Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Auto Biography, By Photo, Jungle Ministry

Part Four: Serving the Tribe

Providing Aviation Support.
Hangar in Ciudad Bolivar.

Transporting indian patients.

Yekwanaman learning the language
and culture from the chief.

Jungle Mom visiting with the ladies
to learn the language.

Entertaining guests in The Jungle Hut.
( The animal is a baby wild pig.)

Teaching the Word.

Yekwanaman and Victor,
Translating the Bible into the Ye'kwana language.

Providing Emergency Medical Care.

Delivering babies and providing vaccinations.

Building Dispensaries.

Fighting malaria through fumigation,
blood testing and medicines.

Jungle Mom teaching hygiene class.

Teaching literacy.
Children learn to read both Ye'kwana and Spanish.

Build schools and train teachers.
Education provides protection from abuse!

Help provide food for hungry children.

Provide and repair Short Wave radios
for communication.

And the church goes forth!

to be continued..


Starla said...

I love all your photos.

MightyMom said...

that's fabulous!

preacher, doctor, teacher, pilot, builder????? my goodness!

I don't think I would ever have the credentials to be a missionary!

Renegade Eye said...

Thank you for visiting my blog.

I was starting to think blogging was getting dull, and sharp debate was tough to initiate.

It is to me brave to post about ones own life. I could never do it. I would be too shy.

Becky said...

You all have had such an amazing set of experiences!

I love how the Lord seemed to use EVERYthing you knew at some point or another in your ministry there. He knew exactly what the Yekwana folks would need, and sent you all to fill that need.

LOVE it!

Yekwana Man said...

The true secret Blogger. Just like an amazon indian.... I come out of the misty darkness, post and comment, and then disappear into the jungle again. No trail, no sound. I miss it.

Brenda said...

I like the picture of you sitting outside the house with the ladies. I notice you are always wearing a skirt. Because it was cooler? Or because thats what people wore?

Jane said...

Seeing all that God did through you in the jungles of Venezuela is such a blessing. Thanks for sharing these photos with us. I can't wait to see more.

Liz said...

Rita, Brenda asked the question I was too shy to ask!

Or is it that you're just my sis in law? she only likes to wears skirts.

Jungle Mom said...

Brenda and Liz,
It is true that I managed to do just about everything in the jungle in a skirt. The Indian women wear dresses and skirts all the time. The younger generation are starting to change that, but for a married woman to wear anything but a skirt would definitely be considered immodest. The blouse, of course, is optional!!!!! And thats the truth!

Jungle Mom said...

I am always ready for a debate but some of your readers are very angry people who leave me threatening comments. That is whey I rarely comment at your blog.

Anonymous said...

I've flown a lot of different aircraft, fixed wing and rotary wing, but I think I'd be nervous about flying Cessna's down there. For one thing, I hear the different governments are a little slack on distinguishing between drug smugglers and legitimate light aircraft. For another, who does the maintainance on those aircraft? Losing an engine over a jungle could really ruin your day.

Jungle Mom said...

Hermit, great points all!
The missionary pilots are all trained to do their own maintainance for the reasons you mention and have special training. All planes have a STOL kit as well. And I have had an engine cut off in the air!

WomanHonorThyself said...

FANTASTIC girl!...yikes..malaria!!

beakerkin said...


Communists seriously get upset at the notion of Indians embracing Christ. This notion ruins all of their popular stories and myth.

Moreover, while commies talk about the people the truth is it is about power and elitism. A true Christian serves the poor, the sick and lost as
their calling. Those who preach empty words (commies) have no clue about their betters.

Mrs. Who said...

Thank you for sharing the pictures...and God bless you for sharing your gifts with others!

Dawn said...

I can feel your love of the call!

Mishel said...

I started at the beginning of your picture posts--what a wonderful testimony of your ministry! Awesome pictures!

Pam said...

and to think HUGO kicked you out after all the good you did for his country!! But you ended this post well, "The church goes forth" and even Hugo himself can't stop that!

Tori said...

What a wonderful ministry!
Hey I could get along pretty good there with the barefoot thing don't know about the malaria though.

FeathersMcGraw said...

Nice BIO JM! :)

I enjoyed to see all the picts, from childhood to missionary :D

Good job!

pilot-pooja said...

Jungle Mom is just so great..Luv to have known her!!

Roger W. Gardner said...

Hello again Jungle Mom. My admiration for you and your work knows no bounds. I respect you more than I can say. To me, you represent the highest ideals of our common humanity: faith, courage and selflessness. You are a shining example to us all.

Please stay safe and say Hello to your lovely family from me.
Roger G.

Jungle Mom said...

Roger, I appreciate your regards very much. I truly count it an honor to be blessed with the opportunity to work and minister among the Ye'kwana people.

CaraqueƱa said...

Hi Rita! Will you be at Jared's wedding?

Jungle Mom said...

Cara, NO! We have Josh's wedding coming up and lots of expenses and alas, not enough money.

Anonymous said...

Please, why can't you leave these people alone? They were happy, they can remain happy. Have you converted all your neighbours to christianity? Or is it more important to convert the Yequana? Why?

Does your christian view extend to freedom of speech I wonder? Or will you delete me? Hmmm.

Jungle Mom said...

The Ye'kwana invited us into their village and asked for missionary help. No one can move in without the invitation of the tribe. You obviously do not know what you are talking about.
From now on I will not post your comments unless you give a name. If you are too coward to speak with your own name do not try and hide behind,'Anonymous' as I see you on my sitemeter anyway..

Anonymous said...

Thank you for showing my comment, I appreciate that.

