The frantic whining of our dogs in the porch rudely awakened me at 3:15 am. We raced to the door to find out why they were acting so crazy. As we opened the door, they fled into the house in terror.
A quick investigation proved our worst fears. The army was indeed attacking us. They had already entered the back porch and pantry. A look outside revealed that they had already surrounded most of the house. We were under attack from ARMY ANTS. We call them siafu here.
They travel in columns searching for food. If you walk through them unknowingly, they defend their column vigorously! They climb onto your clothing searching for a place to bite, and when they do
bite…. Well, let’s just say that everything else you are doing becomes unimportant until you pull of the biting ant. It gives the phrase ”ants in the pants” a whole new meaning! The big ones will produce blood and when you pull them off, the head often pulls off and has to be taken off separately.
In my flashlight beam I saw they had already invaded the woodbox on the south side of our porch. I grabbed a container of kerosene and poured a trail of it across the cement floor hoping it would discourage them while I tried to assess the situation better.
The dogs were racing through the house barking from the ants still attached to them. Marybeth and April tried to remove them and Marybeth made the mistake of taking one of the dogs out to tie up a ways from the house. She was back in a flash picking her assailants off her as quickly as she could.
Reports started to come in. “Dad, they’re in mine and Andrew’s room, but not real bad yet,” April shouted over the still whining dogs. “I’m flushing the ones in the bathtub down the drain,” called Marybeth. “They’re attacking on the south side,” I called back as I CAREFULLY walked around the house to research the extent of the problem. I knew that I did not have enough kerosene to deal with them. We prayed for the Lord to help us repel this invasion and praised His name for the dogs and their early warning. Otherwise, they would have totally taken the house and we wouldn’t have known until they got into our beds.
April saved the situation with her quick thinking. “Dad, remember that the locals use mihogo (cassava) flour to repel the ants.”
“Yes, run to the cook house and get some from the guards,” I called back.
Marybeth started dipping strips of cloth in kerosene while I placed them in strategic entry points to avoid further infiltration. Soon Nikolai, the guard was back with the first bowl of flour and started sprinkling it around the house. As I went out to help him I felt sorry for him. After sprinkling a little, he
would have to run aside and pull off the attacking ants. I raced back inside and put on my gum boots and tied kerosene soaked strips around the tops. This was the answer. I went out and took over the flour sprinkling operation and sent the guard for more flour. It took three bowls of it.
Let me explain a little about cassava flour which is the main staple of food here. In the process of turning it from tuberous roots into flour, there is a fermentation process. In the end you have a stinking, fermented flour that none of us has learned to eat. The fact that it is repulsive was proved by the ants. They fled in terror from that flour! They hated to even walk across it.
After about an hour the Lord gave us the victory. The ants were clearly on the run as their columns moved away from the house. I have a new appreciation for mihogo flour. I love the stuff and we have determined to keep an adequate supply in the house at all times. Not for food, but for ant repellent!
The Bible tells us, “Go to the ant thou sluggard, consider her ways…” Friends, if we as workers for Christ were half as organized and fervent as these ants, would we not have finished the work before now? Let us move forward column by column to assault Satan’s strongholds with the truth!!