Maria Giron | Missions Mobilizer for Hispanic Friends
As a way to praise the Lord for a successful Luke 10 Exploration Trip to Ecuador, I would like to share with all of you a glance of our many adventurous experiences during our time in the beautiful amazon jungle of Ecuador.
First of all, I would like to express our gratitude to everyone that joined our team by praying and giving. I want you to know that we clearly saw God at work starting by always experiencing his protection over each member of our team. We felt safe all the time, none of us suffered severe sickness (some only had minor stomach issues). It was amazing to see how at only a couple of days before taking off, all the finances needed to cover the trip’s costs were supplied and even above the expected. And at every experience we were able to live, we knew Jesus was present.
Our first experience emerging and touching the Shuar culture was astounding. This happened at the Shuar community Tuwasip near Palora where we were welcome by their tribe’s chief and his son. After dinner we kept sat down and listen to the chief share about their people’s traditions and cosmovision. While we were listening to his stories, something unexpected happened, God surprised us with the visit of the chief’s mother who joined us and sat with us. She started telling us that she was already a Christian and was very happy with our visit!! The most impacting moment was when, out of her own words, she invited us to come and teach their children and grandchildren about the gospel of Jesus. She even mentioned that there is land available to build a church. Those words from the mother had a great impact on our hearts, we knew that it was God confirming why we were there and showing us, at that moment, that indeed the harvest is plentiful and ready.
It is known that there are still tribes of Shuars held in the remoteness of the Amazon jungle that know very little about the gospel or even have not heard of Jesus Christ. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know a little more about them by traveling in little canoes up the Amazon River for over two hours, arriving at a village where we met a small group of Evangelical Christians. There we learned that for the Shuar it is very significant that visitors accept their drinks and food to be accepted in their village, so we were tested to see if we love the people by how we responded to the food they offered us. We were able to taste from freshly collected alive worms, fish, rooster soup, snails, and other jungle delicacies. We are thankful that we were blessed by meeting Carlos, a Christian Shuar, that was our guide and our way to be able to be accepted and enter the Shuar village.
We are also grateful to have been able to meet leaders and missionaries who are dedicating their lives to the hard work of evangelizing the Shuar people, as was the case of a Korean family that has been living and working with the Shuar for almost eight years. We could see exhaustion in them, she even had the freedom to expressed, with tears in her eyes, some of their great challenges facing as family and the rejection that their nine- and ten-year-old boys have suffered from the local kids. Her testimony touched our hearts, and so we were happy to be able to visit them, encourage them, hug them, and pray for them. We also appreciate the contact we had with other leaders and men of peace that God allowed us to be encountered with so that we could carry out the exploration trip in effective ways.
Please join us in praising the Lord that we were able to have the joy of navigating deeper into the culture of the Shuar people. We surely now have grown in love, respect, and compassion for those that has not yet been reached with the love and grace of Jesus Christ.