Hello, my friends. It's been a bit since we last checked in! I'm offically in UGANDA!!!
I had a very long post all ready to post but I decided I would save it for another day. I wish to share it separately than my Uganda update because I choose to talk about some of the tough things I have experienced. I wish to address in that post, political profiling, social media, bullying, and negativity. Within that, I must share that this update is for my blog readers only the ones who choose to follow this very personal platform. That means if you do not know who I am as a person, my calling and my style of sharing please do not be negative about this post. I am not welcoming anything other than positivity. Many times in my life my kindness has been mistaken for weakness. I’m not weak.
I ONLY aim to spread love, positivity, and joy. I am not trying to do anything other than celebrate the beautiful things happening around me and the beautiful people I’m meeting here. I love Uganda and I want the many people who do not have the opportunity to travel to be able to live through my experience. Not everyone is called to missions, not everyone desires to travel to Uganda but they may wish to understand what my experience has been here.
Today my effort is to show that as my life is being impacted, while, here. I am learning so so so much and I love the staff and students at FOCAGIFO. They have taught me so many different things!! One of my favorite things to do is to visit with the students in fashion design!! They are so talented. Aside from that I’m learning about the youth in UGANDA in my everyday interactions with them. It’s amazing!!!
BUT I’m not out here trying to save the world! What I am trying to do is love this experience and share it will my followers. I fully believe that Jesus is the only savior. I am just his vessel.
Unfortunately due to a series of events I have to make this clear but most of you who know me already know all of this.
Upon arriving in Uganda I fell in love. I truly fell in love with Hope Institute and it’s students. It is a vocational training school doing amazing things. It focuses on helping students who have in some capacity been affected by HIV/AIDS an opportunity to learn vocational skills. It gives them an opportunity to succeed and escape the negative effects that come with HIV. The different departments in the school are: catering & hotel management, electrical engineering, mechanics, construction, early childhood education, hair & cosmetology, and fashion & design. The students are also learning other basic foundations such as business, life skills, community health, computer, leadership, etc. I am assisting in these courses as well as learning so much! I love helping in the leadership class & the health class! It’s where my passions lie!!! The students are 16-25 years old and we are really enjoying each others company! This is a huge blessing to be able to interact with youth my own age!! God is so good. It is also such a blessing that I am able to even be here this summer interning!
Fun stuff: The students have already braided my hair at least 100 times and it’s actual art. I appreciate the hard work that goes into braiding & I think it’s beautiful. The students and I also really enjoy worshiping together. This might be my favorite part because connecting through Christ is beautiful. I love that all the way in Uganda a love for Jesus remains constant and we are able to come together within our different cultures to just glorify God. As an apostolic Pentecostal my worship is similar to what I have experienced with the students! I have also really enjoyed eating local foods as well as enjoying the students from catering and hotel management cuisine. They are so talented at cooking!!! I have loved sharing starbursts, water packets, beef sticks and caramel candy with the students and staff. It’s fun to see if they enjoy them or not. They also love to share their favorite treats with me. It’s amazing that we are both learning about each other’s cultures together! One of my duties as an intern is to plan a celebration for the fourth of July and I am so excited. On the first day, we had a meeting where I learned that I would be selecting an American song to teach the students and planning a party. I love that we can celebrate America’s independence all the way in Uganda. It is amazing because Sewanee’s relationship with FOCAGIFO is very special. Every single summer Sewanee selects two interns to send to Uganda!!! It’s also special because it’s giving the students & the interns an opportunity to have a cross-cultural learning experience.
So in addition to having the time of my life making so many friends and learning so much about UGANDA… I am also seeing God do so many things. I feel I have become stronger as a Christian and as a future missionary. I have seen my calling be questioned. I have experienced working in a secular setting and a church environment. I am encouraged because I see without a shadow of a doubt this is my purpose. Regardless of what anyone may suggest about missions I am called. At 13 years old God told me & I ran from it until I was 17. Here I am at 21 not apologizing and not denying that it is where I am supposed to be. Big hearted me ready to GO where God desires. China & Africa he told me. I didn’t believe it but I’m 21 years old and I been both places. God is preparing me in the now. Regardless of the negative comments that comes from those who are against missions I stand firm knowing JESUS is the one who has the final say. He is the one I am going to trust & he is the one who called me. He is the only thing that matters so forgive me if I dismiss your negativity.
Finally, I am so thankful for all the things I take for granted in the United States. It would be beyond ridiculous for me to write this post without being honest about that. We are a blessed nation and I personally take so many things for granted. Living here in Uganda in beautiful Africa I have to recognize in myself that I can do better. I can be better & I can remember to thank Jesus for the little things.
I have seen the true beauty is in the people you call your friends. People are more valuable than materials could ever be. We are so consumed with stuff. The Bible does talk about this and sometimes we forget. No this doesn’t mean we should criticize every single person from the United States but it does mean we should look within ourselves. Remember God is the judge, he is just. 💛
Love others, Love Jesus. It’s the only way to be. Respect others. Not everyone was raised the same as you. Not everyone has the same education as you. Not everyone will agree with you. Get used to it.
PHOTOS FROM U G A N D A
PLEASE NOTE: All photos are mine and are being shared with special permission. Thank you for your concern!
For more frequent updates and photos follow me on Instagram @1998miss
Also, weekly posts are here to stay! God has opened the door for me to return to regular programming on the blog!!!
Alexa Sue-Anne Dudley