Beast of Burden

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I am a light sleeper.  Ridiculously so.  Painfully so.  At times, to the detriment of my family so.  What does that look like on the mission field?  Well, let me describe it to ya.  Close your eyes and put yourself in my pyjamas…

After watching our nightly tv show together, Daniel and I roll over in opposite directions and say goodnight.  My exhausted husband quickly (like within 20 seconds) starts snoring.  I sigh and check to make sure my puny solar powered fan is on high (for the 10th time), making as much noise as possible to drown out the snores.  No offense hun, but don’t sleep on your back.  Your killing me! 

I begin praying for whatever and whoever comes to mind until I nod off.  Suddenly I wake myself up with a Mr. Miagi-like slap to the foot.  Mosquito.  (It’s rainy season and time to put the nets up.  But…it’s so much cooler without them.)  Grr!!  I try to close my eyes again, but it’s futile.  The predator in me has been awakened and it will not sleep until I’ve found that disease-carrying, pain-in-the-tush and smear my blood all over my bedroom wall.  (Can you feel the tension?!)  This is no joke people.  Sometimes it takes me 30 minutes in the middle of the night with my phone flashlight to hunt down this sucker (pun intended).  And my swollen morning eyes can testify to the fact that some nights, he’s not a “Lone Ranger” on his O neg- 7/11 run. 

Having successfully murdered all the mosquitos I can find or having given up the honorable conquest, I attempt to fall asleep yet again.  This time, it’s usually around 3 to 4 am and I’m WORN OUT!  I decide that it’s better to pull a sheet over me and sweat than to be awakened to mosquitos munching on me.  I make a mental note that I should remind Daniel, yet again, that we need to find a way to put a net up.  Then I drift off to Lala Land, trying to put the past ordeal behind me.  

Just when the Sandman has hypnotized me, I literally jump out of my skin.  For real.  Like, heart attack style.  Remember those old cartoons where the cat freaks out and digs his claws into the ceiling, upside down, hair on end?  Yeah…that’s me when I’m awakened to the sound of a DONKEY braying at the top of his poor lungs right (I mean right) outside my bedroom window.  Bless his heart.  What kind of message does he need to communicate at 4 am?!?!  Seriously, tone it down!  Yeah, I know…it’s mating season.  Get a room!  Geez Louise.  That’s it.  I’m mad now.  There’s no rolling over and shaking this one off.  Uh-uh.  I get up and scream at this beast as if he’s gonna apologize and take my advice.  I’ve. completely. lost. it. 

Now I HAVE to wind down.  I walk to the kitchen and drink a glass of water.  I head back to my bedroom and take out my phone flashlight and do a quick mosquito sweep of the bedroom.  I lie back down again, shake my husband to quieten his snoring a bit, and I begin to pray again.  I may or may not pray that the sheep I’m counting chase the donkeys away from my windows 😉

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Drifting back to the irritating donkey again…I begin to feel sorry for this beast of burden.  He has to carry so many loads for his owners, many times way over his carrying capacity.  Unfortunately for him, there are no weight limit laws working in his favor.  Wood, mud bricks, sacs of corn, millet, and rice, etc.  But many times I see him pulling smiling children coming back from working in the fields.  These kiddos who often aren’t privileged enough to go to school.  My anger begins to subside as I pray:  God, may they hear of your love, somehow.  May they find their way into our courtyard and hear about Your Son, Jesus.  These kiddos are responsible for so much at such a young age.  They cook and take food out to their parents in the fields.  Parents…God, may their parents experience Your love so they can learn how to love their kids.  Most folks around here rely on a good harvest to feed their families.  Lord, bless their fields.  May they harvest enough to feed their families this year.  May the believers be good testimonies in the way they do business so Your name will be glorified.  Thank you Lord my friend XXX who we helped start a business.  Bless it Lord and may they disciple many who come to hang out at their store.  Send those who are ready to hear about You.  Thank you for friends.  Bless my friends.  Thank you for my family.  Thank you for my husband…even when he’s snoring.  Thank you for peace.  Your yoke is easy and your burden is light.  Burden…heavy…beast of burden…donkey, please be quiet and go to sleep.  You have another hard day of  work ahead of you tomorrow.  Goodnight. 

What?!  6:30 am already?!  Help me Lord!