A Day at Lighthouse Spa

Mar 21, 2019

We spent one of our mornings at the farm with women from the surrounding villages who are pregnant or have young children.  We spent time just listening to them. Hearing their stories. Asking questions. They told us what being a mom is like for them. We heard their stories and saw their incredible strength and perseverance. They all gave birth in their homes and the women always only get two (regular strength) Tylenols to help with the pain of delivery!! That’s it. If they have any complications- and if they can collect enough money-they will be carried out on a sheet between two bamboo poles for hours to get to the closest road, then go on a motorcycle to the closest clinic. If needing any serious help, they will have to find a car and go to a hospital in the city… but again, that is only if they can get enough money… which unfortunately is very unlikely. It was both incredible, inspiring, humbling and heartbreaking hearing their stories.

Cayla and I wanted to spend time appreciating these incredibly strong and brave women.  We did their nails, gave them pampering gift packages and…washed their feet. In this culture, feet are seen as dirty and shameful. It is seen as disrespectful to point your feet at someone, let alone have someone touch them.  Washing their feet was a way to make them feel loved, valued, beautiful and appreciated.  It was a way for us to humble ourselves. To show the women we are not superior to them. That we are all sisters and equals. At first, the women were all incredibly shy, embarrassed and confused… but by the end they were all smiles, giggles and so grateful.

My mindset was purely focused on making the women feel loved and honored – not to evangelize per se. But God had other plans I think. As Cayla and I were washing the women’s feet, Danai (the 30-year-old intern who lives at the farm full-time) started to preach the gospel. He shared the story of when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. Shared the goodness of God and the hope and love that Jesus brings. It was in Burmese, so I didn’t understand at the time what exactly he was saying . As I sat there, on the uncomfortable wooden floor, washing the women’s feet, seeing them smiling and relaxed and listening intently to what Danai was sharing I got this clear image of Jesus sitting on the floor with us. He was smiling and had tears of joy in his eyes.

I got this clear image of Jesus sitting on the floor with us. He was smiling and had tears of joy in his eyes.

My faith felt so ALIVE. After Jesus washes his disciples’ feet, he tells them, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). As followers of Jesus, we are to live as He lived, serving one another and seeking to build one another up in humility and love.  It was definitely not by my doing but I am so grateful that Jesus used me in that moment. My prayer is that we will not only help bring more access to healthcare to these villages and more education and resources to further empower these incredible women but that these women will continue to feel so deeply loved…not only by us, but by the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Read more posts from Stumbles & Strides

Cayla and Janelle