On the 24th of May, 2005, we celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony of the hospital Diospi Suyana. 3,000 Quechua Indians and mestizos on a nearby harvested anise field came to watch. I strode to the microphone, citing verses from scripture: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, and to set the oppressed free.” This was the first sermon of Jesus Christ—one might say, his basic message. He quoted the prophet Isaiah, who lived 800 years before him. My wife Martina and I hoped that the hospital would become a refuge for the desperate, impoverished, and helpless.
When I took a picture in the morning service a few days ago, I felt grateful to be reminded that the hospital has indeed become just that. A look at the chapel and the waiting room expresses this better than words ever could. The vast majority of patients who are sitting on the chairs come from unbelievably difficult situations. They have travelled many hours to reach the mission hospital, because they know that they can find help and comfort within these walls. / KDJ