“I will lay my head down in peace, because you Oh Lord are the one who keeps me safe.” Psalm 8:11 The verse I had prayed over us last night came to my mind. It is one thing to know God’s word and it is another to believe it. The state at which I woke up in, told me that I had not believed it. I moved to open wider the window shutter to see outside better. I could begin to make a distinction of the outline of the mountain as dawn was beginning to break. The outline was up close like someone had zoomed in on it with their camera. In Sampedrana, we were in the mountains rather than looking at them from a distance like in Teguc. It was tranquil and picturesque. Quite the opposite of the way I felt.
Last night as we had tried to get ready for bed and settle in for the evening to the light of our flashlights the attitudes of steel we had up to this point melted away with each spider spotting and killing! Every sheet, mattress & wall was investigated to the best of our abilities to somehow create a safe place to rest. It was decided to leave the shutters open for the breeze because the screen less windows were only two openings compared to the multiple places where creepy crawly bugs and critters could find their way into our “rustic” accommodations.
I prayed a prayer for all of us and then sleep became something we just wanted to get done and over with. There were no pieces of plywood to keep the mattresses on the bunks. I curled myself into the tightest ball possible between the board under my shoulders and the board under my hip. It was amazing that I didn’t sink through to the floor at some point during the night. I think as I drifted off to sleep, that I thought if I could make myself as small as possible in my bed that the creepy crawlies would somehow creep and crawl somewhere else.
Just as I was about to drift off to sleep, I was jolted awake by the light of a flashlight and the creek of the bathroom door that could compete with any haunted house, then the squeal let out by Tammy Burns when her flashlight beams landed on the beady eyes of the rat/mouse inside the bathroom. Even if my nerves settled down enough to find rest, there was also the smells of dust mold and mildew with an occasional waft of the bathroom floating by so much so that I tried to fall asleep with a lemon we had picked earlier that day planted by my nose. Sleep, who needs sleep, it was more of doze on and off. Was that my hair touching my face or….?
I stop my mad journaling for a moment to take in my circumstances and less than appealing accommodations. I see all my sister companions sleeping, silent and still including my daughter. I think about the word safe. I didn’t feel safe last night because I was totally out of my comfort zone, but we were safe.
There were no bombs going off or crazy military to storm in on us. There were no shady characters to come in on us in the middle of the night to rape us or steal from us like many places in the world. The majority of the people we visited yesterday had the same type of windows and doors with no screens. They slept on a mattress on the floor like Natalie and Kylie did. The mattresses, pillows and blankets we have are luxurious compared to thousands of homeless all over the world and certainly we were safer.
Safe – We were soooo safe last night. I pray that my feelings will match the word tonight and I pray for any of my sisters who feel the same that we will live in belief that, “I will lay my head down in peace, because you Oh Lord are the one who keeps me safe.” Psalm 8:11
(later that day)
We piled into the back of the trucks, this time with shovels, pick axes, bags, coils of bobbed wire, and irrigation piping. We definitely looked like migrant workers being carried off to the fields.
They also needed the fence to be repaired with new fence poles cut from trees, fence pole holes dug and the bobbed wire fence attached. This fencing would help keep neighboring cows and horses out of the field. Apparently new coffee plants are a treat for livestock. (Kylie hauling a fence post)
Finally, they needed 1000 little bags prepared for new coffee plant seedlings. This is where I spent the day. The process began up the mountainside where good dirt was. With a pick axe the dirt was loosened. Once a pile of dirt began to emerge, someone else took a shovel and tossed the rough dirt through a large screen. This helped to further separate large clumps from the finer richer soil. Then someone else shoveled 10 shovels full of dirt plus one handful of fertilizer into a large feed sack type bags.
The bags full of dirt were just under the point of weighing too much to carry. Then like pack mules we heaved a bag of dirt on to our back and carried it down to the baggers, dumped the dirt into a pile and returned for more. The baggers sat around the pile of dirt and scooped the dirt into little black bags. These bags were to be the future containers for coffee plant seedlings.
When we broke for lunch, the jobs were evaluated. We were about halfway done with the bags, so after lunch we needed to finish the job. The fencing was almost done and the fence workers would need to move over to help the trench diggers. The trench diggers had a big disappointment as they had gotten really far, but the trench was not deep enough. Also they discovered that the boulders they had dug around actually needed to be moved to keep the line as straight as possible. They were very discouraged.
After lunch we returned to our daunting tasks in hopes they would be able to be completed before supper. Dirty sweaty and tired we got back at it. Somehow some way we completed each task. Not only was everything completed, we were all done by 3:30. How could that be? That morning we had worked from 8:30 to 12. That afternoon we worked from 1 to 3:30.
The rough night’s sleep did not impede our efforts. The issues of safe seem like a distant memory.
Thankful to God for:
We did make it through the night with no spider bites or real incidents.
Oscar, the missionary and overseer, said that we did the equivalent of TWO month’s work for them today! Praise you Jesus for giving us the perseverance and stamina to get it all done. (I don’t drink coffee, but all the coffee drinkers said they would never complain again on how much it cost for coffee after experiencing the hard work that goes into growing coffee. And we only saw one portion of the process today!)
I am thanking You in advance for the energy and focus You will give us to make it through the service tonight.