Recently, I had an opportunity to fly into a jungle community called Bufeo. It is an Achuar community located in our province of Pastazas on the Bobonazo River. I was there for 3 days and had a wonderful time getting to know the community and experiencing some new things while ministering to their health needs. Above is a picture of the airstrip that Mission Aviation Fellowship uses to fly in and out of the community. Most of the community lives within walking distance of the strip but many did walk a few hours to come see us during our time there. Historically, these trips had been an integral part of the ministry of HCJB Global to the peoples in the jungle regions of Ecuador. A trip every few months would be organized with the blessing of the receiving community and a small group consisting of a physician, nurse or medical resident, and a missionary evangelist fluent in the language spoken in the community. Because of a shortage in funds and personnel, this had been the first flight that we'd been able to schedule in a number of years. Recently, the hospital had been blessed with a donation that will be used to allow us to restart and continue this program.
Chad Irwin was our pilot when we flew in. He and his wife have been missionaries in Ecuador for 8 years. We were supposed to fly out at 730 am but didn't until around noon because of the weather. It's not uncommon for trips to be delayed until the next day because of the weather and sometimes you end up staying a extra night in the jungle because they can't fly you out.
We were able to start seeing patients shortly after we arrived. We used the building reserved for community activities and saw about 60 patients on our first afternoon. The villagers speak Shiviar and here I'm using someone to translate for me. All of those that we saw were given anti-parasite medicines and were also treated for a number of different things - including infections and arthritis.