Dancin 1I don’t know the name of the ant that I encountered in the jungle here. It turns out that there are 1,393 species of ants in Papua New Guinea. ​This ravenous carnivour is just under a centimeter in length. What they lack in size they make up in numbers and ferocity.


Dancin 2We had come to this area to teach a group of jungle villagers about how to filter the unsafe river water they were drinking. ​ I found a spot to take a few pictures of Pastor Magi Goro teaching the villagers. ​Little did I know I was standing on an ant hill.  I didn’t notice the stealth army at first. I was dressed in sandals, loose fitting safari pants and a loose fitting shirt. ​The ants were undaunted. By the time I was aware they were on me they had already invaded every available space.

Dancin 3The only way to deal with them was to move. I was dancin’. Dance moves and Mark Nicklas have never occupied the same sentence – but I gotta tell you – I found moves that would make a hip hop dance look lame. ​The locals ran to my aid and swatted at the ants while I leapt and shook and gyrated in every possible way to get them off me. ​I am glad my compatriot, Jim, didn’t have the camera pointed my way.

Dancin 4After the ants were mostly gone (a few crept out of clothing and pockets for the next 20 minutes keeping me hyper-alert)​, I was able to enjoy the faces of people drinking clean filtered water from the river.

The impact of the water ministry here is astounding. Villages that had dysentery and typhoid and cholera, particularly affecting children, are ​drinking clean safe water. 1,000s of people have been touched already, due significantly to the resources of Beaverton Foursquare. Please pray for Jim and I – no more encounters with “wild animals” – just a fruitful, Gospel-centered clean water mission.

Dancin 5
From down under….

About marknicklas

Dr. Mark Nicklas is a husband, father, son and follower of Jesus Christ. He is a pastor at Beaverton Foursquare Church and an adjunct professor at Multnomah University, where he earned his doctorate in Cultural Engagement. Like Jacob wrestled with God at Jabbok, this site is a place for talking about the identity of the church with respect to the cultures we live in. You are invited to share the journey.
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1 Response to Dancin’

  1. gdueker says:

    Keep up the good work Mark… but maybe be a little more aware of your surroundings so that we won’t be subjected to your antics. 😉

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