Well, it’s been exactly 2 weeks since we arrived. But it feels longer because we’ve been learning so much. Adapting is learning. In the beginning, even something simple as cooking was difficult because everything about it was new. We had to get used to the utensils here, the sense of home, the perceived cleanliness, the wildlife, and the market foods. I cooked timidly because I wasn’t comfortable stepping in.
But I compare those first few days to today and I see how God helped us settle in. Our home feels like home! We received so much support from the Missionary and family. The wife made us many, many Korean meals as we first settled in. They took time out to take us to the markets to see other parts of the city. And knowing they are covering us in a foreign land is a comfort.
Today I’m making dinner for their family for the first time. Its kind of symbolic of being ready to give back after receiving and settling. I’m making a Kahl Kooksu bibim with cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, kimchi, and really good gochujang. On the side I’m frying up some kalbi with onions and garlic. For dessert we’ll have some Korean pastry that they gave us, with sweetened, iced terrere. It tastes a lot like a green tea frappucino. To our parents: we’re eating well!! Don’t worry! Today for lunch we ate bulgogi sam with boiled cabbage and rice. The food here is very good and natural.
We’re also being spiritually fed. We’ve both been reading the Bible and other spiritual resources about authority and prayer intercession. Recently I borrowed a book from the Pastor about the life of William Carey, an early missionary to India. Shin reports that his prayer life is about a 3/5. Mine has been lacking, although I prayed in desperation around 2am this morning when Shin woke up from itching. My prayer is always, “Lord! Please seal the pestilence in this house!”
The funny thing about the bugs is, Shin has had it a LOT worse than I have, even though we’ve both been using mosquito spray at night. Today I felt a strange certainty that it’s because I’ve been praying about it more since I was primarily concerned about it. Its not that I was only praying for myself…but…maybe inadvertently I was by not asking specifically for Shin to be protected.
It turns out not to have been all by mosquitos. Its a problem with our bed frame or the mattress. We’ve been getting hit by spiders, ants, fleas, and possibly bed bugs as well. So this morning we carried the futon mattress out to the grass and propped it over two chairs to let it air out and hopefully for the heat of the Paraguayan sun to drive out any critters. While we were propping it up on the chairs we both got attacked by medium sized red army ants.
We fumigated our room (again), closed the bedroom door and left the house for the last hour. Hopefully tonight it will be better. If not, we may have to get a new mattress. The sleeplessness now is tolerable because we can recover throughout the day, etc, but when school starts, and ministries start, that’s when those very little things can become a huge source of discontentment, stress, and just slowly wear out your morale. If the Lord chooses to allow us to endure those things, then we must accept it. But we’re praying that He will have compassion on us.