There is a missionary doctor – who, for security reasons, wishes to remain anonymous – serving in Nepal. ECPC is privileged to be able to help support the Christ-centered labors of this missionary in Asia, and so (a) because you are investing in their work via your tithes at ECPC, and (b) because it made me more in awe of Jesus – – – > I am sharing the most recent email update from this missionary with you here on the ECPC blog. …Drink deeply, digest with delight, and be in awe of the outrageous reality that God came not be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.
I’ll never forget one of my first patient interactions in Nepal, examining a young woman with low back pain. I reached down to grab her bare foot and she flinched, quickly withdrawing it. “It’s okay,” explained my Nepali colleague, “the doctor needs to perform a thorough exam.” I proceeded, a bit bewildered.
What I’ve subsequently learned is that feet in Nepal (and much of Asia) are viewed with shame. It’s inappropriate to step over someone, disrespectful to point your feet at anyone, and accidentally touching another person with your own feet requires a profuse apology. I’ve asked many friends and teachers to further explain this concept for me. Answers vary, but the theme of shame is clear:
“Feet are closest to the ground. Closer to the devil and far from God.”
“Feet are dirty.”
“Feet are the most dishonorable part of the body.”
“Touching someone else with your feet shames them.”
While I still only vaguely grasp this cultural concept, it has given me a new, rather stunning perspective on Jesus washing His disciples’ feet (Jn. 13). In His culture as well, feet were shameful and washing someone else’s was a job reserved for servants. With Peter, I would’ve emphatically insisted, “Lord, You shall never wash my feet!”
And yet, Jesus not only proceeds to wash Peter’s feet, but also those of His betrayer. He goes on to explain that as He, our Lord and Teacher, has served and loved us, we should do the same for one another.
This Easter, would you pray:
- That the Nepali church would experience His presence and continue to grow in maturity. Pray for continued opportunities to love and serve fellow Nepalis.
- That I would learn what it means to walk in humility and love here, with the strength that Christ provides.
- For increasing understanding of Nepali language and culture.
I am so thankful for our God who did even more than humbly wash feet. He “became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross,” that we too could have true life in Him.
A very blessed Easter to you and your family!