Thursday, May 18, 2006

Trip to Shell

Now I would like to post some pictures and an update about my (Ben) trip to Shell this last weekend. I went with my supervisor Phil and his son, and another co-worker Frank Lamca and his three sons. Shell is southeast of Banos and is at the gateway to the Amazon basin. We had a nice drive down there. We ended up going to Nate Saint's house. He is one of 5 missionaries that were martyred by the Waorani indigenous people group back in the 50's. We also went to the airstrip where they took off and we met some missionaries that are working there now. They took us on a tour of the hangar, explained about some of the work that is being done now, and took us on a tour of the house.
Here is a picture of us with the house. Touring the area really inspired me to read the account of what happened (Through the Gates of Splendor) which was written by one of the men's wives that survived. Here is a basic account of what I know of what happened. There is a indigenous people group known as the Waorani. They were known as a warring nomadic tribe that had never heard about Jesus or the good news about him. There were 5 young missionaries and their families that moved to the area and learned about the Waorani culture. They tried to make contact with the group but were killed in the end. The amazing thing is that the story did not end there. Family members of those that were martyred went back to the tribe and continued to share the message. Many of the members believed and shared the message with others. Even some of the men that killed the missionaries went to ask for forgiveness for what they had done. What an amazing story of redemption, grace, and forgiveness. Now, I would like to put some lyrics from a song that talks about these events.
'No Greater Love' by Steven Curtis Chapman
Man of courage with your message of peace, What is that look in your eyes?, Why have you come to this faraway place? What is this story you would lay down your life to tell? What can of love can this be? chorus-There is no greater love than this, There is no greater gift that can ever be given, To be willing to die so another might live, There is no greater love than this
Broken hearted from all you have lost, How can you sing through your tears? What is this music that can bear such a cost? What is this fire that grows stronger against the wind? What kind of flame can this be?
This is the love that God showed the world, When he gave us His Son, So we could know His love forever, Beyond the gates of splendor

at the end of the song there is some chanting which is done by Mincaye who is one of the men who killed the missionaries-here is a translation of his song-'The Creation/Heaven Song'-God, creating from nothing, has made all the things around us. While our hearts are beating and we are alive, let's all believe. Believe without being afraid. I also to God's place am going. We believers are going to God's place. Let us all believe that. How can it be that we will go? If we are clean in our hearts, the let's be out of here. We, the believing ones, shall go up to God's place. All of us believers who are still living, we will be saying to ourselves, 'we want to go up to God's place.'
John 15:13-'Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.'
Here is a picture of a basket that the missionaries used to lower gifts to the Waorani as they were establishing contact with them. There are also some headphones they used and a Life article that was published after their death. I saw that 2 of the men were 28 just as I am now. All of them had families and children as well. What a sacrifice but also what a great story of redemption. The same as Jesus dying on the cross for us. It seemed to be a defeat but in the end was victory.

I will try to put some more pictures from the trip on next time.


Blogger Arnold Austin Jr said...

Wow, this is too awesome to imagine. What an great opportunity.

8:24 AM  

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