October 2010: Caterpillar Dinner
…the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Back in my Peace Corps days, I vowed to eat anything offered in home hospitality, says Global Ministries volunteer, Ann Nichols. This seemed especially important when the invitation was from a family with limited resources who had prepared food especially for the guests. I have eaten some interesting things under that rule, but I had never before been faced with a bowl of roasted caterpillars, and my own vow. I did manage to get half of one down. Fortunately, I had only put two on my plate.
This happened in Caroline’s home. She is a big-hearted Zambian woman I met recently. She asked if I had visited in a Zambian home yet, and when I said I hadn’t, she invited me to her home. She came with a baby tied around her back in a colorful cloth sling. We walked out of the compound, down the road, onto a dirt path through a market, down more dirt roads, to another market where she bought some local eggplants, onions, and the caterpillars. Mountains of caterpillars. As we walked to Caroline’s home I thought about trust – trust in God and trust in others. I knew I would safely arrive at Caroline’s house, and that I would survive eating the caterpillars. But I was to learn much more about trust from Caroline.
Caroline and her husband have 3 children of their own, ages 1, 4, and 7, and they feed, clothe, educate and support 12 orphans, none related to their family, in their rented 2-room home. The orphans range in age from 2 to 16. I learned about a very different level of trust from Caroline: that somehow the family would have something to eat each day, that the school fees could be paid for every child, and that they will somehow get by. Caroline explained that she was helped by others when she was growing up, so that is why she is able to know everything is in God’s plan. Caroline says that she lives by faith, and God has never let her down. I now try to practice the kind of trust that Caroline lives by each and every day.
Pray for a growing faith and trust like Caroline’s that makes our world a better place.
Ann Nichols serves as a long-term volunteer with the Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation in Kitwe, Zambia teaching social work and leadership development.