This is a nice video that our friends in Peru have put together to explain the work that they are doing among the Quechua people. I had the pleasure of caring for their two sons – I did not have to do much as they were quite healthy and happy. We drove hours to their house over very curvy roads every January to watch the Super Bowl. What are friends for, right? Erin is an ACU graduate and they are both from the Tacoma, WA area (we lived there as well) which means we are connected in more ways than one! Take a look at the video to be challenged and inspired!
We are not at the hospital any longer, but it is still fun to see what is going on. We have new plans to explain in the several days. A new continent and a new work is on the horizon.
As you know, I enjoy going to the hospital every other week to bake bread. One of the perks is that the kitchen workers are such a nice group. They joke and laugh, work together and take a breakfast break, and I like watching them interact. Michael is a sincere believer who, along with his wife Noemi, are wonderful examples of Peruvian Christians. He is a light in the kitchen. Their family is taking a leap of faith in enrolling in Bible school in Paraguay and they are moving in a month. I enjoy talking with Michael and Noemi because they are both super excited about seeing God’s hand at work.
When I make bread, I load up about 17 kilos of flour in this big plastic tub (that’s more than 35 pounds). As I was exiting the refrigerator room, Michael stopped me and carried the tub for me. Then he asked where to put it and how I transferred it to the mixer. I said something like, “So chivalrous today.” He said, “God is working in my life.”
“Tell me about it.”
“He is telling me to be more attentive to the needs of others.”
Yep. That sounds like God. I think this may be one of the most useful and wonderful things anyone’s ever told me God said. Thanks for sharing, Michael.
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.
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.
This was something that was not a big part of my experience before Peru, but now it is. I am not talking about personnel experience, but what I see in the street. Curahuasi is a depressed community in one of the poorest parts of Peru. There is a lot of hopelessness. That is why we are here . . . to bring hope to the hopeless. Still there are those who have not yet heard or refuse to hear. And I see these guys every evening as I ride my bike home from the hospital or as I drive through town. They come staggering out of the corner bars or chicherias and then wobble up and down the hills to their homes. There are so many staggering drunks. Today as I went down to the internet cafe to print some papers off my USB, I passed by six isolated men staggering through the street. That was in less than four blocks. It is really sad. Drinking in the US is more hidden. Here it is in the open. I hope and pray that my kids are never tempted to drink heavily. They are certainly able to see the ill affects of drunkenness. They are very wary, for good reason, of the drunk men who can be unpredictably violent. As the kids go through town on their bikes, they always make sure to steer clear. And yet, we have seen some victories. In our church we have a man who was a drunk, and through the power of a changed life by the Holy Spirit he is now sober and a testimony to the faithfulness of God. I praise God for him and for the gift of changed lives that we can have through Jesus Christ.
Our friend Ari Cale is a doctor in the hospital. She is married to one of the teachers at the school. David, her husband, is the homeroom teacher for our daughter Annie. Recently Ari posted a long discussion on her blog about her discipleship group as well as a weekend retreat David had with his class. The post has a lot of pictures, and gives a different view of life in Curahuasi. You can read it at her website at this link.
We wear hats a lot in Curahuasi. All of the Quechua wear them, and I think we have picked up on their style. You really need them for the sun protection, because you are burned quickly walking around on a sunny day at 9000 feet. I remember my grandfather wearing a fedora to church every Sunday when we would visit Dallas. He was one of the only people I knew who wore a formal hat, and I thought it was pretty cool. Maybe that is why I enjoy them so much, or maybe it is the Quechuan cultural influence. Maybe they are just fun.
Allison came across this article regarding “Cuy” or guinea pig on the internet after yesterdays post. Click on the link for the article “Police Respond to 911 call of Man Grilling Guinea Pig in Prospect Park” to read more. We all miss our favorite foods from our home countries. Doesn’t that guinea pig look delicious! The picture below is from the article to wet your appetite.
Cuy is not our favorite dish, but the people here love it! It is a little too greasy for my tastebuds. It is not bad, it is just not my preference. Plus they serve these guinea pig with heads and claws. Watching your friend suck a guinea pig head can drain the appetite of anyone who is not completely culturally assimilated. I don’t think we would ever claim to be culturally in tune with the Quechua. Here is a good article from NPR on the new guinea pig craze. Click the paragraph below to be taken to the article.
In the past decade or so, guinea pig popularity has exploded, as the cosmopolitan dining culture of Lima and other Peruvian cities has taken a liking to the animals — not so much for their big fawn-like eyes but more for their fatty flesh. The guinea pig’s skin, crispy when fried, is also coveted.
For farmers in the high mountains of southern Peru, the rising interest in this rabbit-sized rodent comes as a chance to cash in. The average income for a household here may run the equivalent of only $100 a month, according to Lionel Vigil, the Lima-based regional director for the social aid organization World Neighbors.