And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story.
— C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
At the beginning of the summer, my last week at Suubi seemed like it was a million years away. The thought of it arriving this quickly was almost laughable. But here I am, laughing at myself because it has come and it still hasn't hit me. It hasn't hit me that in 24 hours, I'll be getting on a plane headed for the United States. It hasn't hit me that I won't get to feed my goats Monday morning. It hasn't hit me that I won't get to see the faces of the many people I love here every day. But even though the reality of going home still seems far off, I can look back on my last week at Suubi with a thankful and hopeful heart.
The kids are eager to receive their morning meal.
It's hard to describe how I felt throughout my last week on the farm. Honestly, I spent much of my time feeling incredibly conflicted. On one hand, the feeling of it being my last week felt oddly similar to finals week. There was an urgency to complete projects that I've been working on all summer. There was the ever-looming stressful feeling that always comes with questioning if I would have enough time to accomplish everything I'd hoped. And there was the sickening, gnawing feeling of having to leave a place that I love. I tried to push down and ignore that feeling.
Working with Josiah to finish updating records.
But on the other hand, I found myself admiring and cherishing all the beauty that Suubi has to offer. I paid more attention to the view and took more pictures. I took extra time to pet Karen and to love on all of the new kids. And I held onto every word that Josiah and I exchanged about the future and our hopes for the farm. There wasn't a moment from my last week that I wanted to forget or take for granted.
The morning view of the farm. I'm going to miss the beauty found at Suubi!
I also found myself frequently thinking about the future this week, whether it be my future, the farm's future, or the future of Uganda. I've had many people tell me this week to come back to Africa soon, and I desperately hope that I do. I desire to be here to see positive change continue to happen on the farm. I desire to be here to serve the people of Suubi, Watoto and the citizens of Uganda. I want to be here to do and see things that are impactful. But instead, I'm headed back to the U.S., far from the desires that currently plague my heart. But God reminded me of something important. All of this change that I desire is completely out of my control.
The God of the Universe, the one who created everything and conquered sin and death so that we can live forever in heaven certainly is capable of bringing positive change to the fractured areas of Uganda. God's plan and the mercy, grace and love he uses to bring these plans to fruition are so much bigger than anything that I can do on my own. And when we step aside and surrender our desires to the creator, we can watch him do big things; we can give thanks that he carries us through them.
A mom with her new baby.
Even though leaving Suubi and leaving Uganda seems unbearable right now, I have so much confidence knowing that God will take care of this place in ways that only he can provide. He will continue to prune unhealthy areas until Suubi and Uganda bear his fruit. After all, he did that this summer with me. The girl that left Texas in May is not the same girl who's returning. And I will be forever thankful for that. I'm thankful that this journey only marks the beginning of what I hope to be a lifetime of adventure, learning and serving.
My last day at Suubi.
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.