Hey y’all!!!! WOOOOO HOOO! I’m so excited to officially announce that I will be returning to Africa to live and teach Health/Vocational Skills at Hope Insititute this summer. I will be in Kampala, City, Uganda.
THANK YOU JESUS FOR THIS AMAZING OPPORTUNITY!
Today I’m sharing the journey to getting this opportunity to go to Uganda, my personal story and some pictures from when I went to Africa in 2016.
Early this semester (spring of my junior year, that sounds crazy to say) in Sewanee I just like the many other juniors pondered my summer plans. Originally I planned to take physics this summer and study for the MCAT…plans always change when you let God be in control. LET ME TELL YA! BECAUSE THAT IS NO LONGER MY SUMMER PLAN.
I started to feel like maybe I should be doing an internship this summer too because all my friends were. I started thinking maybe I should apply for one even though the chances of me getting one is unlikely (Sewanee is SUPER COMPETITIVE JUST SO YA KNOW). I started to say “Hey, Jesus” “what should I do this summer?, which internship should I apply for, should I take physics?” and a series of those kinds of questions. After many moments in prayer I still wasn’t clear on the best thing to do (it’s funny how sometimes we are blind to what God is saying to us). My roommate and friends on campus kept telling me about an internship in Africa that they felt like I should apply for. I love Africa and going to Madagascar in 2016 on Apostolic Youth Core literally changed my life but I kept telling them “yeah that looks cool, but I’m taking physics this summer”. Then I kept seeing posters about it, emails about it and like literally not a day went by that someone didn’t mention it to me.
But, not surprisingly I didn’t plan to apply-still even after all of that. Literally, after God put the answer right in front of my face, I was still walking around oblivious to the fact that God was calling me back to Africa. SIDE NOTE: If you didn’t already know I’m called to missions, I feel a calling to Africa and China specifically. (if you look at my life you’ll see how crazy things happened to make China evident in my everyday life, LITERALLY, IT IS INSANE Y’ALL!) I was called when I was just 13 years old but I didn’t surrender to the call until I was 17 years old. It was my junior/senior year of high school that I really dedicated my life to God and I was reminded of his plans for my life. It was in that time that I started my journey with Modest Fashion, 1998miss.com, Sewanee and allowing God’s will to be the ONLY plan for my life. CUE THE SONG: MY LIFE IS NOT MY OWN…TO YOU I BELONG…
That really is another long story and honestly, the most amazing story of my life. I have come on an amazing journey, where, I literally have seen God do MIRACLES THAT WOULD BLOW YOUR MIND. It’s my testimony and I’m proud of it.
You see my life isn’t perfect, and it’s not always as Instagram may make it seem. I’m blessed but not because I come from a super wealthy family, have connections, or am super smart. I am blessed because my father is Jesus and he has given me EVERY SINGLE THING I HAVE. He has opened every door in my life, he got me into Sewanee, he got me to Madagascar and China, my car, my blog, being invited to attend Dubai Modest Fashion Week-LITERALLY THAT ISN’T EVEN THE HALF OF IT. I AM NOTHING WITHOUT JESUS.
But we will save that for another time because it’s a very long story and I want to give it the attention it deserves.
So anyways back to Uganda. I wasn’t seeing the signs and then my mom came to campus…during her visit she saw the poster about this internship 3 times and said: “Alexa, I think you should go to this information session about this internship”. I said back “Mom, I’m going to take physics this summer and I would never get that internship it’s competitive”. She again said, “Alexa, you should go”.
I argued with her a little more, it’s funny how we do that… MOM’S ALWAYS KNOW BEST. Eventually, I agreed that I would go to the information session about the internship.
Fast Forward: It was a busy day at school and I had to change my hours at work to go to the information session. I was tired and hungry but off to the information session I went. I was late, I walked in super awkward and found a seat at the door. I was surprised to see SO many kids in the room. I started to feel like…great, look there’s so and so, and wow I didn’t know she was going to apply, and yeah I’m def not going to get this internship.
But the more I listened, the more I felt like I should go to Uganda. So I left the internship session feeling like I knew I was supposed to apply but discouraged because I thought I would never get the opportunity to go. (Again, why wasn’t I trusting God this early in the game).
