Lants, Dants, and Skirt Man

When we arrived in Swaziland, I felt the immediate culture shock. It had been six days since seeing my parents and about two weeks since I had seen my friends. My mind couldn’t grasp the 16 hour flight into the African winter. The girls on my team were so welcoming and gave me a sense of comfort and home. Yet, those first couple days I spent the majority of my time talking with God trying to make sense of this crazy thing I had done. God, am I going to make it through this whole month? Am I going to get along with these people? Am I going to build lifelong connections? Am I, am I, am I….  The list of questions went on and on. It took a while for my stubborn brain to accept that God kept saying, “My daughter, this isn’t about you.” Of course, He was right. Who was I to try and steal the spotlight from the Creator of universe, the Beginning and the End, the Father to the fatherless, and my everything? I sat and laughed at myself and at God’s sense of humor. You see, only God would lead me thousands of miles away and then surely giggle at me when I questioned if I was really supposed to be here.


July 10, 2016

God is hilarious. I’m sure of it. Today I never would have thought that I would walk into my room in Swaziland, Africa to see my new best friend from Ohio, Bernadette, standing on the top bunk of her bunk bed stuffing toilet paper into cracks in the ceiling with a pen cap to keep out the lants (live ants). God, you’re funny.


When I wrote that in my journal 15 days and what seems like many years ago, I had no idea of how God was going to completely rock my universe. He looked down at me and saw my worries, my struggles, and my fears. He knew about my brokenness and doubts. He unveiled my deepest wounds and started bandaging them with laughter. He is fixing my flaws with smiles and gracious hugs. He is healing me with words of life and listening prayer. He’s making me laugh until I cry, and all the while He’s revealing his immeasurable love for me. He’s somewhat of a comedian, piling up the dants (dead ants) in the corner of our room and forcing us into laughter because what else are you going to do with a 2 inch deep pile of dants?

He is hilarious. He picked each of my teammates by hand from very different places and walks of life. He knitted us together like a quilt, each piece separate and unique, but perfect and beautiful as a whole. He forced us into uncomfortable situations, many of those involving a skirt- wearing maintenance man of whom we later found out is the owner of our house (lol God). He covered us with children’s snot and gum. He let us bring swimsuits, venom extraction kits, and mosquito nets into the African winter, then probably sat on his throne in Heaven laughing at the fact we have not seen a single body of water, snake, or mosquitos all month. He chuckled alongside of us as we tried to pronounce Swati names. He smiled with me as I found home, though I am 9,189 miles from Arkansas. He’s a good, good Father with the absolute best dad jokes in His back pocket.

I’m beyond grateful for a team who enjoys laughter with me. I’m thankful for a God who knows all, sees all, and created all. So I sit here giggling about lants, dants, and skirt man and praising the God who loves to laugh along with His daughter.

Written by: Harper 7/25/16

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