Ants Take Over the World

ant photo 1
Ants, ants, ants
We have a love-hate relationship in Cambodia right now.

Love the Khmer people, the amazing varieties of fruits and vegetables,  the work God has called us to here.


Hate, hate, hate the ants.  They’re everywhere!  Pete and I have been on a zealous crusade to stop these little buggers from invading our kitchen!  One morning I was up before Pete and in order to surprise him this loving wife prepared his instant Nescafe plus sweetener for him ready to add the hot water when he awoke.  By that time (15 minutes later) hundreds of ants were in the bottom of the cup enjoying that sugar treat- gross, huh?!

We have scoured the internet to apply any and all remedies from old-wives tales to chemicals.
First, we purchased ant cabinets.  (A what you say? Never heard of them?)  These nifty glass cabinets are on wheels and it is where we store our food stuffs.  Each wheel is sitting in a dish of baby powder which ants hate thus the deterrent to climb up the cabinets.  Actually, this has worked!  But only on our food stuffs.   Maybe we should live in our cabinets J

ant cabinet
We clean, clean and clean, close everything tightly, even put the closed trash bag in the cool oven,  but drop any minuscule portion of food and or leave anything in the sink and they are on in like an organized attacking army.  They get from an outside door 6 floors up to the kitchen door handle (10 feet) in land speed record time.

Now our Cambodian insect friends are not the awful big biting kind that would gross me out, but the super small, sneak in the night, can hardly see them variety but they are there.

Scientists relate that there are over 90 different species of ants here in Cambodia.  We think the ANT Operation Headquarters in in our neighborhood.

Great (big sigh).

Thought you would enjoy knowing some of our methods to try and eliminate these guys.  Any wise suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

First, ant spray daily, everywhere.  But you would like to eat in your kitchen and you have to put everything away in order not to be eating chemicals.

Next we’ve tried ant chalk- make a continual line with chalkboard chalk and they would not cross the line.  This works okay, they just take a detour around and up.

Saccharine (like Equal) they supposedly hate and kills them- Not!  Guess the US warning labels on this stuff is true?  How does one pour a lot of these expensive packets all over the kitchen cabinet?

Vinegar, rosemary, bleach, lemon juice, detergent?  Tried all and it works for a while, but they just wait us out until we slip up one minute and BAM!  They’re back!

God has a lot to say about ants.  The New Living translation says it this way in Proverbs 6:6,
“Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!”

Hmmmm….consider their ways?     Teach Debbie a lesson?

After all, ants are hardworking, tenacious and focused.  They really are amazing creatures!

When you look at how the ants go about their business, they are very structured and deliberate and never give up.   May I apply these characteristics to my…

Daily walk with the Lord
Marriage and family
Praying for my Jerusalem, Samaria and uttermost parts of the world
Witnessing to those around me in Cambodia
Pouring Biblical truths and life skills into my Khmer teachers
Standing against the sexual trafficking of children!


Giving what they have

I am seeing afresh that some of the greatest acts of love are seemingly small gestures filled with all the heart someone can give.  Today, I received such a gesture.

As I have the joy to work with our three employment centers which are actually “fair trade”, people loving, Christ centered, garment factories where lives are more important that piece goods and the value of being a person is more significant than the lowest cost of production.  We employ girls who were trafficked for sex.  We give them a chance to do work and earn an honorable sustaining wage.  Their smiles are precious.  I swear I will burst with joy when one looks up from her machine and smiles as I walk through the sewing room and says, “Hello, sir”.  No matter how many times I tell them to drop the “sir” they say it every time.  They are grateful for the rescue, restoration and now reintegration that the Lord has brought them through AIM.

Today, I walked through with my old tattered rice bag that I use for protecting my things from the incredible amount of dust.  The picture and the sound are the same every time, “hello sir, hello sir, hello sir”, each one lifting their head from their work to greet me with a smile.  I reached the office and went through some business matters with the great team that really does all the work.  As we concluded, I noted the tattered rice bag.  One of our staff jumped to her feet and headed to the sewing room.  She was going to have a new bag made for me right then, right there, right now.  I was a bit embarrassed.  In a minute or so she returned and said she would have it in the morning.  I was still amazed and very grateful.  We concluded our meeting and I headed back across the factory sewing room to leave.  Then I heard it, “Sir, sir, sir” then again, “sir, sir, sir” as four ladies literally raced across the floor to catch me.  In their hands was a new bag.  my bagThey were so pleased to make that gift for me.  So pleased to stop what they were doing that made money and make something for me.  Oh, if I could show you their smiles.  For safety we cannot display pictures of these girls but let me tell you, they were precious.  They used what God has recently given to them, skill and love.  They made a gift for me.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV)”

And I treasure my new bag.  This simple black bag made expressly for me by precious people who are seeing for the first time in their lives that God loves them and has a way for them.  This is a special gift to me – very special.

Thank you for gifts that sent us and keep us here.  I may have received the bag but you too receive from the Lord for the part you have played in the work we do.