Friday, October 31, 2008

Shell Pics

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another day flying

I had another wonderful day flying today. Hugo Chaves and Corea where in town today, so the airport was shut down from 7-10 this morning. So we did some maintenance on the plane. We changed oil, cleaned spark plugs, etc. I really shouldn't say "WE". I mostly watched and asked questions.
The first flight today was a cargo run. We took out the two back seats and loaded up the back of the plane. Most of it seemed to be fuel barrels. After that we went to deliver some things to some Wuaorani villages. One of the places we stopped was right at Palm Beach. See here for more info on Palm Beach: At another village very near by we picked up a very sick lady. She had just delivered a baby and had complications after the birth. She was barely able to walk to the airplane. The mother lay down in the back of the plane and I got to hold the baby all the way back to Shell. The Wuaorani baby boy was only 5 days old. He was wrapped in a blue shawl and had jet black hair. He slept most of the way to Shell, but did wake up and look around for a while. He was just precious. It was by far the highlight of the day.
From Shell Selections

On arriving back to Shell, we helped the mother into the back seat of the LaBouef's pickup and Rick and I took her into Puyo for medical attention. We went to emergency and while others helped the mother out of the truck I kept holding the baby. Once we got into emergency, the baby began to cry. He'd been whimpering for a while and moving his mouth. I gave the baby back to his mom so she could feed him, and by this time I had to leave. May the Lord use this precious life, and may he grow up to serve Jesus.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Update from Shell

Hello from Shell!

Last Friday I called up a missionary pilot. My family knew Rick and Sharon LaBoufe from when we were down here years ago, and they invited me to come right down and visit them for a few days. I jumped on a bus Sat. morning and 9 hour later, was here in Shell. (For more info on the history of Shell and Nate Saint see this link: They are so welcoming, and have a beautiful house right next to the airport.

On Sunday Rick and I took off to do some preaching in the jungle. We loaded up the plane with an indian family and a bunch of luggage, and headed into the jungle. We stopped at two or three different villages. The first place we stopped was a very small village. We setup the video equipment in a one-room school and started the generator outdoors. There were about 10 people in total who showed up. They were all women and children. After showing a 20 video, Rick preached and then we sang a couple songs. This was a Quichua village, so I sang Jesus Loves Me with them in Quichua.

On our way to the 2nd village, it started to rain. Once we got there, it was raining steadily, and the airstrip was muddy. On touchdown, mud flew in all directions and we just managed to stop before the end of the runway. At this place, there were more people. We showed the video twice and I shared some myself. Many of the women and children do not know Spanish, so we had one of the men translate for us.

Two of the indians had asked for us to fly them out. We loaded all our equipment into the plane, and a bunch of things they were going to sell in the city. The rain had stopped by this time, but the runway was still soggy, and the plane was heavily loaded. PTL, we did make it off the ground, but Rick did describe the take of as "marginal".

Lord willing, I plan to be here in Shell until Wed. and plan to travel home on Thur. Please pray for continued safety and boldness in sharing Jesus. Some of the people we were with yesterday had only heard the Gospel once or twice before.

Serving Jesus,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A quick update...

After an exciting weekend in the jungle, what does a person write when life returns to normal? It's not that I mind "normal life", its just I'm not sure what to write sometimes.

I had a good weekend. On Sat. we watched a video with the youth in the church. It was on Dinosaurs and the Bible. I directed the question time after watching the video. I so enjoy the time of fellowship at church on Sundays. On Sunday afternoon a bunch of people from church got together and we had a fun soccer game.

Please be praying about my schedule this week. I was hoping to go to Nabon today, but that did not work out. Yesterday, I also found out I need to go to Quito to get my visa registered... and I need to do it within the next 9 days. Please pray the Lord would work out all the details.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A trip to the market




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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jungle Pictures

I've posted a few pictures from the trip below. To view more click here.

On our way home

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New Friends

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On our way to the cave

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Biking into the jungle

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Jungle Retreat

Thank you so much for your prayers this weekend. The Lord´s safety certainly was evident.

