Have I mentioned how absolutely afraid I was of crickets? I still remember the very first time we drove into this town 6 years ago. Daniel was surveying the area as He felt the Lord leading him to work somewhere in this state. We pulled into a gas station late one night; there was a pay phone there and Daniel needed to make a call. I had been waiting to stop for the past couple hours as I was pregnant with Josiah and needing to use the restroom.
I remember driving up to the payphone and not being able to see the sidewalk. It was covered with crickets. Daniel got out and pointed over the the restroom; I checked to make sure all the windows were closed tight and stayed right in my seat. I remember Daniel holding his collar closed as he talked so the crickets that were jumping all over him wouldn't go down his shirt.
We were pulling our travel trailer at the time and found a place to park for the night. The childrn and I were inside getting ready for bed and Daniel was outside working on something, when a cricket...just 1 cricket...jumped into the trailer. I jumped just about as quickly onto the bed and begged Timothy to get it outside!
That night I told Daniel I didn't care where we ended up as long as we didn't end up in THIS town. I would NEVER be able to live here!
So here we are...while I cannot say I have any fondness for the hundreds of black, jumping creatures that cover my walls and floors, make themselves cozy in my drawers and cupboards, are the first ones to greet me every morning in the shower, and cause me to shake out EVERYTHING first...from my clothes, towels, shoes to even my Bible, I also no longer panic if one jumps near me. In fact, they daily jump ON me. I still shudder at times and rapidly brush them off...and I tell the children that whenever anything is crawling on my back and they see it, they most certainly may quickly remove it, but to PLEASE not tell me what it is or what they are doing until AFTER they are done! :)
But as these insects arrive and multiply by the thousands after the rains each year, they serve to remind me of how the Lord has given me the grace I need in whatever and whereever he has called me...in big things and little things too.
While I have wanted to go to the mission field ever since I was 7 years old, I sort of had a romantic idea of how it would be. I imagined myself sleeping under a grass hut, holding and feeding sweet, dark skinned, skinny children while telling them how much Jesus loved them and seeing them smile as they came to know the Savior...and everyone lived happily ever after.
I never thought about bugs, sickness, lonliness, hard hearts, being exhausted, and I certainly did not think one bit about crickets.
The mission field has not been at all really what I imagined it to be. I never imagined how the Lord would break me, how my faith would be tried and found so lacking, how hard it would be, how once I got here, for a time, I just wanted to go back home.
Nor did I imagine how He would take my weak, broken self and give me so much grace; how as I cast myself again and again on Him and seek Him like I never had before, He would be known like I'd never known him (Deut. 4:29); how He would increase my faith; how He would take my deepest sorrows and give me peace and joy.
And while we so far haven't seen hundreds come to the Savior, we have seen a little church spring up here in Cd. Insurgentes. We've seen these new believers grow and even teach me things!
As I go to bed each night listening to the chirps of many, many crickets, I am truly reminded of just how much God loves me.