Tuesday, February 16, 2010


 An entomologist would have a ball in Uganda.

 Their favorite subjects of study are everywhere - in the air, the dirt, the water, your food, your bed, your sheets, your drinking water. You cannot escape from these...little critters. If you don't like bugs, don't come to Uganda. By the way, an entomologist is someone who studies insects.

  Of course, there are the mosquitos, infamous for being the carriers of malaria. Malaria, according to dictionary.com, is "An infectious disease characterized by cycles of chills, fever, and sweating, caused by a protozoan of the genus Plasmodium in red blood cells, which is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female anopheles mosquito." Sounds fun, huh?

  Unfortunately, malaria is a major killer here in Uganda and many other African countries. According to some information I found on the Internet, malaria kills an estimated 320 people every day in Uganda. The sad thing is that this disease can be easily prevented, but such prevention is not common or widespread.

 Then there are the roaches, probably my least favorite of the bugs. I was introduced to them as an infant when we lived in the inner city of Houston, Texas and I think they left a bad impression on me then. I am getting braver, though, and can actually kill them myself, rather than calling for backup help. : )

  The lake flies are like big gnats and are harmless, but are still pests. We have them on the island. They come out in droves at night and are attracted to light. This becomes a major irritation if you are wearing a headlamp and they find your eyes, nose and ears. Their numbers ebb and flow according to how much moonlight there is. I don't entirely understand this concept, but it makes me thankful for when we see more of the moon. I have books at home which have pressed lake flies on some of the pages, "collected" during my first trip. : )

 If you leave any food out - uncovered, these little bitty sugar ants will find them. These tiny harmless creatures are really amazing - how quickly they find food, how they enlist others to help them, how they work together, and then how they transport their finds. Follow a trail of ants and you will find the piece of popcorn that fell on the floor last night or the grains of sugar that were accidentally left behind.

 There are other creepy crawly creatures, here too, but I am writing a blog post and not a book. : )

  I have never been much of a fan of bugs, but am learning to live with them. I was thinking about a spiritual application for this multi-legged subject and was reminded of sin. Sin can creep in and show up in the most unsuspecting places. It can sniff out where we might have left a crumb of temptation and can create a trail that will lead to no good. If you leave an opening, it will likely push its way in. But, prevention is definitely possible!

 Maintaining a close and consistent relationship with Jesus can help eradicate sin in our lives. As we allow the light of God's Word and His Spirit to flood our lives, it pushes out the darkness. Oops, changing analogies, but I think it goes along well. : ) 

  God says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. (I John 1:9.) Also being open with others about our struggles and temptations, can help stomp out sin in our lives. Sin, like malaria, left untreated, can be deadly. But, eradication is definitely accessible and best of all, it's free of charge. Because Jesus already paid the painful and costly price on the cross, we can know freedom from sin. With His power, sin can be stomped out and eliminated. Praise the Lord for that!

 So, the next time you see a little critter, be reminded that we can indeed have victory over sin!


  1. Speaking of sin...don't you think bugs have to be a result of sin, as well? There couldn't have been any cockroaches in the Garden of Eden, could there? Or maybe there were only ladybugs and butterflies...anyways, I think you're extremely brave to be able to kill a cockroach by yourself. Go Ruthie! (-:

  2. I would have to agree with you, Lauren, as I have a hard time believing that such ugly bugs like cockroaches would be part of the original creation. I feel the same way about spiders, too.
    The first cockroach I killed was on his back so he wasn't too scary as he wasn't running around. I am getting more brave...kinda. :)