We all left for the jungle early Friday morning. There were about 7 men from the church along and about 15 youth. We loaded 17 bikes onto the back of a pickup and then everyone loaded into a public bus headed for the jungle. It was a 6 hour trip to our destination. The rout took us high into the mountains and then down into the jungle. Partway down and two hours from our destination everyone who had bikes got off the bus and the rest continued on. We waited for about 30 min. and then the pickup showed up with the bikes. Everyone got on their bikes and the pickup took up the rear¨"picking up the pieces". Picking up the pieces is quite litterally what it was. The road was one lane and zig-zaged down the mountain. The road mostly rocks and muddy in a few places. It was quite a site to see 17 bikes careening down the mountain trying like crazy to dodge the rocks and not skid out on the corners. I was imagining before we left that everything was downhill, but such was not the case. The road generally lead downhill, but there were a few very long, hard, uphill stretches. On the first large downhill stretch, the front tire on my bike blew out and by the end, there were at least 3 flat tires. The pickup would would pickup the disabled bikes and we would kind of piece them together again. I swapped the front tire on my bike with that from another bike and was able to continue riding most of the way. Besides the flats and a few scraped knees and hands, there were no other mishaps.

I had my camera along, so I´ll have to upload some pictures another day. The scenery was spectacular. Orchids grew along the road and there were butterflies all over. Once in a while we´d stop and cool off in a waterfall next to the road. What a wonderful Creator we have!

We arrived a the retreat center late in the day. Some believers in the area had made an addition to there house for the purpose of holding retreats. The bottom story was open on 3 sides and had tables and chairs for eating and sessions. The upper story was divided in two and had matresses on the floor for sleeping. The whole structure was built a few feet off the ground and was made out of wood with a tin roof. It was very well designed.

Friday evening we had supper, a longer devotional and then headed to bed. We woke up Friday morning and had breakfast. It consisted of hot milk, a fried egg and a dish made from green bananas. After breakfast, we had breakfast and then had a time in the Word. At about 10:00 all 23 of us in the group loaded on and into the pickup and headed to look for a cave. Once again we drove on single lane rocky roads that climed right up the mountain side. There were waterfalls next to the road and part of the road was washed out in places. I was sitting on the back pickup right over it´s rear dual tires. As we went past one area where water had washed away the road, I watched as the outside, rear tire, hung suspended in the air for a brief moment. The Lord´s angels were watching over us.

On arriving to the approximate location where the cave was supposed to be we all unloaded off the truck and started the descent down into a valley. We didn´t find the path at the start, so kind of forged our own path through the tall grasses. Every now and then we would find a lemon tree growing wild so we would stop and pick some of the fruit. We finally found the path leading to the cave, and there headed into an area with more trees. This looked more like jungle to me. The path was muddy, and very steep. Impatiants grew wild and there were vines hanging from the trees. After about a 45 min hike we arrived at the cave. It was a big hole in the side of the mountain with a good sized stream flowing out of it. We entered and I wasn´t disappointed. There were 6ft stalactites, and the interior of the cave was very large. I saw a 8 inch spider hanging on the roof and there were large bats flying past our faces. We walked probably 20 min before we reached the back of the cave. We would usually walk next to the stream, but in one place had to walk in water up to our knees to get past.

We got back from our cave adventure at about 1:30 in the afternoon. We ate lunch and spent most of the afternoon relaxing playing soccer and volleyball in a swimming pool. After the activities we had supper and I had the evening session. I shared on Col. 3 and setting our affections on things above.

In the evening we went out to the town and walked around the central park. I tried taking some pictures in the dark. We´ll see how they turn out. At 10:30pm we all met at a corner waiting for the pickup to come and pickup us up, but it never came. Finally, a motorcycle showed up and said the lugnuts on one of the truck´s back tires had come loose. PTL the tire didn´t fall off with everyone on the pickup! We all ended up walking back to where we were staying in the dark. It was about a 30 min walk, and we were all ready for bed.

Sunday morning we had breakfast at 6:30am and then had a church service. Pastor Santiago lead the service and shared the message. He shared on the importance of following Christ and not looking behind. At about 10:00 we left for a nearby river. The plan was to go to the top of the river and walk down it. There were waterfalls all the way down and pools at the bottom of many of the falls. It had rained the night before, but we decided to still go. We weren´t able to jump into some of the pools due to the strong current. We walked around these and enjoyed some of the quieter pools and falls. The river made it´s way through a small canyon. There were trees overhead and vines hanging down. We could swing on some of the vines. Unfortunately, there was no way to bring my camera along for this adventure. In places we all had to get into the water and swim. This would have been quite impossible with a camera. It was a hard enough challenge for me just to keep track of my glasses.

