it, my spirit is light and I’m not afraid of anything coming my way. I know that The Lord has a plan and somehow, he’ll always keep me afloat. Not only is the fear gone, but I am really trusting The Lord, I really believe the things that he says and the promises he makes.


And now I’m inviting you,
come and dance on the water.
Life is really going to be okay.

Stop and Smell the Roses

I’m not worried.

For one of the first times in my life, I’m really actually not worried.

Last week I had a minor melt down, just a little freak out about my life in general and whatever it is that’s coming next. But I was talking to one of my teammates, Kevin, about it and straight up he tells me that I’m making things up to be stressed about because I feel like I should be stressed out.
I’ll be the first to admit and my dad can vouch for me too, that I am a worrier. I worry and get stressed and let all my thoughts wind up so tight that sometimes I have little melt downs. That’s the way that its  always been, especially when it comes to making big decisions, I just worry.
But that’s not how it’s supposed to be.
The Lord offers us peace that surpasses all understanding.
In the midst of chaos, when were making big decisions, when things don’t go the way we expected them to- Jesus gives us peace.
It doesn’t make sense either.
It doesn’t make sense to have peace when the ground is pulled out from under you, or 25 kids are screaming and fighting all around you, or you’re trying to figure out what you’re going to be doing in the next season.
But friends, Jesus doesn’t really make sense, at least not by the worlds standards.
It wasn’t until Kevin said that that it really hit me, that the peace that I have, the peace that Jesus offers us doesn’t make sense to me either.
So here I am again, asking The Lord to take over and renew my mind. I’m choosing to receive the peace that I am being offered and let go of all the worry.
It’s funny really, because I should be worried- past June I have no idea what my life is going to look like and I’m supposed to be figuring out what I’m going to do with my life.
But here’s the thing, I know that God is faithful. I know that he will always come through and I will be exactly where I am supposed to be tomorrow and next week and next month.
So here I am, not worried at all, just dwelling in the presence of The Lord and in the plans that he has for me today. And let me tell you, it rocks, I never want to leave this place.
And it’s only now since I’ve begun to ‘stop and smell the roses’ that I’ve noticed how many roses that The Lord has planted along my path. He has hugs, conversations, and all kinds of surprises planned for me very single day.
And oh baby, is it good.

At the end of Bangla

January was a good month, a really good month.

The ministry that we did in the bars and on the streets off Bangla Road was incredible. Some nights were hard & heavy, some nights were light & fun, but every night was full of hope.


The very fist night we went to Bangla as a group we struck up a conversation with a Swedish girl named Regina that was promoting a nightclub. After we told her what we were doing we asked if she wanted prayer and she said yes. Not only did she want us to pray for her, but she also wanted us to stand in a circle holding hands and then pray for her. That is quite a bold move in a place that is anything but Christian, and it didn’t stop there. Regina also wanted all of her friends to receive prayer as well, so we stood in that circle and prayed for one friend after the other. It’s almost comical if you can really picture this all happening.


That night really set the precedent for the month. We danced, we sang, we shouted, we ran, and we walked up & down Bangla Road, but most of all we boldly proclaimed Jesus’ name.


In our hearts and spirits we knew that our presence was making a difference on that road. We knew that God’s spirit was moving and he was reaching out to his kids that were caught in a very dark place.

But sometimes it was hard not to lose heart when we weren’t seeing any fruit and we were overwhelmed with all the evil.


Our last full week of ministry we all seemed to be a bit disheartened and so we asked God to show us fruit, to show us that our work was not being done in vein.


I stayed back that whole week and prayed with the rotating teams that were interceding for the girls who were out.

That Monday night we saw these clouds of light in the sky dancing and weaving in between the clouds and shooting from one part of the sky to another. We knew they could only be one thing, glory clouds. God’s glory was physically manifesting in the form of light.

So naturally we starting shouting and singing and praising Jesus and we asked him to send his glory over to Bangla Road. And just like that one of the clouds shoots off and disappeared into the distance.


When the girls came back from ministry that night they were covered in gold dust. Gold dust.

Gold dust on their faces, gold dust on their arms, gold dust on their hands.

This friends, is God’s glory physically manifesting.

And the best part is that it didn’t only happen Monday, but it happened every day that week.


