Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Disaster Relief

Joe will be leaving Shell Friday morning for Haiti. Because of the extreme problems with Cholera they are having, HCJB has sent several teams in the last few months. Please pray for all of us during this time. Joe and the team he is traveling with, all of the people of Haiti, and the kids and I back here in Ecuador.

Monday, November 29, 2010


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.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

National Census

Mary and Joseph had to travel so many years ago for their national census, we at least don't have to travel for the Ecuadorian census today. Actually we are not allowed to travel, or go to the store, or even to leave home today. From 7 Am until 5PM the entire country is shut down. You can't go to church, or buy anything or sell anything, they have even said you aren't allowed to "in-vibe" anything alcoholic. They seem pretty serious about it all. In fact the government did not allow any alcohol to be sold for several days before, just to make sure people weren't stocking up for the "day at home."
At some point today a high school student will stop by to fill out a 4 page questionnaire on our home and then 2 page questionnaire on each one of us living here. The questions are actually quiet interesting. Most of them have to do with our house- what type of materials it is made out of, if we have a kitchen or bathroom inside our home, whether we cook with gas or wood. But others are a bit more personal- at what age you had your first child and last child- how literate you are. It wouldn't be so strange except that it isn't private or confidential at all. You put your name and address on all of it. I find the entire thing amazingly interesting looking at it from a North American perspective of complete anonymity, privacy and liberty. It will be interesting to see how the day plays out.