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Ecuador jungle trip, May 2007

In addition to serving with Unsion Television in Quito with missionary Bill McDonald, I take pictures for Latin America Child Care (LACC4hope.org). These photos are used on the LACC website, where donors in the United States can sponsor a child and provide finances to send a child to a Christian school. Photos are also sent to sponsors, so they can see how their sponsored child is doing. It is a great joy and pleasure to use my skills in photography for such a cause as this.

In May of 2007 I had the opportunity to accompany Assemblies of God missionary Tim Anderson into the Amazon jungle in Ecuador.

Our trip began in the town of Shell, named after the oil company that set up operations here in the twenties and thirties. Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF) continues to fly missionaries into the jungle from their hangar here. Nate Saint was one of the first pilots with MAF in Ecuador and pioneered many of their safety procedures and technical advances to the airplanes. Nate Saint was one of the five missionaries martyred by Auca tribesmen, along with Jim Elliot, Ed McCulley, Roger Youderian, and Pete Fleming, in their efforts to bring the Gospel to this jungle tribe. The first five photos in this gallery show the MAF hangar, and the house that Nate built across the street.

We went to the jungle to photograph kids in two jungle village schools and visit a third. These are communities of indigenous Shuar indians. Some of the communities have grass and dirt airstrips, many do not. Those without landing strips are accessible only by walking through the jungle, along paths that are mostly mud that is literally knee-deep in places. Tall rubber boots are the footwear of choice. Only a few villages have electricity (provided by generators the missionaries have brought in) and communal running water.

As you can see in the photographs the children are happy and easy to smile. There are obstacles, though, to bringing the gospel into these areas. One does not enter a village for the first time unless the chief offers an invitation, and it is not unusual for a missionary to be rebuffed after several hours (or days) of walking or canoing to a village. But God has opened many doors in the jungle; there are churches being built and schools established in many jungle villages. The villagers are seeing a better quality of life and hearing the message of God's love.

Nearly all the photos have captions; make sure you scroll down to read the stories behind the photos.

All photos are copyright 2007 Joseph Hewes. Unauthorized duplication or web posting is prohibited. Please do not link to this gallery without permission. Gracias. Dios te bendiga.
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