This was God’s way of showing us that He is bigger, his glory is greater, and he is present in that place. Once you put that road in perspective with how big our God is, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming anymore.


Our last night ministering on Bangla we went to the beach at the end of the road and let off lanterns.

I am so thankful for what the Lord allowed me to be a part of in Phuket. It may not seem like we did much on Bangla Road, but we left a little hope and a whole lot of light in a very dark place. And even though I know I can’t save all the people I met there and I can’t heal them, I can let them go up to my dad who loves them more than I ever could and who can take care of them.

So I let them go, knowing that God’s glory is falling and his spirit is moving with or without me there.

He is always faithful.

hands up

This has been a very ‘spinny’ week. I mean I’ve spent every lull of the past week thinking and planning and figuring things out, my mind has been racing.

There’s always a lot going on when you live with 17 girls. This week I had all kinds of logistical things to figure out, including how to get us all across the border to Burma to renew our visas.

Also this week I just happened to realize that almost all the girls on our squad have some sort of plans for when we get home. Some are going back to school, some working, some back to Honduras, but I on the other hand don’t really know what life looks like past May.
Up until yesterday I had the idea that I was going to go back to school in the fall. That just makes sense. I want to be a nurse and when I get home it’s time to be adult and go back to school.
The problem is that every school I applied to just didn’t feel right, and living at home and going to community college didn’t settle right either.

I called my parents yesterday because I wanted them to help me sort my thoughts out, to help me make plans- but they actually did the opposite.


My whole life I’ve felt like people have had expectations for me, and when I couldn’t meet them I felt worthless, less than, and disappointed with myself.
I especially felt like that for taking a year off of college. I felt like I had failed, like there was something wrong with me because I hated OU. I felt like I had disappointed people, that once again I hadn’t met someone’s expectations for my life.

I was even more scared to sign up for this trip than to not go back to school, scared that I was making a mistake, scared that I wasn’t going to be supported.

But every Saturday morning second semester my dad and I would hike Turkey Mountain and he would listen as I vented about OU and help me process the options for the next year. He helped me get free of the expectations I thought people had for my life and helped me see that following Jesus, even when it isn’t exactly convenient or normal, is okay.


And once again he used my dad and mom to save me from the mad spinning happening in my head this week.

I thought that they would be thrilled that I was planning on going back to school. But as my conversation with them went on I realized that my parents didn’t have any expectations for me, they want me to do what God wants me to do.

And it just hit me, it doesn’t matter what people expect from me.
So I let go of my plans and God gave me so much peace.
Talk about getting free.


I don’t have plans past the summer, and that’s okay, because I’m not the one making them. I’m just following my Jesus wherever he leads.
He’ll tell me what I need to know, when I need to know it, no sooner.

I’m not scared anymore.
I’m not scared of not meeting people’s expectations, or falling short, or doing something risky.

There is no fear in love, perfect love casts out all fear.

So here I am, living in Thailand with some incredibly crazy people, getting ready to move to South Africa, and following the whisper of the Holy Spirit.
And as of right now, that’s all I know.

do you want to be free?

Let me paint you a picture of the red light district, Bangla Road, in Phuket.

Its one main road with many roads branching off of it filled with hundreds of bars. Hundreds.

It’s loud, it’s busy, it’s bright, it’s all smoke and mirrors and a ton of people having the absolute time of their lives. Families, couples, single men, teenagers, lady boys, prostitutes, vendors, even old people just romp around gawking at the girls dancing above buildings in boxes, girls dancing on bars, girls dancing on poles, even lady boys stripping.

You walk down the road and people are walking around filming the chaos, couples are fighting, promoters try and get you to their clubs, vendors are flashing lights at you trying to sell things, and about every 10 feet someone shoves a flyer in your face to try and get you to their ‘ping pong show’.

It all comes down to the fact that no body down there, not one person, knows how valuable they are, or that they’re treasured, or that the maker of the universe has a plan for their lives.

They just don’t know.


But my Jesus says

that ‘we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free.’

(John 8:32)


When I walk down Bangla Road, all I see is a whole lot of sons and daughters that need to be set free.


