Bites in the Night

Culture shock is not pleasant.  When one first arrives in field they usually hum along fine for a few weeks and even months and THEN, wham oh, a sharp spike down, into culture shock.  Anything can throw someone into this state of despair.  It could be noise, isolation from familiar comforting things, cleanliness or more like the LACK thereof, food,sickness, personalities, language and more endless possibilities.  The good news for any foreigner is “usually” over time, those low spikes become less frequent and less severe.  However, culture shock still happens, even to very seasoned people.

I wouldn’t call us “very seasoned” yet.  Though we are weeks away from our 4 year anniversary of signing that “missionary” contract that would change our lives forever and hopefully impact others for Christ too.  You may feel like four years is a long time, but we feel that we are only now beginning to understand the culture in part and there are still layers of understanding to be learned.  Yet, thankfully, those culture shock moments are becoming fewer and fewer and less and less severe. 

And then last night happened.

I had fallen into a lovely deep sleep soon after 8:00 p.m.  Later, I awaken, groggily itching.  My leg, my thigh, my arm, my……  Tossing and turning.  Hoping that the fiery itching would just stop.  I scratch and doze.  Soon the itching has awoken me fully.  ANTS in my bed.  Rats!!!!  I mean, ANTS!!!!  I grope to the bathroom and inspect all my bites that have welted up in protesting reaction.  I quickly shine my cell phone into the bed and not seeing anymore little beasts I crawl back into bed.  Within minutes, another bite.   No. No. NO!!!!  I climb out of bed and turn the flash light on.  Its 1 a.m.  I’m on the tropical night hunt for ANTS.  Looking for a trail.  Looking for evidence of how and why they are in my bed.  Killing them all over the bed in random places.  No marching line.  No order.

I think about quietly leaving.  Darron is sleeping deeply.  But that wouldn’t be nice to leave my husband with ants in our bed.  I must kill them, for him.  I succeed in killing more ants AND waking up Darron.  We decide to change the sheets and get new blankets.  I put down a home concoction of ant poison around the bed posts (sugar, Borax and boric acid).  I slide back into bed snuggled against Darron, randomly scratching at all kinds of bites that I now imagine.  He mentions, slightly impatient with me, a need for a vacation (that is a husband’s way of putting it nicely that his wife is having a culture shock moment).

We drift off to sleep.

By 5 a.m. I awaken to a new dawn and more ants in our bed.

We discover that the ants are in our ceiling fan, dropping off by spinning gravity force.  Thus the reason for random placement and my home spun poison not working.

Nothing that some awful smelling spray won’t take care of.  Along with a broom and a washing machine.  And yes, perhaps a furlough to America in a few weeks is good timing. : )

Please pray for us as we crash through the next two weeks of school.  Darron has a full week trip away and a mind spinning list of details that must be taken care of before departure.  Thankfully Jacob is 80% better, and we so appreciate all of you who prayed for him.  I am trying to wrap my brain around possibly 30+ people arriving 5 days later to Papua, Indonesia upon our return.  Along with the responsibility of hosting and feeding them.  While this is very exciting and we are thrilled to be hosting short term missions, it is also somewhat overwhelming to plan and prepare to feed that many people.  Especially being that 8 days of feeding them will be in remote locations.  Also remember that I can’t go to the grocery store and by anything pre made.  So I won’t just be brewing up ant poison for my guests comfort but also some comforting foods……because we wouldn’t want them to get bitten in the night or culture shock.


We would love to see you while we are on furlough.  Please message us on FB and also we will be at the GC session.  Hope to connect with many of you.


  1. I seem to be having some of those culture shock moments more and more recently - and we have been here 8 years now! ;-) I have found a word for it. They call it culture fatigue. :-) I am sure your time back home helped you get ready for your next round of ants or rats or whatever it may be! ;-)


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