God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go … You have no idea what your next move shall be, but God has the next 200 million moves planned out.
— Mark Batterson
The tickets have been purchased, the room has been booked, the schedule (loosely) orchestrated, and all of the clothes are packed. One seven-hour flight has been completed, and about six hours remain on the final leg. Uganda, here I come.
For the last month or so, I’ve frequently been asked if I was nervous for my trip to Uganda, and my response has been, “Not at all.” I have been so ready to walk onto the plane and experience all that Uganda has for me. Save a few days in early May, I’ve not once had a doubt or fear about this trip. I’ve just been ready to get it started!
Now, here I am, sitting on the plane that will carry me to the Pearl of Africa and guess what? I am still SO ready.
Packed up and headed for the Denver Airport to begin my journey to Uganda!
Or so I think. I truly don’t know that any amount of Bible study, prayer, advice from previous Noble-Watoto fellows, or any number of Google searches on Ugandan culture, weather and exchange rates could prepare a person to fly halfway across the world and live in a third-world country for two months, let alone try to do something worthy while there. I think this is a prime example of the “learning by doing” model they push in American classrooms. I’m definitely doing it, so here’s to hoping I learn something along the way.
It is surreal to sit here and know that my world is about to be turned upside down in less than 24 hours; that I’m going to witness things I’ve literally only seen on TV, things I never would’ve imagined seeing for myself. Knowing you are going to confront realities that will break your heart and mold you as a person yet leave you full of hope and inspiration is hard to wrap your head around. Again, you have to ask, how can I be ready for this?
This book was a parting gift and has been so appropriate in attempting to prepare for my trip.
I’m currently reading a book by Mark Batterson titled In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. It’s focused on chasing opportunities and thriving in them, and it is inspired by a passage of scripture in 2 Samuel 23:20-21. This passage describes a warrior, Benaiah, and mentions a time when he chased a lion into a pit and, despite the snowy ground, managed to kill it. I’m only four chapters in, but this book could not have been a more perfect gift for this trip.
The book says a lot of great things, and I haven’t even finished it yet. It’s full of highlight marks and penned in comments, I promise. But in terms of preparing for the amazing and difficult things I’m about to experience, the book had a few simple sentences to help me out:
“God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go … You have no idea what your next move shall be, but God has the next 200 million moves planned out.”
No matter how ready I think I am for this trip, God is even more prepared and even more excited. That fact alone fills me with such happiness because, if you can’t tell, I am so beyond excited. But yet, God is even more excited … I’ve known since the beginning that he was greatly involved in granting me this opportunity, but the validation in that single sentence gives me another level of peace.
That second sentence is also rather comforting. How do I adequately prepare? Obviously, I don’t know. If I did, I probably would’ve started six months ago when this idea first came to the drawing board. Regardless of that though, God knows. God knows what I needed to prepare for this trip, and I feel that he’s been preparing me for much longer than the last six months. If he’s 200 million moves ahead of me, I think it’s fair to guess that he saw this one coming a while ago.
Prepared or not, I’m ready to see what Uganda and God have in store for me these next two months. I’m so thankful for all who have been a part in the planning and technical stages of this trip. Now is the time to get to work and see where God takes us!
Alexa Major is a 2017 MIAP-Noble Fellow serving in agricultural development roles in Uganda. Major is from Fowler, Colorado, and is a student in the Master of International Agriculture Program at Oklahoma State University, where she focuses on business and rural development. This fellowship is sponsored in part by the Noble Research Institute.