So the first week that we began doing ministry in the bars I asked the Lord what my purpose down here was and what he wanted me to be doing. He told me to show the people that I see and meet what being in love with Jesus looks like, what it really is. He told me to just be in love with him.

People need to see and they need to know that a relationship with Jesus is satisfying, it is full, it is life giving, it affirms, it sustains, and it brings so much joy.

A relationship with Jesus is what I have to offer them.

Not rules, not religion, not even a bible- just Jesus.


I can’t bring change to this evil place, I can’t save anyone, I can’t break chains, I can’t mend hearts, or comfort all the lonely people, but Jesus can.


So that’s what this month is about.

Showing people what it looks like to be satisfied, and full, and joyful, and taken care of, and valued, and completely in love with Jesus.

I don’t have all the answers, and I can’t justify all the evil in the world, but I can love Jesus and let others see the way that he has completely wrecked my life.


I sing because he is good,

I dance because he is good,

and I shout because he is good.


I’m calling out asking if anyone wants to join me.


Do you want to be free?

Do you want real love, love that satisfies?

My Jesus can give you that.


A few weeks ago Brian and I were on a bus and I found myself watching the lady sitting in front of me. She was dirty and greasy and picking her nose and quite frankly I was a little grossed out. She was with a pretty handsome man and I wondered how she pulled that off, how she was able to land someone seemingly very out of her league.

Then I heard a very familiar voice say, “I think she’s beautiful.”

That ‘b’ word has been a hard one for me to accept and understand. I’ve come from a place of brokenness having eating disorders and low self esteem to a place of beginning to think that I actually am beautiful regardless of how I feel or how people treat me. Even if I’m not a certain weight, even if my legs aren’t shaved, even if I’m not wearing mascara, I am still beautiful.

I am not beautiful because the world says that I am, but because God says that I am.

The things that the Lord speaks over us may not make sense sometimes: like when he calls sinners- holy, or broken people- worthy, or prostitutes- pure. But it doesn’t matter if we actually are what the Lord calls us by the world’s standards, because the world’s standards don’t matter. They don’t matter and they aren’t truth.

The woman sitting in front of me on the bus is beautiful because that’s what the Lord says that she is.
The voice that created light, dry land, and living things says that we are beautiful, delighted in, treasured, pure, whole, worthy, beloved children.

Who am I to disagree?

Christmas in Thailand

Christmas in Thailand was hard, but so good.


I skyped into Christmas Eve at my grandmother Momma’s house and it was hard seeing my whole family together, celebrating, without me.

I missed everyone, I missed being in a cozy house, I missed the cold, I missed carpeted floors, I missed the beep Momma’s door makes when someone opens it, I missed taking naps with my siblings on a real couch, I missed sitting on my dads lap, I missed so much.


But I had made a commitment to be here, doing what I’m supposed to be doing- what I want to be doing, and following the Lord wherever he happens to lead me.

I will only be in Thailand for Christmas once in my entire life, and there are so many things to celebrate.

I am on an incredible adventure, I am living in incredible community with people who love and support me, I have the opportunity to love and encourage people of different cultures that speak another language, and I am experiencing the love of god like I never have before in my life.


So celebrate we did.


On Christmas Eve we made a cake and sang happy birthday to Jesus, one of my family traditions, and watched Elf. Then I woke everyone up super early Christmas morning and we layed around and listened to Christmas music. Then we made pancakes with peppermint kisses in them and opened stockings, and that night we went caroling with all the church members and sang the only song we all knew in English and Thai, Joy to the World.

It wasn’t the Christmas that I would have had at home, but it was sweet.

Following Jesus is an adventure. It is not boring. It takes you places that you’d never thought you’d be, its full of good gifts and surprises along the way, it can be hard, you usually don’t know much about what’s ahead, but it is worth giving up everything for.

To have a Christmas in Thailand I had to give up a Christmas at home with my family, and I had to trust that God was going to take care of me and that his plans were better than mine.

So I trusted the Lord, and he was faithful to me. He always is.




Jesus is Just a Hopeful Romantic

Contrary to all the statistics and the growing number of broken families, I have been blessed with a stable home and a wonderful relationship with my parents. I’ve grown up my whole life knowing that I am loved, that I will always be taken care of, and that I am treasured. Because of that, it isn’t hard for me to know and to accept love from God my father. I understand that he always loves me, will always forgive me, and that he delights in me. I love being his daughter.


