I have learned to be very thankful for the sense of humor God has given me - especially since I live on the mission field. The events of the following story are completely true. Names have NOT been changed to protect the innocent. This is a story that will not only have you rolling with laughter, but will also send shivers up your spine! Without any further ado, I offer you the true story of...."When It Pays to Have a Sense of Humor!"
Life on the Mission Field is many things. One thing it is NOT: Dull and boring! We missionaries each face our own set of challenges, fashioned and given to us by our loving Heavenly Father. Recently the Lord chose to challenge me (and my family) in the area of ....well, let's just say "Pesky Critters" for now....
As some of you may know, about a month ago, we found a rather large lizard trapped in a corner of our bedroom. This wasn't one of your cute, ordinary, insurance commercial geckos! Nope, this was a bonafide lizard. He was kind of pretty, actually, but he had to go. Between the two of us, My Beloved and I humanely disposed of him, and it is to be supposed he has joined his own beloved and they are now living "happily ever after".... far away from my house!
Then one calm, quiet evening a few weeks ago, My Beloved and I were startled by SOMETHING scrambling about in the ceiling above our beds! Cue Mysterious Music, please. After that I started noticing odd things in my big kitchen cabinet. This cabinet is home to dishes, cups, pots and pans, and all our dry goods items. First I noticed some rice spilled on the shelf. Hmmm.... then it was a packet of dry soup mix. (Thankfully, my stash of Ranch Dressing Packets sent to us by a dear family friend was undisturbed!) One morning we found milk (we get the milk that comes in boxes and can be stored on a shelf) spilled in the cabinet. ???????? My Beloved requested rodent bait when I went to the market that week. In the meantime, we got plastic containers in which to store everything. We had our suspicions, but had seen nothing....After my trip to the market, My Beloved strategically placed the bait in a package of cookies. Did I mention that I had found some torn-open packages? My poor Beloved, I blamed him! I have since offered my most humble and heart-felt apology!
Monday (a week ago) night: We are eating supper and I go to the cabinet to get some cookies for the Little Persons - they had eaten all their supper. As I slid the doors open, I heard a thumping noise. Thinking it was the doors bumping together, I held them still....and still heard thumping. I calmly called My Beloved over to the cabinet. Just as I was explaining I heard thumping, I turned and started to reach for a container. As I did so, a gray pointed face popped up over the back side of the container! For a split second, everything stopped. Then I came to my senses, and screamed!!!! I ran screaming from the cabinet and just about knocked My Beloved flat in my haste to get away! My Beloved stood in shock as he watched the acrobat hop up onto the container, flip himself up to the next shelf, and disappear.....we closed and secured the cabinet for the night. Not sure where he came from or where he went, we called the "Handyman" to come in the morning to take a look!
Tuesday morning: We found the hole where the beggar had chewed his way into my cabinet, and patched it up. My Beloved set out more bait, and life went on....no more sign of the dirty rat!
Wednesday afternoon: Two of our Deaf came for our Wednesday service. Thinking about it now, I don't know why I did it, but I put Chula in our laundry area. After a few minutes, I thought better of leaving her back there.....I had clothes hanging on the line, and we are still teaching her not to bite and chew on everything. When I went to get her, I found something that had been chewed up by my precious puppy! I was speaking rather unkindly to her on the subject as I opened the door to her "room" and deposited her onto her own blanket. The last thing I remember saying was, "There! If you want something to chew on, chew on your own towel!" As I looked down at the towel, my eyes caught sight of something bunched up in the corner where the door closes. I bent slightly for a closer look, wondering what that wad of fuzz could be. (I am SO thankful now, I didn't try to just pick it up or kick it!) When I bent over, I suddenly realized that it wasn't "fuzz" that I was looking at - the eyeballs staring up at me was a dead give-away! Once again I started screaming!!! When I screamed, the rat moved - toward me, then away from me! I slammed the door and the last thing I saw was the rat's tail sticking out under the door! In my panic, I didn't even think about bolting the door so it couldn't come in - I just ran pell-mell through the house, screaming like a mad woman back to My Beloved, who was on the patio! I tried to explain in voice and signs what had just happened! Suddenly, I realized that Chula had followed me back through the house - the door wasn't latched!! Where was the rat?!?!?! My Beloved and the Deaf man went to see. Thankfully, the rat was cowering in a different corner of the back porch! My Beloved tossed some more cookies and bait out to it, and a day or so later, we realized the culprit had permanently expired! Has there ever been a more thankful missionary wife? In the middle of all the excitement, we had 4 more Deaf show up for our Wednesday service, giving us a total of 6 Deaf!
While I will admit I was far from pleased about having a "marauder" in my house, I can only imagine how hilarious it must have been to see me - both times - screaming and running through the house like a crazy woman! Truly it pays great dividends to have a sense of humor - especially when God asks to you serve Him on foreign soil!