In the advent calendar of a nursing journal

CNE is a journal for German-speaking nursing staff. In the last few days it has again run an article on Diospi Suyana, with photos, in the form of an advent calendar.

The article reads: The Diospi Suyana mission hospital in the mountains of southern Peru has been operational since the autumn of 2007, providing good medical care for the descendants of the Incas, who are known as Quechuas. Its existence sounds like a modern-day Christmas story. It began many years ago as a dream in the hearts of Dr. Klaus-Dieter John and his wife, Dr. Martina John, of Wiesbaden, a surgeon and pediatrician who wanted to see a special hospital built from financial gifts, where the mountain Indios could be treated with respect and receive excellent medical care.

The project would cost several million US dollars and need many foreign volunteers to run it. On August 3, 2007 the hospital was officially opened by the First Lady of Peru, Pilar Nores de García, before 4500 spectators and 9 TV teams, making it a national event.

Approximately 30 German members of staff live in the mountain village with their children, settling in the midst of anise fields and within sight of the mighty snowy mountains. Of course, they have brought some of their German customs with them to the Andes. During Advent they organize all kinds of activities that help spread the Christmas spirit despite the warm day-time temperatures and evening thunderstorms. 


In mid-December they put on a huge children´s outdoor party in the amphitheater. In 2009, 600 children came along for cake and cocoa and lots of fun activities. The Christmas story was shared in theater form, sharing how God loves everyone, particularly those who live in poverty and oblivion.


Several days before Christmas, over 200 people gathered in the hospital chapel to celebrate. In view of the daily hardship the Indios suffer, members of staff at the hospital are meeting needs.

Terms like love and mercy, that in the western world have degenerated into empty words, take on  real meaning. Diospi Suyana embodies this very spirit. It was built from nothing but faith in God and almost all of the patients come from a background of extreme poverty.


In the Quechua language, Diospi Suyana means “We trust in God”. The hospital has already touched many people´s lives. The fact that it even exists fascinates people. But the decision by so many doctors and nurses to give up their well-paid jobs in Germany to practise their profession in Southern Peru moves them even more. The price is a blow to their career and an unreliable water and electricity supply. But maybe that is what makes this Christmas story credible, 8000 ft up in the mountains. The Johns would like to wish everyone who reads CNE a Happy Christmas!

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