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Growing Together

Sarah Weiss

By Sarah Weiss, 2017 MIAP-Noble Fellow

Posted Jun. 21, 2017


Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.

— C.S. Lewis

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I couldn't agree more. It's incredible how the operations of the Suubi, Lubbe and Buloba farms are so connected, all with the goal of supporting vulnerable women and children. But I've also found that it takes a village to raise the goats at Suubi. It's a process that truly requires excellence and commitment out of every person that makes any contribution to the farm. And many people, many more than I ever anticipated, contribute their time, money, ideas and prayers to the betterment of the farm.

doesThe does love grazing this new field.

I love that when working in ministry, excellence is expected and talent is celebrated. It's fun to get to see people with a knack for agriculture using their gifts on the farm each day. And I'm fully convinced that God has recently brought one of these people to the farm. On Monday morning, Josiah arrived at Suubi Goat Farm. Josiah is a certified organic farmer from Kenya who has recently been hired by Watoto agriculture to help with various projects. He will be helping out at the farm until he begins to supervise a project up north in the fall.

tourWhen Josiah arrived on Monday morning, Patrick gave him an extensive tour of the farm.

I spent a good chunk of our first day together writing down ideas and inspiration that Josiah was voicing to Patrick and me. He's so passionate about learning and collaboration. He firmly believes that when everyone brings their ideas and talents to the table, we can build up one another and grow together to make the farm stronger. And I feel like this happened, even during our first week together.

Patrick, Josiah and I were in agreement that efficiency would be key to making and implementing change that will actually last. So one of our first tasks was to examine the daily schedule of all the workers to see where there would be room to start new projects. New schedules were written for and communicated to each worker. It was neat to talk with each worker about the specific area they would be in charge of and to also consider their ideas and suggestions. I also felt it was important for me to consider how to best utilize the rest of my time at the farm. With the help of Josiah and Patrick, I identified several areas in which I could do work and make changes over the next few weeks.

inventoryOne of my tasks for the week was cleaning out and doing inventory of the main supply closet.

My first major task is cleaning out and organizing several cabinets and closets and taking inventory of the supplies that can be used. I started by cleaning out the big cabinet in the office and found many things that can be extremely useful. I also worked on organizing records and identifying which records need to be updated. Finally, I spent a good chunk of my week brainstorming with Josiah about what changes can be made that will be impactful for the farm in the long-run.

KarenKaren, my favorite kid, loves to greet me each morning.

For the first time this summer, I look at the days ahead of me and yearn for more time. I have a ton of ideas and projects that I would love to complete before leaving, but am scared of not personally seeing them through to their completion. It's hard to think about leaving a place I've grown to love, but I also think that if I really love Suubi, I have to think about leaving. Suubi Goat Farm shouldn't be dependent upon Patrick or Josiah or myself. The farm isn't meant to be built around one person. Success is dependent upon a flourishing and unselfish family that strives for group success over individual gain. So at the end of the day, I have to trust that God has given me and will continue to give me and my Watoto family the time, resources and grace to see Suubi truly flourish. I know time is finite and all things eventually come to an end, but I'm confident that the future is bright for this place. I count myself blessed to witness transformation.

Suubi childrenThe children of Suubi village are always excited to show love to others.

About the Author

Sarah Weiss is a 2017 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Weiss is from Brenham, Texas, and has one semester left in the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University. She focuses on education, extension and outreach.