Would you get down on your knees to wash these feet? I sure do not want to, yet God calls us to serve the lowest among us in humility. These are the typical feet of my Quechua patients, and I often wonder if they look more like Jesus’ sandaled feet than my own well shod ones. I confess that often when I bend down to pull off my patient’s sandals, I am holding my breath in some repulsion. But who am I not to do it. The feet in this picture have probably never worn shoes and have been constantly in sandals in freezing weather, in rain and mud, while working on the farm or walking down the road. They are evidence of a hard and economically poor life. He is one of the “least” in the world, and we are called to serve him in humility and love.
John 13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Do you ever feel like crying when you get water in your house. I do. Right now water is weakly coming through our pipes so that we can quickly wash dishes and take showers, and I feel a little bit of a lump in my throat. It is only the third time in the last two weeks to hear the sweet sound of water in the tubes. It is really hard to live without water. We felt like we had a Thanksgiving miracle this past Thursday, because all of a sudden in the middle of the day when we never get water, we received 1 1/2 hours of precious agua. Thanksgiving was going to happen anyway, but it was a relief to have water to clean with afterward. Not having water is a form of suffering. It is not persecution, but it is suffering, especially for a person from the United States who is accustomed to water on demand. It is something we have to deal with because of the decision we made to do medical mission work in this poor community, and therefore it is a consequence of our faith. And so this morning as I read my Bible wondering when water would come again, I turned to Romans 5:3-4 where it says “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.” So I am trying during this Thanksgiving and Christmas season to embrace the formation of character in my life in hope that who I am on the other side of the suffering is a better reflection of Christ in me.
Today is our 16th wedding anniversary! I am thankful for our marriage and especially for Allison. She is the best of our “coupleness”! She has the attitude and optimism that brings joy and truth to our relationship and life to our faith. I am thankful to God for her and I am thankful to him for our marriage.
Love in the Andes.
Making sure Allison still loves me
I have some fun cousins who do video production. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Can you imagine a school without running water? That has been the situation at Colegio Diospi Suyana for much of it’s existence. If you have read our blog you know that the town of Curahuasi has water problems. In our home last week, we received water only one day. In fact we are in Cuzco now to renew our kid’s passports, but also so we can wash clothes and take showers at leisure. But a school without running water is simply gross. And that has been the case much of the time due to the lack of fair water distribution in town. Thankfully, Diospi Suyana has had success with drilling a well. We are thankful and praise God for his providence. Here is the article from the Diospi Suyana Hospital website.
Crystal clear water gushes from our well at the school
Email from Peru 2 p.m. CET: The well drilling was stopped at a depth of 71,40 m due to extremely hard solid rock. The installation of the pipework went smoothly. At 8 p.m. last night a provisional pump started swilling the well. An hour later the water was “as clean as possible” so that the filter gravel could be built into the aquiferous layers. Our own measurements showed that 6,000 litres of water could be pumped in an hour.
Today the pump is going to be installed 5,00 metres lower, as last night everything had to be done very quickly. The solid rock has made the drill completely useless. Perhaps will be able to exhibit the drill in the school at some point in the future. Best regards, Oebele + Udo.
Email from Peru 6:06 p.m. CET: Crystal clear water is now gushing at a rate of 150 litres/min = 9,000 litres/hour and is tasteless. Greetings, Udo.
Email from Peru 8:19 p.m. CET: I attach two pictures of the drilling head. The diamonds are totally spent and parts of them are broken away. Normally they can drill between 500 and 600 metres; in Curahuasi they only managed 70 m. We were told they were new! It is impossible to put the diamonds back into the drilling head. Greetings, Udo
An hour later the water was almost clean.
A mountain stream tastes just as good.
The broken drilling head.
Here are a few videos for those who are interested in medical mission. The GMHC Conference is a huge medical missions conference that is in Louisville, KY every year. I have attended numerous times, and it has always been a time of encouragement. If you are interested in medical missions, I recommend you attend.
I wrote about drunkenness a few days ago. Today on my way to the hospital, I saw this guy collapsed just down the street from our house. I don’t recognize him. He is not one of our usual drunks. This was while I drove to see a patient who was in liver failure with severe anemia caused by alcohol abuse. Alcoholism is a real drain on our community.