Sunday, March 28, 2010


For those who have not heard the latest hurdle we are facing, it is boils. A few weeks back Ellie had one, and so did two members of the Leonard family. We went to the lab and had them analyzed and it was determined to be MRSA staph boils. Poor Michelle has been fighting them forever, I think she has had seven. Ellie has had three now, and Kevin and I have had one. They are quite painful, sometimes bringing nausea along with all of the swelling and pressure. Kevin has one the size of a lemon.

Michelle found a pharmacy here that has the right kind of antibiotic to fight MRSA, so we are all on it right now. She has taught me the ways of vigorous hand washing with special hand cleaner. We have to rid ourselves of this, it will not just go away on its own.

Pastor Mike told us today that our familly is officially quarantined! He made an executive decision for our own good. Today we got our antibiotics to begin. They last for six days.

I woke this morning with great plans of disinfecting every inch of our house. I contemplated making the kids soak in bleach water, (just kidding). However, early this morning I woke to my backdoor and entire living room floor covered in ants. On Tuesday I found a whole nest of them in my laundry. 126 made it through the washing machine. I know, because I counted them as I pulled them off the clothes I was hanging on the line. Here we go again, sigh. Our spray ran out a couple of days ago, so I had no ant killer. I have been killing ants all day, literally. Since we were out of spray I decided I would just vacuum them. They were coming in faster than I could get them up. It was crazy.

Now remember, everything in Belize bites. Letting them just come on in and getting comfortable was not an option. I poured salt across the stoop where they were coming in, (someone told me that might work), they crawled right over top of the salt. Then Ellie spilled something as I was vacuuming ants out of the kitchen (where they had decided to visit) I had ants, salt, and salt water to clean up. It wasn't even 8am. I knew then this was going to be a long day.

I finally decided to try hot sauce. So I poured hot sauce on the stoop...they didn't cross it. They did however come through the door frame, where the wood had separated from the concrete. Great. So I found the caulking gun. Couldn't be too hard to use right? Well, I figured it out, and I have globs of white stuff all around my door to prove my efforts. I'm hoping it will really "dry clear" like it says on the outside of the tube. I know this is hard to imagine, but I was vacuuming non-stop and it wasn't enough. I would stop long enough to take out the bagless container and have the boys run and empty it way in the back by the trash cans.

We went to town at one point to get the medicine for the boils, when we got home, the ants were all over again. Now though, I had to make dinner. Sigh. I never did get anything disinfected. No germ free house. No clean door knobs and MRSA free light switches. There were germs still lurking all around me, and ants as well!!

Michelle had told me earlier in the day of a visit her and Pastor Mike had made in a village. The woman had to walk 3 miles to get to the bus station to ride to work. She had no running water, no electric, but she was happy. Michelle told me her home was so peaceful. This lady cooked over a fire, and invited Michelle to come up so she could show her how to cook over a fire too. Michelle told me seeing her really put things into perspective for her.

I realized, she probably deals with ants too. I wonder what she does? I'm sure she sprays them, so did we and they just come back. I'm sure she doesn't have a vacuum with no electricity. So does she sweep them all the time? I was not joyful today killing ants all day long. I was annoyed that I couldn't get them to stay out. How come this woman had more joy than I did? We are probably in the same situation with the little invaders, and I have more power to rid my home of the nuisance than she does...yet my attitude was short, I was annoyed and frustrated, greatly lacking in any type of joy whatsoever. Perhaps God sent me the ants to show me how rotten my attitude really was, and how thankful I should be.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Send the Rain

Yesterday as I began my routine, we received word of an amazing answer to prayer. Some business group in California contacted my husband and told him they would be depositing money into our work account for a personal vehicle and a church vehicle. Up until this point we have been maxed out each Sunday with seating in the vehicles, sometimes making 3 trips to get everyone to the church. Everyone here uses public transportation, very few have vehicles. It seems each week there has been some issue with the bus as well. We all keep going forward, even if it means bringing 80 people to church by shuttling them all in a 12 passenger van. This was just huge to all of us here...WOW!! The most incredible thing to me was...we have no idea who these business people are.

Have you ever noticed when God does something "huge"...little nuisances that would normally steal our joy, or quickly frustrate us...well, they just don't have much power anymore. All day long I thought of how awesome my God is. I was very much in awe of His working in our lives, of His provision, and also His ways. They really are much much higher than our ways. Well, let me tell you about my day on Wednesday when we received the news.

About 9am our power went off. Now this does not happen often, but when it does you never know how long it will be off, and you are rarely prepared. I was about to start a load of wash, do the dishes, and start a cartoon for the kids. None of which happened. Then I got the call from Kevin saying, "You are not going to believe this e-mail I just opened!"

From that point on...
It didn't matter to me that I couldn't wash the clothes as I had planned because....
God was so real to me, there was no room to be frustrated.
I was not frustrated that things were not going according to my plan because....
God was so real to me, there was no room for frustration.

