Mice, Lice and Parasites - OH MY!!

Lions, Tigers 
and Bears 
OH MY!!!

As Dorothy and her faithful companions ventured through the woods they felt afraid; afraid of the known, but perhaps more afraid of the unknown.

What would they encounter 
and how would they protect themselves???

The same questions haunted us as we prepared to leave for our first mission post in the northeast region of Peru.  

We envisioned life in the Amazon jungle to include daily encounters with large, venomous snakes...

...and cats the size of grown men hoping to enjoy our children for a snack before dinner.  Little did we know that what awaited us were only mice, lice, cockroaches and parasites.

Mice, Lice and Parasites
OH MY!!!!

Before entering missions I felt entitled to live without mice and cockroaches.  I knew that they existed in every community on the planet, but I just didn't want them living close to me.  The thought of sharing my space with them was horrifying; so, I took all the "necessary precautions" to ensure a pest-free life.   

A couple weeks ago I discovered a mouse in our bedroom.  He had made a cute little nest behind the bamboo shelf where we put our clothes.  I scooped him up and let him go outside.  A few days later he returned "home" to settle back into his daily routine.  That same week I opened a box that we keep under the sink and found cockroaches.  Before, I would have scrambled to get rid of the nasty bugs as quickly as possible, but this time I simply laughed, noted one's large size and thought about how much our missionary friend's son would like to have him as a pet.  

After warming up to the idea of living with mice and cockroaches the Lord stretched us a bit more.  He blessed us with lice.

Like Dorothy, who was deathly afraid of lions before meeting one, I abhorred the thought of having lice.  Our family never had lice while living in the States, but it seemed like the worst thing ever.

After realizing that we had a situation on our hands we went directly to our Peruvian friends and asked for help.  They confirmed our suspicion, invited us into their home, told us to sit down and began picking through our hair.  We were taught how to remove each individual bug and kill them by "popping" them on the arm of the chair.

As they helped us find the tiny creatures they assured us that having lice is no big deal.  In fact, they said, most people have at least a little bit.  After our informal training session, we were qualified to work on each other.  Over the next several days we spent hours (and hours) picking through each other's hair to find our unwelcomed guests and "pop" them.
When we were finally able to declare a lice-free house we all agreed that it really wasn't a big deal.  In fact, we felt thankful to be able to better understand those with which we live.  Ever since we arrived here in Peru we've seen people sitting outside their homes on stools picking through each other's hair. We never understood what this was all about, but now we do.

As if mice, lice and cockroaches aren't enough, the Lord has blessed us with parasites as well. Before, we sympathized with our friends and neighbors who experienced extreme fatigue and abdominal pain after eating.  Now, we can empathize with them.  Praise God we have the medicine we need and will start our treatments tomorrow.

Before we came into missions we were like Dorothy who wondered what she would encounter and how she would protect herself.  By the grace of God, we no longer worry about what we might encounter and have full confidence that Our Lord will protect us.  Truly, we thank Him for giving us the experiences we need to better understand those He has called us to serve.  

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