Teacups in the Jungle

Life stories from a missionary mama

Today, in church, the Bible teacher wished us all an early “Merry Christmas” and I about fell off my seat, since is only the second day of November! Anyway, as November is “Thanksgiving month” in the States, a few of my friends, whether on Facebook or on their own blogs, have been recording gifts for which they are thankful. The big, important gifts of life, all mixed in with the everyday blessings, which we often overlook. So, I decided to join in this month. I won’t be able to post every night (because life happens) but I will try to at least post a few lines and maybe a photograph or two. 

Tonight, I want to start with something really small, but also very important in our house.

Mosquito nets.

The other morning I woke up to Judah giggling and saying, “Mama, big beetle.” I went running, because I know he calls every crawling thing “a beetle” and he has a tendency to want to squish said creatures. When I got to him, he was sitting staring, quite amused, at the big cockroach on the outside of his net. I was so glad he was inside his little net, were the cockroach couldn’t get into him. It gives me the shivers to even think about it!

And Mum, look away now. 🙂

All the beds in our house are under mosquito nets and I am so thankful that we have these great, tent-like nets, for the kids. As I tuck Izzy and Judah into bed each night and zip closed their net, I at least have some peace, that while there may be lizards, geckos, mosquitos, cockroaches, snakes, (Danny killed one in Izzy’s room this week), they probably won’t be getting inside their nets. That helps me sleep. 

Of course, the main reason we have these nets, is because a mosquito bite can carry dengue fever or malaria. Danny, poor guy, has had malaria a few times. I had it once and little Izzy had malaria, (along with a kidney infection), when she was just 11 months old. Judah is the only one in the family not to have had malaria. I am so grateful that cases of malaria, here in the village, have drastically dropped over the years. I think this is also in part due to mosquito nets being distributed for the first time, about 5-6 years ago. When we first arrived here, it was a really common occurrence for people of all ages to get malaria, but now I hardly hear of any cases at all. That also helps me sleep. 
I can definitely say, that sleeping under a mosquito net, gives me a little bit of a sense of safety and security, as I lay my head down on my pillow each night. I know that as I sleep under the net, it will keep out the bugs and anything else that may possibly fall from the roof. (Very possible). 
I really struggled to sleep, when we first moved into our little house. All the different noises, people calling at night who needed medicine and all the unknowns kept me awake for hours on end. I even went through about 6 months of terrible nightmares. When I talked to my Dad on the phone about this one day, he quoted Psalm 4:8 to me and it became a promise I leaned into many nights. 

Psalm 4:8
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for You, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. 

I am thankful, that though my circumstances didn’t change, (the noises remained and the callers continued), God gave me rest in Him and I was finally able to sleep, nightmare free. So yes, tonight I am really grateful for mosquito nets and the practical protection they give us from mosquitos, cockroaches and “beetles”. However, I am much more grateful for the promise, that wherever I lay my head, I know my Heavenly Father is watching over me. He is watching over my family and in Him alone, I can find true rest and peace. 

Goodnight, from the jungle.

PS: I also used our adaptable little mosquito nets this week, as an igloo, when we were learning about the letter “I”. Then, a few days later, it was also used as a tepee, when we were still on the letter ‘I” and learning about Indians. Who knew they could be so useful around the house!  🙂 

Psalm 92:1
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most high.

2 thoughts on “A Month of Thanksgiving – Day One.

  1. Betty Draper says:

    Hello Phillippa…always good to stop by and see what is going on in your life. Grateful to for those nets, they do bring some peace from those bugs getting into bed with everyone sleeping. I am going to use one of your post to repost on my blog…I think my readers will love hearing about life in a village. I will let you know when I do it. Blessings.


  2. Hi Betty! Thanks so much for dropping by, it is always good to hear from you. Feel free to use whatever you want and thank you for your interest in our life and ministry our here in Palawan. Love to you and Ace. From, Philippa.


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