But when it comes to the Lord pursuing me, romancing me, and loving me romantically I have a much harder time accepting it. Somewhere down the road I chose to project every bad relationship that I had ever had on the Lord and it has taken me time and a half to identify and break the lies that I believed about Jesus. Lies that told me I was unworthy, that I didn’t deserve to be loved and pursued. Lies that I was so broken and dirty that I could never change and no male, not even Jesus would love me.


The other night I was lying in bed and talking to the Lord. I am so thankful for all that he has already redeemed and all the lies that he has already broken, but if Jesus really loves me, seeks me, and romances me then why isn’t he? So I asked him. I asked Jesus to ravish my heat, to sweep me off my feet, to take me on a wildly romantic adventure.


And it just so happened that the team were staying with was going to a place called Elephant Island the next day. After one of the most beautiful car rides I have ever been on with tropical scenery and mountains the whole way we arrived at one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. I kicked off my sandals and ran into the crystal clear water screaming my name and begging me to enjoy it. After splashing around in the water a bit we drove down the road to ride elephants. Talk about incredible, talk about an adventure, talk about romantic. After our little ride we headed back to the beach. And right as I step onto the sand two beautiful Thai ladies invited Ashley and I to get a massage, right on the beach, listening to the waves.




Funny how when we ask the Lord for things, he gives them to us. Funny how he actually means what he says, and all the romance and intimacy he says he wants with us aren’t just empty words. A relationship with the Lord isn’t boring, it isn’t a chore, and it isn’t a religion. My relationship with the Lord is adventurous, exciting, romantic, satisfying.


So even when I have a bad day and feel worthless, or insecure, I know that my Jesus will always be there to affirm me, and he delights in me.

How wonderful it is to be loved.

More Than I Bargained For

When I thought about taking a year off to reevaluate where I was and what I was doing, I had no idea all that the Lord already had planned for me. All that I knew is that I needed to consecrate some time for the Lord to rock me and redefine my purpose. When I found this trip it sounded absolutely perfect. Nothing makes my heart more content than to hold babies, love widows, and run around with kids. I thought that this trip would be just that, a sweet romantic adventure with the Lord as I learned to love and be loved better. But the Lord had other plans.

The past three months has been the most intense period of growth I have ever had in my life. The Lord has shaken my world and pulled me apart and gotten to the root of the issues I face, not just slapped on another band aid to temporarily ‘fix me’ like I normally ask him to. Not only have I had exponential unexpected growth, healing, and freedom, but also the Lord has pushed me into a place of leadership that I didn’t want or expect.

The first three months AIM asked me to be in charge of a team of 6, just making sure that we were where we needed to be, and that everyone was taken care of. That was a hard thing for me to step into at first, but I quickly realized that I love loving other people, helping them grow, and encouraging others and that is all that being a team leader is. Through all that the Lord was able to show me that that person is who I really am, that is who I’ve always been and anything other than that was just a front.

Then as we prepared to leave Honduras AIM asked me to step up again and lead the whole squad. This terrified me. Being a squad leader meant giving up my expectations of living in one place, working with one ministry, working with the same people for three months, and even having a team. As a squad leader I would be moving around from team to team with one other person and our ministry would shift to taking care of the teams and making sure that the squad is healthy and growing. This is something I did not expect and more responsibility than I bargained for.


As I’ve reluctantly stepped into this new role the Lord has been reminding me that he is the only one and the only thing that I need. To step into this new thing that the Lord has placed before me I have had to give up the comfort of having a team that I know and trust, the comfort of a home, and the comfort of being able to fade into the background. But God is more than faithful and he always wants to give me good things, even when the best thing for me isn’t always the thing that I want. He has brought me into a place where I have no where to hide and no one else to depend on and the only thing I can do is trust him to take care of me.

I am excited for this new season and even though it may be hard I know that the Lord is faithful. I also know that he had this planned for me before I even knew this trip existed and he will never leave me alone. I am also excited to be able to share in the victories and celebrate with all the teams in all the villages and share them with all of you back at home.

So thank you Lord for good gifts,

gifts that are so good and so big that I couldn’t have even imagined asking for them.


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