Squats…..I dislike them.  Our workout instructor loves to have us do them. “”Go lower than ninety degrees,” she often encouragingly shouts.  But it is not these kind of squats that I want to talk with you about.  Nor is it squat potties.  Though this is definitely the country of them.  They have there positive and negative features.  The positive being, great posture for complete elimination.  Was that clean and clear enough?  haha.  The negative being, it’s hard to leave the squat pot room without wet feet and unclean hands.
The squat I want to chat about is really a bit more plural than just one squat.  It is squatters.  People moving into abandoned or unused property and claiming it as there own.  Our ”new” neighbors of about two months are squatting.  The home they are squatting in is one of the original buildings on this property. Approximately 50 years old and in disrepair.  Their “home” sits facing our master bedroom.  So late at night and early in the morning we hear the high pitch screams of little Dora.  After a while this sound has become normal, as normal as the sound of the mosque calling people to prayer five times a day and as normal as all the humming, clicking, and chirping of tropical creation. 
Somehow our squatter family has hooked up electricity and found a source of water through a hose that runs all day and all night.  The squatters are made up of a mother, father and little Dora.  Also a twenty one year old male and his new fourteen year old wife.  They are all from the same village.  Some are awaiting flights back to their village.  Others are awaiting tests for schooling.  These tests have no dates.  Just the word that they should happen “sometime in March”.  Which messes with our Western, know the dates for the next year of exams, minds.  The family doesn’t want to work.  The young couple do.  Diligently every day they work cutting out jungle chapels for future building.  They are also eager to cultivate many trees for future sale.
Earlier this week we had guests visiting for lunch. Our male retriever loves it when guests come and capitalizes on the fact that this would be a great time to escape and go hunting for chickens or other innocent victims.  This day was no different.  Unfortunately within five minutes of his escape, he had killed Dora’s beloved kitten.  We were unaware until the next morning when the parents told us that their little girl was not to be consoled.  Gratefully, another kitten was found and Dora accepted it.  She is seen putting it in a native bag and toting it around, the kitty purring.  20170207_105915
          One day this week I became aware that I had not noticed Dora's usual high squeel noises.  Looking over into their yard, it seemed empty and abandoned again.  I began to wonder if room had opened up on the plane for them and if they had left.  Had I loved them enough?  Or had I ignored them too much?  I didn't even say Good bye......   Several hours later, I heard the familiar Dora sound.  Relief washed over me.  The squaters were still squating, they hadn't left me yet.

It is quite a dilemma to know how kind and how warm we should be to people who are squatting.  Life here is full of situations that we are not one hundred percent sure of how to act and react too.  Often we are praying for wisdom.  We often want to respond from our own culture and yet we are in this culture.  As always we covet your prayers, as the longer we are here the deeper beyond ninety we are learning to squat.


  1. Oh how well we understand squatters. We have had squatters on our SOH property the entire time we have been here, and have always treated them respect, but also calling them to a higher standard. God doesn't expect us to "sit" on other people's property.... but rather to work with our hands to find a way to provide for our families. Thankfully our squatter story is coming to an end. We only have 5 families left out of 19, and most of them will be going at the end of this month. A huge answer to prayer, and one that most people said would never be possible! But with God, all things are possible! And hard work on Carl's side!!! Love to you, my friend and lots of prayers your way!


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