My grandkids and I love being together any time we can. It's always so special with us playing together or singing or learning a new skill - or their favorite, me reading them books. I think it must be the funny voices I use when telling a story - oh the laughing and the fun we have together! One day this week we got to spend some time playing. And Jake pulls out his Lego set of all kinds of little toys. So there are toys all over the floor and Gracie and I are helping him to set up his pirate camp.
When a little ant comes crawling out of the toys I think of all the different places these toys have been, must have proved to be the perfect hiding place for this little ant. He must have been playing hide and go seek in the toys and got separated from his friends when the toys came back inside. So they want to know why he was playing so far from home - and I told them I guess sometimes ants don't watch where they are playing and get lost. When suddenly Gracie pulls out a big plastic spider.
When I was 6 years old in Africa, one night after our cooling baths my brothers and I were setting with our mother on a small couch and she was reading the story of Pilgrims Progress to us. My father was spending the night in another mission so we were alone that night. It was dark and we only had a kerosene lantern to see by. I was thirsty and ask my mom to get me a drink. She told me to go get it by myself. I didn't want to go because it was dark, but I obeyed and went towards the back of our small mud packed house. I was bare footed and did not consider the dangers of a dark thatch roofed house with a bare floor. When I got to the end of the kitchen area I felt something furry under my foot. I screamed and ran back to my mom crying I stepped on something! This upset her and my brothers, who were 7, 5 and 4 years old at the time. She picked me up and looked at my foot - seeing nothing. But I refused to calm down and insisted that there was something on the floor and she needed to 'get it'.
So we all got up and she picked up the lantern and we walked towards the kitchen. We were all clinging to her skirt and scared. I am still crying. When we reached the place I said where it was - there on the floor was a black furry tarantula spider! Bigger than my foot and now my brothers start crying with me!
She hurried past it and put us all on the kitchen table. And she got the broom and went to send it into eternity. There was no way that ugly beast would be spending the night in our small house. Even though we all slept under mosquito netting tightly tucked in. So she gets the broom and jabs at it. The spider angered now, jumped on the broom! My mother screamed, dropped the broom and jumped on the table with us! Now she is afraid that it did bite me.
To my readers: In West Africa - these are poisonous spiders and to be respected. (one missionary had lost their baby by a tarantula spider bite - although I left this part out in telling my grandkids) having not tucked the mosquito netting in tight enough under the baby's crib.
So now we are all crying and praying at the top of our lungs, 'Save us Jesus!' And one of the native women heard us from her hut and came running. We pointed and she saw it - and smiled and got one of my father's boots from the bedroom and leaned over it and killed it. Suddenly all tension was gone and peace returned! We were saved! But she and the African woman had to carry each one of us back to the couch - we wouldn't walk past the dead creature.
Now looking back at that, my memory is so vivid of my mother's courage. She never blamed my dad for leaving her alone in the jungle with 4 little children, sometimes for many days at a time. She accepted her place and with strength faced her own battles day by day. Now my mother is deathly afraid of any bug - and still is. But that night we conqueror a dreaded foe and she quickly went and put all our shoes on and finished reading our chapter for the night. She never had to tell any of us to wear shoes after that!
I remember my childish heart saying, 'thank you God for not letting that spider bite my foot when I pushed him down on the floor with my foot.'
Jake and Gracie were spellbound and set never taking their eyes off of me the whole story. I told them God takes care of every need even when you are a little child.
Tell us another one MiMi! No..... it's enough for 2 little hearts to absorb right now. Jake was ready to conquer any foe and protect Gracie and I from any enemies around. We are back to playing now, but my childhood testimony is added to their memory banks yet again. Tiny hearts and minds but with giant faith actions....... prevail.