|I did not get a photo of the monkey that day, but it looked very much like this one.|
One would expect that a monkey running loose in an American neighborhood would draw some attention, but likewise it is not an every day event in Nepal. Seeing monkeys in wooded areas as we drive is fairly common, about as common as seeing a deer in Virginia. But they do not usually come out of the jungle to the homes where I am living....so we all stood at the window this morning to watch as a this creature jumped from roof to porch to lattice to window grills among our house and others nearby. He was not small and cute. He was a mature male, perhaps 50-60 pounds. His face, in my opinion, was quite ugly and he did not have a happy expression. His limbs were long and powerful. I felt no desire to have any sort of confrontation with him. He landed on our porch rail and waited for a while, looking around as if not sure what to do-- but in no way intimidated. He jumped to the neighbor's porch, causing their dog to go wild. The neighbor hurriedly captured her dog and took him inside. The monkey was certainly willing to fight for the right of passage and he would have won the battle quickly against that pooch. Monkeys are known to frequently carry rabies, so we were ready to pull our dog in as well, if he headed back towards us. A few days ago, we were in a small, one room, village church, the site of our medical clinic. Because there was a lull in patients coming and my back was aching, I went inside the church to lie down on the floor for a few minutes. It was a hot day and both doors were left standing open. Though I missed most of the words, I could hear the urgency in the Nepali voices around me. Looking up, I saw a small snake with a foot on it. I do not like snakes, but I did not feel any sense of terror. The situation seemed to be under control, and it was only a small one, a baby snake, I thought. Why all the excitement? I did wonder that a man happened to have his rubber sandal on, since all of us inside the church were bare footed. Later, I learned that the man was called in from outside BECAUSE he had his shoes on. The snake, though small, was at it's adult size and it was one of the most dangerous vipers--comparable to the King cobra, they said. It's strike is quick and it delivers a neurotoxin for which there is no need to go to the hospital for anti-venom. The victim cannot be expected to live more than a few minutes. It was only a couple feet from my head as I lay resting. We can plan and prepare and try to anticipate, but dangers still come. Perhaps the greatest threats are those from within. Our ministries seem safe and secure and all in harmony at the moment, but we have seen many threats in the past. Some of them hurt us and some were averted. Certainly more will come. it is easier to pray for what we know, than for the things we do not see coming. But please pray-- for the Lord's continuing protection over our people and our ministry.