We left San Francisco International Airport early in the morning, January 29, deep in thought...
Thus began the 17 day journey to Shell, Ecuador, to help at a small rural hospital (Steve) and work at an orphanage (Wanda).
Shell is located on the eastern slope of the Andes at the entry point to the Amazonian jungle which occupies much of eastern Ecuador. This jungle is home to numerous tribal groups which continue to live their lives isolated from modern civilization. When medical care is needed and desired, people travel to places like Shell.
The town on Shell takes its name from the Shell Oil Company which tried to develop the oil reserves found in the area during the early part of the twentieth century. When the Middle East oil discovery was made, Shell moved out, leaving behind an airfield and rudimentary town. Various Christian organizations came in - Mission Aviation Fellowship took over the airfield, for instance - and the town was revitalized.
Around 1950 a group of five missionaries were martyred as they visited the Auca Indians. Among them were Nate Saint and Jim Elliott. Wives of some of the men continued the outreach to the Auca's and now they are a predominantly Christian people. A school in Shell is named for Nate Saint.
Use the menu at right to read about our time at the hospital, the orphanage, and with others.
Blessings to all,
Steve & Wanda