Then a couple of hours later, the water was shut off. It was only supposed to be for a couple of hours to repair a pipe, but ended up taking all day. So in order to wash the dishes and clean the kitchen I had to go to the rain barrel and fill up a bucket and haul it into the house. I then heated it up on the stove, poured it into the sink, then went to get some more water for rinsing.
God was so real to me, there was no room for frustration. I was so amazed that God had led a complete stranger to send us money for vehicles, I knew that He was in control! The God of the universe...HE WAS IN CONTROL!

Wasn't He always though? Really.

I thought of our rain barrel. God sent the rain long ago, and it has been there all along. Each day I see it, I pass it...I know it's there and I know it has water in it and yet I don't use it. I don't depend on it. After all, I have other sources for water...the rain barrel is only there if all other water sources fail.

God is always in control. Always. Period. No question. We know that. We hear it. We tell others...yet do we believe it ourselves? Do we trust that He is in control, do we depend on the unfailing truth, that God is in control? Or do we trust our other "sources" until they all fail...then we walk with head hung low to our rain barrel, just wondering and hoping that the rain is in the barrel. Do we go through life defeated and wondering if God is real. Is God really interested in our lives? Is He really there for us?

Yes He is. He's been there all along, He never left. Just like that rain barrel though, He's there, we just never stop to take the time to use Him, to trust Him, to believe that He is God.

I was thanking God yesterday that He sent the rain several weeks ago, knowing all along that the water He had sent would be used to wash my dishes when the pipes were being repaired. He sent the rain long ago. My friend, God is there for you. He knew long ago that you would need a Saviour, a Friend, a Provider, a Lover of your soul. He sent Jesus for you before you even knew you had a need. And there He is just waiting for you to finally need Him, to call upon Him, to trust Him.

Our God is so real, so mighty, so awesome...oh may we love and trust Him more.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I've wondered many times in the past several weeks, "If I COULD get online and blog...WHAT would I write and share?"

I've always thought of myself as a realist. I've never thought of myself as a pessimist, yet when I think of things to share, it tends to be what most would think of as negative. I always want to share what life is really like. What I am really thinking and struggling with. Areas that I desperately need to grow in. I want to share my weaknesses, my tainted sin. Why? I'm not sure.

Perhaps because I tire of reading things written in our age so full of fluff and flowery words, yet lacking in the realities of everyday grit and grime of life that we all live in. Do we not all need to know that we all struggle with ourselves? None of us have arrived or become "Mrs Beaver"...she doesn't exist.

I love it here in Belize. I am amazed everyday that we are here, and that God has placed us in this area of service. I love birds and nature...and I see beautiful plant life all around me, I discover new birds everyday. How wonderful that God, knowing what I enjoy, placed me here.

And yet...I struggle.

I struggle with not being annoyed...with my children being infested with lice twice in 3 weeks. It is a lot of work to do all of that wash and wash all of their heads, then pull out the nits and the eggs in a 24 hour period. Only to hear a mother explain to me that she knows when children have lice because when it gets hot..."the lice just fall out of their heads and you see them on their shoulders." (that is dandruff...lice do not just "fall out") Can I still love and hold these children unconditionally....knowing all the work that is ahead if we get lice another time? I am poorly lacking in my Christlikeness.

I love my house, I love where we live. It is a peaceful place with a large yard, beautiful scenery and it is quiet.

And yet I struggle.

I struggle with wanting my peaceful home to myself. When the neighbor kids come screaming and playing in our backyard, do I smile to myself that these children love playing with my children in our yard, or do I get frustrated that my peace has been interrupted? When they walk into my house to say hello, and play with our children's I accepting and loving or upset because they didn't even knock...they just walked right in?

Our church is growing...God is blessing this ministry each and every week. Many adults are coming, and the children love church too. Even though we have services in a tractor barn, completely opened and exposed to bugs, ants, flies, mosquito's etc...the people don't seem to even mind, so why should I? The spirit is great, the people are excited and so am I. The bugs really don't bother me much anymore...and yet I struggle.

Each week there is a new dilema. Sometimes the bus won't run. The brakes go out. The van window was shattered. Stealing was last week, when someone went to the barn and stole some chairs. Before it was a water container...there has also been diesel stolen from the bus. And yet God is blessing, so it is He that gives us joy to continue.

We've dealt with ant nests in our house. Scorpions and tarantulas. Lice. Ellie now has a staph boil. They are very contagious, and there isn't much in the way of medicine down here to treat them. Again, I am amazed at the goodness of my God to lead me here to be with another family, who just happens to have some medicine for staph boils. I really see that as God providing and loving us.

To me, I am excited to see God working each day. The way that God chooses to work each day in my life is up to Him. I am excited to just see that He IS working. If He chooses to show Himself to me by providing medicine for a boil, that I never even knew would come, well Praise the Lord...His hand is here. He may choose to show Himself by allowing a teenager to come to church...when her Dad said she couldn't for 3 months. It is an amazing thing to know that God is with you "right now" (Belizean saying).

And my struggles? They are real, and I am faced each day with disciplining my mind to think right. To love others. To be Christlike, and to please HIM with my life. Isn't that what we all struggle with?


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