Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Shuar Bible Dedication

Umberto and the Drowns

Genesis in Shuar

Jim and Norma Hedlund being presented a bible

The Cashindu girls were trying to look after Benjamin most of the day (Photo Chad Irwin)

Alfredo receiving a Shuar bible (photo Chad Irwin)

Last Saturday we joined a number of Shell missionaries on a flight to Makuma for the dedication of the newly printed Shuar bible. Our good friends Jim and Norma Hedlund have been working on this project with the Shuar church association for many years to get a partial translation of the Old testament and a revision of the New Testament ready for print.

The dedication was all planned and presented by the church association and they did a beautiful job. For me, the most touching part was the reciting of Nehemiah 12.27+ (dedication of the wall) by all the tranlators who had worked on the bible.

Bibles were given to all the translators, to people who had supplied food faithfully over many years for when the translators came to makuma and to the different missionaries and Missions who have been involved over the years. Even Alfredo was given a bible on behalf of the work of HCJB water projects with the Shuar. This brought a tear to my eye as Daniel Chu, the president of the church association presented the bible to 'mi amigo Alfredo' (my friend Alfredo)- it highlighted the good relationships we have with these people and that the local church view as partners in their work.

It was a joy to see Umberto present at the event. He lost the use of his legs when a tree fell on him many years ago and he has been the longest-serving translator, working 30 years on both the original new testament and the revision and Old Testament publication. It is very unusual for someone to survive so long in the jungle in a wheelchair and he recognises that God has protected him all this time so he could work on this project. Many times I was working in Makuma on water projects and would pop into the translation room to find Norma Hedlund and Umberto working together on Old testament passages. Umberto lives in a community down in the southern jungle and would come for a fortnight each month. Lately he has been unable to come to mauma because his community airstrip was in bad repair and was closed down. It was a real blessing for the strip to be opened in the last week so he could come to this celebration. They will have another dedication in his community later in the year.

Marie and Frank Drown returned to Ecuador for the dedication. They worked many years with the Shuar and we often hear about 'Don Pancho' because in addition to all his bible and transtaion work he had a vision of community development and has left long-lasting influence in the areas we work. It was an honour to meet them both. Their story can be read in 'Mission to the headhunters' and great book about the people we work with.

May many eyes and hearts be opened amongst the Shuar as they receive the bible in their own language. To God be all the Glory.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Some Photos of the past two weeks

August Praise and Prayers

written 9th August

Dear Friends and Family,

Benjamin and I have been back in Ecuador nearly two weeks now and we are all back in our house in Shell, but bags are still not unpacked and boxes still in storage! As always, we hit the ground running, with friends from Redcliffe College arriving in Ecuador two days before I did so they could see our work. We spent part of last week in the jungle, seeing Jim and Norma in Makuma and showing Wim and Nienke a few projects. Alfredo and Wim then went to Cangaime to repair the system while we returned to Shell for the weekend. Tonight we are all together again in Shell and tomorrow we head up to mountain to see the projects in Chimborazo.

Thank you for all the prayers for flying with Benjamin. It was a very long day but Benjamin did sleep a little on the planes and he walked the whole way in Miami airport, pulling his Trunki suitcase behind him so although it was slow it meant I didn’t have to carry him the whole way! We were able to get the little airport car for part of the distance. Benjamin got the babycot on the first flight and his own seat on the second flight. When we arrived in Quito I went straight to bed while Benjamin showed all his toys off to the family! He has quickly recovered to Ecuadorian time and is sleeping till 7am now we are back in Shell.

We had another echo when I got to Shell to again try and see the sex of the baby and this time the legs were tight together and not showing much… however the doctor said he thought it might be a boy… whereas the UK guess was a girl… so we are still not sure! However the baby is healthy and growing fine, so that is the important thing! It is due mid November.

The family is all back together in Shell

For a good jungle trip and Benjamin loved walking in the mud and rain!

That Wim and Nienke were able to include us in their mission tour of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador and get a taste of what we do. They want to be missionaries to Latin America when they finish at Redcliffe and don’t know where to go yet (maybe in the jungle with us!)

Next week life will settle down a little more and we can start planning for the coming months. Pray with us as we decide how to use our time in Shell, which jungle projects to take on and what involvement we accept in the Hospital maintenance department.

Steph Smithers arrives next week for 6 months with us and Fraenzi is now in language school in Quito before she joins us in Shell for a year. Pray for our water projects team!

Pray for our finances. We have been blessed with many new people joining our support team in the past few months, and for that we are grateful. With an increase in HCJB admin costs, a bad exchange rate and increase in the reserve with need to maintain in the UK account (for flights home etc) our monthly allowance has actually decreased from last year, despite the new donors! We had hoped it would increase in anticipation of the baby! So for those of you who have standing order forms that you keep intending to fill in, please go find it now and send it off, and for those interested in joining the support team write to me agriffin@hcjb.org.ec or print of the form at the HCJB-Uk website (http://www.hcjbglobal.org.uk/get-involved-mainmenu-125/give-mainmenu-131.html) . Remember to say it is for the Leon family.

Thank you for giving us a wonderful time in the UK. It was a blessing seeing so many of you and sharing some fun times. Let us know if you want a holiday in the Ecuadorian jungle (we won’t make you work too hard!)

Big hugs and blessings
Alex, Alfredo, Benjamin and Bump.