Shortly after realizing Puddleglum and I share a few things in common I decided to further my transformation into fictional characters by becoming batman – in a matter of speaking, obviously I’m not Bruce Wayne. Ever since I read The Hot Zone in my high school microbiology class I have had a fear of monkeys. It has develop into a complete and total, biggest earthly fear, petrified, terrified, mortified, stupefied (10 points if you can name that movie) irrational fear of these creatures. I justify myself saying that it is not irrational and that they are disgusting, diseased creatures that can and could kill us all. Yes this is a little mellow dramatic but if Indiana Jones can be afraid of snakes than I can be afraid of monkeys.
Well, this past weekend, in order to soak up even more sunshine and fresh air I decided to go with three other friends from Mercy Ships to a National Park on the Gabon boarder. It was absolutely breathtaking. The far stretching savannas that merged into rain forest along the river looked like something straight out of The Lion King -all that was missing was pride rock. (Let’s see how many movie references I can get into one blog). Included in this journey into the real Africa came lots of chimpanzees. In fact the organization that we traveled and stayed with run a Chimp conservation in which injured chimps are rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
After originally saying no to the trip altogether I decided that if Bruce Wayne had to face the bat cave I too can face the monkeys. In reality I decided that it truly is an irrational fear and know that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Phil 4:13 and believe the truth in Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” It may seem silly, but I know that if the Lord can protect me and keep me safe in calling me to Africa, surely He is going to keep me safe from a few chimpanzees.
It turned out that the weekend was absolutely amazing. I made it through seeing the chimps and actually enjoyed hearing their cries mixed with the other night sounds as I was falling asleep in my bungalow. God is good and faithful and I am in His hands weather in Pointe-Noire asleep in my dark cabin on Deck 3 or in a bungalow in the middle of nowhere in Conkouati-Douli National Park being lulled to sleep by the noises of a wild chimp there is nowhere I can go where the Creator is not present.