Fast forward again: I had been praying about Uganda and about, which, one of the Uganda internships I should apply for. It was time to apply and it was a busy Friday night in Sewanee. I said at my desk after an extremely long day and began to look at the application, which, was due at midnight. I decided I would apply to all three and keep my options open but as I worked on my application I realized how much effort it was to apply. I began to understand that I was only going to have time to apply to one of the programs and that I really needed to devote my time to that one. It was the first application I started working on so I put all of my energy in that one…the one at Hope Institute. It wasn’t even the one that was my top choice but I had already started it. Hours passed and I barely made the deadline to turn it in… When I pressed submit I prayed that God would be with my application because I was starting to really feel the call to go back to Africa.
A few days passed and I got an email from Dr. Amy Patterson saying: “We would like to offer you an interview for this position in Uganda this summer, please sign up for a time below”. I was like MIRANDA I GOT AN INTERVIEW!!!! I was so stinking excited but also so nervous now because it was getting real. I pondered over the scheduled times and selected the only time slot that would work with my schedule and I prayed that God would be my help in the process.
Interview day came and even though in the past I have always been strong at interviews I never seemed to get the things I applied for after the interview phase in Sewanee, so I was nervous. (Yep, I have had many failures…especially here) I selected my green skirt society dress and said okay God if this is not your will I DON’T WANT IT! It calmed my nerves and I went to the interview. It was really and truly how I felt because I literally KNOW after 21 years of life that God’s plans are always greater.
I met Amy Patterson and Asiedu-Acquah for the interview. They asked me a series of questions and I answered with my beaming smile knowing God would work it out if it was his will! (I WAS SUPER NERVOUS ON THE INSIDE) Although, my favorite moment from the interview was when I was asked “Alexa, what do you do when you are feeling down or homesick because you’ll be in Africa for a long time if you get selected for this internship”, I replied honestly and very quickly with “I listen to Gospel music and sing because it always helps me to feel God. It helps me to get positive and know that I’m going to be okay whereever I am, whatever I’m going through”. Then I kind of laughed because I realized how funny that might make me seem but it was the truth!!
Both of my interviewers smiled back at me saying “they would love you in Kampala and want to bring to church”. My hopes got up and I realized just how badly I wanted to be there, how badly I wanted the internship and how much God had planned for the summer and that I was limiting myself with physics and staying home.
A week or so passed and I got another email from Dr. Patterson, I was about to open it preparing myself that it was a rejection email and that I did my best (plus that it must not be God’s will). I opened it and OH MY LORD, IT WAS THE EXACT OPPOSITE!!! I HAD LANDED THE INTERNSHIP IN KAMPALA CITY, UGANDA!!! JESUS WAS FAITHFUL. HE WAS WITH ME. HE WENT BEFORE ME. IT WAS HIS WILL FOR ME TO GO BACK TO AFRICA.
A FEW WEEKS LATER I GOT ANOTHER EMAIL THAT MY FUNDING PROPOSAL FOR THE INTERNSHIP HAD BEEN SELECTED (that was another 20+ hours I spent writing, editing and working on…the proposal for funding to go to Kampala City. I literally stayed up until 6AM with NO SLEEP to finish the funding proposal and then went to class at 8AM) AND THEY WERE GOING TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE COSTS OF GOING TO UGANDA! IT WAS LITERALLY A MIRACLE FROM JESUS!
It’s important to see the destination is not always easy to get to. I’m just keeping it real over here.
So while all of my costs are not covered God has already started providing for my journey back to Africa, the place that I left a piece of my heart in so long ago! I’m excited and I have faith that God will be with me every step of the way!
OH AND SIDE NOTE: WHEN I WAS HOME ON SPRING BREAK, BIG MIKE CAME TO MY HOME CHURCH TO TALK ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE IN AFRICA. LET ME BE MORE SPECIFIC IN UGANDA. LET ME BE EVEN MORE SPECIFIC IN KAMPALA CITY, UGANDA. LET ME BREAK IT DOWN FURTHER. HE LITERALLY CAME THE ONLY SUNDAY I WAS BACK IN ARKANSAS.
SO IT IS MY PRAYER AND HOPE THAT WHILE I AM WORKING AT HOPE INSTITUTE I WILL BE ABLE TO INTERACT WITH THE MISSIONS WORK ALREADY GOING ON IN KAMPALA CITY.
So while that may seem like the long version it is actually the shortened version. There is so much more to it but I’ll leave it at that.
OH AND P.S. LOOK AT GOD. HIS WILL. HIS BILL.
Please join me in praying for my internship, travels, fundraising and the amazing journey that will be Kampala City, Uganda.
DUBAI STUFF COMING SOON. Sorry school is SO BUSY!
Alexa Sue-Anne Dudley