Part way down the river, we realized there was no way we were going to make it back to the retreat center in time to catch the 12:00 bus if we continued down the river. So, we left the river and started trekking through the jungle in search of the road. After about a 20 min trek we found the road and everyone was given directions. Everyone was to begin jogging back to the retreat center. On arrival, there was to be no showers. (You can imagine what we looked like after trekking through the jungle.) Everyone was supposed to change, pack, and quickly eat lunch in order to catch the bus.

The youth were up to the challenge. Everyone cooperated and we made it in time. Since there were 20 of us riding in the bus, they were even able to convince the public bus to come out to the retreat center and pick us up. The trip home was uneventful. We arrived back in Cuenca at about 6:00pm, tired but very thankful for a safe long weekend.

Thanks again for those who where praying. The Lord´s safety was very evident. May the Lord use the challenges faced to teach HIS character in the lives of the youth and may they take to heart the spiritual teaching as well.

I´ll try to upload some pictures in the next couple days.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Off to the jungle!

I probably won´t be making any updates this weekend. It´s a long weekend here so a bunch of youth from the church are biking to the jungle and I´m planning on going along. We´ll be in the jungle just a couple days and have a retreat while we´re there. It should be a great time, but please pray for safety.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My Friday

It's Saturday. I have some time right now, so I thought I'd write an update and post it the next time I connect to the internet.

For a quick overview, I'm living with German in his house. He attends the Paz de Dios church and I knew him from the last time I was down here. It's been great reconnecting. He built his house a few years ago on the outskirts of Cuenca. The house is built on the side of a hill with a spectacular view of the valley below. It has more of a country feel than city. It usually takes 20 minutes to get most places in the city from here at the house. He raises chickens and guinea pigs. The house is made out of brick and has beautiful hardwood floors. German's house

The view from German's house

Yesterday morning I met with Pastor Santiago to begin planning and to have a time of Bible study. A couple times a week we're going to study the book of 1Tim. together. Everything hasn't been finalized, but it looks like I'll be teaching some classes of Bible and Computers a couple times a week. These classes have a few purposes beyond the obvious. I hope to use this as an opportunity to teach English, but most importantly a time to teach character and discipleship. This is Pastor Santiago's vision as well and he has been passing it on to the homeschooling parents. It's such a blessing to work together with him.

In the late morning I went and ran some errands with Pastor Santiago. We checked on internet and also stopped by to visit one of the homeschooling families. I'm still trying to learn all the names, but this family is homeschooling their 3 girls. They were excited to show me some of there most recent projects and some of their curriculum as well. Please pray for these families that the Lord

Paz de Dios church and Santiago's office

would give them the grace and enthusiasm to stay focused on this tremendous task they have begun. I hope to meet with the rest of the homeschool families this upcoming week.

Yesterday afternoon I ran some more errands with Pastor Santiago. This time Josue and Juan came along. They are being homeschooled as well. Part of Pastor Santiago's vision is to have opportunities for service and ministry for the homeschool kids. A lady from the church needs fence an area land, so the main purpose of the errand was to find some cement posts for the fence. In a couple days a group from the church will have a minga (work bee) and get together to help build the fence.

While we were running errands, Santiago decided it was a good time fro me to try my hand at driving in Ecuador. I have my international permit, and I was pleased to have the practice. Driving is quite different here. The roads seem more congested and there are round-abouts all over. Thankfully, we had no mishaps and made it to every place we needed.

I was reading in Ezekiel 33 this morning about how the Lord made Ezekiel a watchman for the children of Israel. What a challenging passage. Who has the Lord placed in your life? Who do you need to warn? Every day souls are being lost for eternity. Are you being faithful to share Christ with the contacts you have?

German and I went for a 8 km run this morning. It was all hills either up or down. When we got to the very top of one hill, we were able to look and see the city of Cuenca below us. The cry of my heart was "Lord, use me to reach these souls."