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How Beautiful on the Mountains are the Feet of those who bring Good News and the story of Claire’s Toes!

There’s a saying isn’t there, ‘No pain, no gain’ and never was this more true than Claire’s toes!

Climbing a mountain is hard enough but once your feet or more precisely your toes start to hurt, bleed and cause excruciating pain, you’re in a whole different world of fight and struggle. Well, this is precisely what happened to Claire, one of our intrepid climbers. If Claire’s feet or toes had become a problem on the last mountain that would have been hard enough but here’s the thing; they became a problem from the very beginning and didn’t let up until the very last step. Claire’s toes became a symbol of the sheer grit and determination required to climb the 4 highest peaks in Ireland in 48 hours.

The team were determined to finish together and if one suffered they all suffered. However, as anyone knows who has had a painful toe or toes, the pain is awful and debilitating. From somewhere deep inside Claire found the inner strength and resolve to ride over the pain and discomfort and she became a sign of the total commitment and dedication of our climbers to complete the challenge. In fact, she became an inspiration and we hope she inspires you too.

After the climb Claire underwent some intensive treatments from a chiropodist and her toes, we are glad to report, have healed and are fighting fit. We salute Claire and thank her from the bottom of our hearts for her amazing incredible achievement.

Claire and our climbers took on the challenge to climb the 4 highest peaks in Ireland to raise much needed funds for our prison outreach work. Feet play an important part in our vision because feet play an important part in the gospel message.

How you may ask? The Old Testament refers to the beauty of the feet of those who brings Good News. ‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7).

Jesus, of course, is messenger and the message. He is the Good News and as a sign of his love for each of us he washed his disciples feet. It was just before the Last Supper and St John sets the scene: ‘He poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.’ St Peter wasn’t so interested in having his feet clean and protests! He didn’t realize that the feet washing ceremony was a sign; a sign of the depth of God’s love for us but also Jesus’ desire to serve and lay down his life.

We are called to do the same but it is clear that this isn’t always understood and we need a grace of revelation, a special insight if you like, to grasp this fundamental lesson of the Christian life. ‘When he had finished washing their feet he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” He asked them. “You call me Teacher and Lord and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet you should also wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”’ (John 13:12-15).

Our climbers definitely needed their feet washing after the climb; and especially poor Claire. However, what motivated their climb was a sincere and genuine desire to reach out to prisoners – to let them know that they are not forgotten, that prison can be a place of redemption and that every prisoner deserves (as a basic human and religious right) a Bible and the opportunity to be strengthened and encouraged by God’s word.

Thank you for your patience and understanding regarding our featuring of our heroic climbers’ achievement – it is an unashamed fundraising campaign and we can’t thank you enough for your generosity and kindness.

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