Let me just tell you, it already hurts. The thought of leaving this place and these people is slowly breaking my heart. The kids have become my family and this place has become my home. I think you know you really love something when you love the bad parts of it as much as you love the good. I love the struggles of living here. I love that I can say I’ve had to lay in bed for several days at a time–more than once–with a bacterial infection. I love that when I’m sick, I have roommates who will text me from downstairs to keep their extroverted roommate sane. I love that I have to strategically place my shoes every morning where I know the kids can’t steal them and hide them from me. I love that my day isn’t complete without at least five hugs and a few kisses on the cheek. I love that when I leave even for a day, I miss the children deeply.
People always tell me to love these babies like Jesus would. Honestly, though, I think these kids do a better job of loving me like Jesus, than I could ever do for them. I wake up very frustrated some mornings, thinking I just can’t do it today. I can’t have 54 Ugandan children screaming all around me today. But as soon as I walk downstairs, I have 54 precious smiling children screaming for me with open arms, and I realize once again why I love calling these people, and this place, my home. Home for now that is, and that’s what is really hard because I am leaving in a few weeks.
I’ve been learning so much about love here. When you choose to truly love something, you can’t give up on it no matter how hard it gets. One of the hardest things for me is feeling like I’m letting these kids down by leaving them. So another thing I have learned is that I have to find peace in the fact that I have completed my time here, and that my season is coming to an end. I’m comforted in I knowing these kids will get to be loved by some even more wonderful aunties. I am also comforted in knowing that all the mamas who love these children day in and day out will still be here. But my greatest comfort is knowing that God is real in Jinja–in the huge African sky, and the breathtaking Nile River, and the monkeys who swing from the trees. The God who gave me a chance to see and experience so much here, is the same God who will forever love and care for these children. I am convinced that these children have front row seats in the Kingdom of God, and I will forever be grateful to have been a part of this piece of heaven. So this is faith–letting go and trusting that all shall be well.
I am so very grateful for the love, prayers, and generous support that made my time in Uganda possible. My world will never be the same.