Amoebas, Soap, and Elevation, Oh my!

Almost since we got off the plane here, we’ve cycled through physical challenges of various kinds.

First, I developed a sensitivity to the scent-laden soap we were using. And guess what? You can’t get good old Ivory soap in Africa! Ugh.

And we’re at a higher elevation here than we’re used to, which makes us all a little more tired in general. Our six year-old typically falls asleep during evening family devotions–sometimes as early as 7:00. Personally, I’ve been known to start nodding off myself around 8:00, depending on how early I’ve gotten up in the morning. The increase in physical activity has, as a result, also been hard for some of us, some of the time.

The biggest challenge has been the amoebas. Marc and I have not had any…gastro-intestinal issues…but the children have all cycled through this several times each. According to the local doctor, it’s the result of amoebas, which come from the water or food. In spite of a couple rounds of medication, the sickness has returned. Finally, we discovered the problem–our local spring! We assumed that fresh spring water would be clean and not produce any issues with water-borne critters. Therefore, we were not boiling our drinking water. However, upon inspection, Marc realized that the pipe from which we were gathering water was not actually embedded in the earthen wall surrounding the spring (which would filter the water sufficiently) but instead was driven into the pool of water that was fed by the spring–and contained visible algae and obviously other microscopic “critters.” So, as of a few days ago, we began boiling our drinking water, and actually found an alternate water source (a healthier spring) a further distance away, from which we fetch clean water suitable for drinking.

All of these things have given us an opportunity to encourage one another in practicing James 1:2-4:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

We are hopeful that there will soon be an end to the cycle of…gastro-intestinal issues…now that we have addressed the root cause. But in spite of the health challenges, we’ve maintained an overall positive outlook and are thankful for God’s grace as we have navigated these (amoeba-laden) waters.

3 thoughts on “Amoebas, Soap, and Elevation, Oh my!

  1. Do you have any grapefruit seed crush from beeyoutiful? That stuff can work miracles with waterborne microscopic critters and gastrointestinal issues.

    So glad you found a better water source. Praying that you adjust to the higher elevation and increased physical workload soon.

    1. I have some GSC coming with the group of guys who will be here for the short-term missions trip later this month. 🙂 Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers, Lois!

  2. I enjoy hearing about your adventures in Africa…hope that things get settled for you guys soon…

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