Healing Comes Full Circle

Healing Comes Full Circle

More than thirty years ago, in my early days of overseas development work, I would often attend worship in Haitian batey churches in the Dominican Republic.  (“Batey” is the Caribbean name for a residential area for workers on a plantation.) My children’s memories of this time include the anxiety of being asked to sit on the platform at the front of the church because we were one of the missionary families.  This was often uncomfortable for us, but at the time we had little command of the language to express how we felt.

One particularly excruciating morning involved a foot-washing ceremony. Someone washed my feet, but I was not allowed to wash someone else’s “because you are the missionary.”  I could not express my sorrow at not being permitted to follow Christ’s model of serving, and buried it deep in my heart. The pain resurfaced every so often.

Then last month, during Holy Week, I was privileged to visit El Manantial (“The Spring”) Land Bank in Nicaragua and participate in a foot-washing ceremony there.  I joined the staff of World Renew and San Lucas in washing the feet of the four families living there and two new potential families.  They, in turn, washed ours. As I washed the feet of Gilberto I gave thanks for the courageous steps he had taken to come to this land bank, and for the spiritual and organizational leadership that he has shown.  As I washed the feet of his sons I prayed that God would bless all the steps their feet would take into the future.

As Gilberto washed my feet with the precious drops of water that are so hard to come by in this parched land, I felt waves of healing. I experienced the true sense of Christ’s communion, that of mutual serving!

Bev Abma, FRB Staff

04/22/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment