|Waterfall in the Andes|
Our time here has been filled with both things we expected and things that we did not expect. One of the things that has surprised us is the lack of heat here in Shell. It is pleasant to warm during the day and cools nicely at night, especially if it rains, which is a frequent occurrence.
|Typical Ice Cream Shop with Clown Garbage Can|
We have met many people already, both in ADSE and outside of it, mostly in the missionary community. Language barrier is a challenge in meeting and interfacing with the locals, but both we and they try. The locals are very friendly and we really are enjoying our time here. Shell is a nice city with most of the comforts and amenities you could desire. They even have pizza and hamburgers, though we have been eating mostly Ecuadorian food in an attempt at cultural immersion. Food is relatively inexpensive compared to the United States.
|Performing a Brake Overhaul|
Karen has been interfacing with our hosts, Tracey and Dan, and plans to spend time volunteering at the orphanage and school here. She has made a number of friends and contacts among the missionary community here. Joe has been spending time mostly at the ADSE hangar, helping out as needed with maintenance and other tasks. He has had opportunity to go out on two flights, delivering supplies and people to two jungle airstrips -- Llamchamacocha (LLA) and Toñampare (TMP). Toñampare is the base that was established at the location of the death of Nate Saint at "Palm Beach." The jungle is much lower altitude than Shell and is significantly warmer. We may go to the jungle next week, to get out of the city and see what the real world is like. If so, we will be off the grid except for the HF radio.
|Aerial View of Toñampare on the Curary River|
As this is being written, an ADSE plane is going on an emergency flight to pick up a sick baby from a base in the jungle so the baby can receive better medical care here in Shell. Yet the glamour of being a life saver is not even half the story. Several of the pilots and staff here have told us that they are motivated to do what they do because of the personal relationships and fellowship they have with the people here. The work is not just a service; when it is done correctly, intensely personal relationships are forged. This is intentional, for from these relationships will come the questions about why we are here and providing these services. The answer of course, is that because the infinite love of Jesus has been poured out on us, we are both called and compelled to share that love. As we share that love with others and they accept the source of that love, JESUS, they in turn can continue the cycle of sharing Jesus' love. For example, one of the mechanics in the shop grew up in a orphanage in Quito. He was shown Jesus' love through missionary contact with the orphanage. Now he participates as a mechanic supporting the work of ADSE as it meets the needs of the people of Ecuador.
|Flight to Toñampare with Capt. Richard Morales|
Thanks to all for your prayers and support. We would appreciate your continued prayer for good health (so far, so good) and for as much learning and discovery as possible.