October 22, 2009

Power to Tread on Snakes and Scorpions

(DISCLAIMER TO OUR MOTHERS/CAMILLE AND CAROLINE'S GRANDMOTHERS: READ THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK...) You may remember that we're in Phase I of opening the youth center in the large room downstairs, which means that we're inviting young folks over each weekend, or anytime there's a big soccer game on tv. While we're getting the premises ready and doing the work on the actual building, we wanted to acquaint people with us and the place, and get them comfortable with visiting. This past weekend Phase I was in full-swing.

We had about 20 people over, in the front room and spilling over onto the front porch. The house across the street from us puts a tiny tv in its doorway every weekend and sells alcohol to the men from the community who gather there. There's always a crowd. Well, some of the guys on OUR front porch were taking turns with Ken's guitar, and before long, we had a mini-concert going on. Several of the men across the street gathered in front of our house, and a few neighbors came on over to hear the acoustic praise and worship that lasted several hours.

During this time, three children were sitting on the grass across the road from our house. We'd invited them over (normally they're hanging out all over this same porch), but they were nervous with all the "big guys" here. In the middle of one of the songs during which Ken happened NOT to be playing drums, he heard some commotion over there and sprinted over. As I write this with chills, I am still acutely aware of how bad this could have gone not only for my husband, but for those children, and I am profoundly grateful for God's protection over all involved.

We didn't know what was happening until the children were screaming and Ken kicked a long, angry snake into the road. To my dismay, he had a stomping fight for several long minutes with the snake, who hissed and raised his head striking at Ken over and over. Now, back in the day, my man worked for a company that had him tromping through the woods, and he's stomped a snake or two when needed. He happened to be wearing high-top leather steel-toe boots at the time. This weekend, he was wearing shorts, tennis shoes, and ankle socks. The snake was rearing up to the level of his calf, and at times, his knee. It was quite nerve-wracking to watch, to say the least. He said he just kept thinking about how fast the snake moved, and that the house across the street was open enough that he could slither right in, even if the children got enough out of his way. Ken finally got the best of the snake and stomped his poisonous head to death (sorry, animal lovers...), becoming the champion to this set of kids and something to talk about amongst the gathering neighbors. Not exactly how we were seeking to "get the word out" about the youth center, but it works!


  1. Yikes! What a scary thing! So grateful for God's protection of you all!

  2. Oh man! The Lord is good! Well now, you're right--people will hear about your place and maybe you'll be quite full this weekend! We'll be praying!!!

  3. Aaahh!! Stomping with his feet! We learned an important lesson in Guatemala- always keep a machete close by- it will come in handy!

  4. You're right...this is one newsletter I may not show Granny, although she has battled a few snakes in her time too, just not as vigorously, and she usually has a hoe in her hand when confronting the trespassers in her flower garden.


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