Our experiences this past weekend were both life-cleansing and challenging. We first went to a village near Jinja to help with another Jiggers service project. This time, rather than run the camera, I got into the action with RaNae and my heart nearly burst. We did the post-op wash and sanitize on the little guy featured in our video. As he stood in the disinfectant bath and we watched the water turn red with his bleeding toes, I could not hold back my tears. As I carefully washed and dried and put medication on his feet, RaNae and I shared a sympathetic look and kept on working.
I also worked on an old man (old here is about 50) whose tough feet may never have had a pair of shoes. This was the ultimate barefoot runner. I cried again as I washed and dried these tired gnarly old feet, then handed him a pair of plastic sandals as a gift. I wish I had a picture of his face wearing them. He was a rich man indeed.
When we finished, we wish every human being could have this kind of experience. There’s something about washing and treating feet that is so deeply personal to both the giver and the receiver. It pushed us once again into the crucible of compassion, and it was good for the soul.
We next visited a small orphanage in Bwenge and another layer of the world fell away.
And now this, from RaNae:
When we visited the orphanage Saturday I was talking with one of the guys who is helping there. He’s a handsome 21 year old from Spain. When I asked him what his religion is he simply said, “I don’t do any of that. I wasn’t blessed with the virtue of faith”. I thought alot about his response and how sad it is to live without faith in this world. “Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death”. Faith is something that needs to be continually cultivated all our lives. We can’t afford to go a day without doing something to build it.
David O. McKay:
An unwavering faith in Christ is the most important need of the world today. It is more than a mere feeling. It is power that moves into action, and should be in human life the most basic of all motivating forces”.
Spencer W. Kimball:
“Is there not wisdom in Heavenly Father giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified? If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith”.
Sometimes we do things being guided by the Light of Christ and we don’t even know why. Giving provides so much more joy and inner peace than any possession. To give is to truly live, and this past weekend we and many others were very much alive.