Saturday, August 06, 2005

Walking the Walk

HeraldNet has this story: "Couple discovers their mission"

Othropraxy all the way. Adhering to Right belief is only complete when lived through Right action. This couple understands that:
For 24 years, Dr. Tim McNamara was head of the Puget Sound Kidney Center. He and his wife, Judy, raised three children. They lived comfortably on Everett's Rucker Hill.

This year couldn't have been more different. Since last July, they've lived and worked in the heat, cold and desolation of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

"The wind blows, it's dusty, we've been from minus 20 in the winter to plus 112 degrees," said Judy McNamara, for years a psychiatric nurse practitioner at The Everett Clinic.

Both are 62, but "retired" is not a fitting label. They're working as never before, as volunteers with Roman Catholic Jesuits. The Jesuit priests run the Red Cloud Indian School, a kindergarten through 12th-grade Catholic school at Pine Ridge.
They worked with people that could not need their help more:
The federal Indian Health Service shows terse statistics - a jobless rate as high as 85 percent, average annual income of $4,000 per person, 69 percent of children living in poverty, 37 percent of the population diabetic, a suicide rate 72 percent higher than national average.

The McNamaras saw all that reflected in faces, lives and a reservation landscape strewn with trash and old cars.

The Pine Ridge commercial district, which serves 36,000 Lakota Sioux people, consists of one small grocery store, a hardware store, a Radio Shack, two fast-food restaurants and a gas station called Big Bats.
"A lot of people don't have electricity or running water," Dr. McNamara said. "Alcoholism is a real problem. Ten-year-olds come into the hospital drunk. Many children, their teeth are all capped with metal, rotted by a soda-pop diet."

Judy McNamara recalled a mother leaving children in a car with a loaded gun. "The 7-year-old killed the 3-year-old," she said. "I've seen people driving around in a van with the sliding door missing. It was full of kids."
I admire their willingness to serve the Lord by serving these marginalized people. I hope one day to have their faith and their courage. May they continue their Foolish ways! May the Lord bless and keep these workers in his vineyard!