So, the Yequana asked you to come and teach them about christianity? To translate the bible into their language? I'm sorry, but I struggle to understand this. Did they only invite you, or did they also invite muslims, buddhists, sufi....? I do not wish to fight with you, but I would like to understand how this came to pass.....?

My name is Christine, I am from the UK. This is not a secret! - but I do not have a google username and don't particularly want one, I have too many internet names already!

Jungle Mom said...

The Ye'kwana tribe of the Amazon state has been exposed to Christianity for nearly 100 years. The Ye'kwana of Bolivar state had not benefited from this as they are very isolated.
The Venezuelan government controlled all permits for missionaries to enter the tribe and this had to be petitioned by the village.
They petitioned and we were approved to work among them. Not only did we do evangelism and help with bible translation, we provided schooling and a medical dispensary.
We are no longer there but are now in the city of AsunciĆ³n,Paraguay.
Anyone who thinks a missionary can just walk into a tribal village and stay without the permission of the tribe does not understand tribal mentality at all. The missionaries have all been removed for over 3 years and the Ye'kwana continue to evangelize totally on their own with no outside influences.
The Ye'kawana are not interested in Islam ,Thank GOD! But there are Islamic missionaries working among another tribe, the Wiyuu and has even trained them to make pipe bombs. One was used at the embassy in Caracas. The Islamic 'missionaries' gain entrance by purchasing alliances within the tribal leadership.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a prompt reply.
I have to get to bed now! - so I really don't have time to fully consider and respond to what you have said, but I appreciate your taking the time to engage with me, I really do.

I don't doubt that your understanding may be greater than mine, I have never visited with a south american tribe. This is why I have questions for you! I hope I will have time to return and continue talking with you tomorrow, please let me know if there is a more appropriate way to do this other than as comments on your blog! From Christine.

Jungle Mom said...

Sorry if my replies are a bit defensive, but as your first comment was proactive and I receive so many such comments from people who have never actually had any first hand experience among the tribes but yet consider it their place to reprehend mission works, I do get a bit peeved.
I too must get to bed.

Lindsey said...

That child didn't look particularly hungry to me... he seemed a lot healthier than many American children!

And what kind of abuse typically occurs in this tribe? Aren't they a pretty peace-loving people?

Beautiful photos. Can't say I agree with your "mission," though.

Jungle Mom said...

Lindsey, You are right, that particular child received breakfast and lunch at school. This was taken after 10 years in the tribe so things had changed quite a bit in this village. I am sad to say that it is not the same in all villages.
It really only matters what the tribe thinks about the mission work, doesn't it?
Peace loving people??? UH, no and Sanema will go to war over just about anything.

Anonymous said...

Well, my first post was antagonistic, I apologise for that. You had every right to be defensive in return. I was simply shocked, it had never occured to me that missionaries would be visiting these tribes. Naive, of course.

I don't agree that all that matters is what the tribe thinks about the missionary work. Not when the missionary work involves preaching a religion. I'm so upset to imagine these beautiful people succumbing to the charms of christianity, and I know that we will never agree on that, so I will leave it there.

As the pp said though, lovely photos, I'm grateful for you sharing those. Christine.

Jungle Mom said...

You first must realize that we as protestant missionaries do not force anyone to convert. Our doctrine is that everyone has a free will and must make that decision on their own. we offered Bible teaching in the church but not everyone attended, only those interested. Many did come to faith in Christ and many did not, it is their choice.
There is a common misconception, especially in Europe where there has never been any exposure to Indigenous tribes, that they are all happy and peaceful. This is not the case!
As one old indian grandfather told me, they spend most of their life working hard to die a little slower. The romantic picture painted is not the truth. Children die from malaria, elderly die from yellow fever. Many women and babies die in child birth. Wars happen, women are abused.Life is hard and suicide among women is extremely high!
I would direct you to a few other of my posts, especially this one,

Please try and re think things and imagine if it were you or your children which people wanted to keep 'primitive' so that they could discuss your 'culture' while you struggled through life living as if the earth were still in the stone age.
Searching for food, cooking on a fire, hauling water and fire wood for survival, bearing children in the muck and mud of the jungle, dying from simple infirmities because you had no antibiotics...
As a women, being bartered and traded by the men for sex at their will and watching the same happen to your 10 year old daughter, all while the anthropologists informs the world of your model society.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am reading some more of your blog, and pondering...

I do not think it is necessarily so simple to say that people are "entitled to progress", I think there ARE philosophical questions to which there are no easy answers. Life is not just about technology, medicine, knowledge, travel. Life is also about having a happy spirit, emotional well being, a peaceful soul. It is the loss of this that I fear for.

You mention that the Ye'kwana have a creation story, I'm wondering, do they believe in sin? Heaven and Hell?

One more thing I want to ask, which maybe you have answered somewhere on this blog already, is why the jungles of South America? Why did you desire to help these people rather than, say, for example, the many troubled teenagers in the US who are desperately in need of help and are commiting terrible acts of violence against themselves and their societies? From Christine, who will set up a proper username soon, I promise!

Jungle Mom said...

I was hoping you wold be on at this time.
Having lived with the tribe for over ten years, I do know life is not about technology, etc. But the lack of these things do not bring about happiness or peace either.
What makes you think the Ye'kwana have happy peaceful souls?
The Ye'kwana believe in the creator God, Wanaadi and they believe we have an eternal spirit which will live forever in heaven, (God's house) or with Satan ,Odosha.
My husband has Latin family and spoke Spanish as a child, and so we were drawn to South America. We worked in the city of Barquisimeto among Venezuelans in a Seminary for 8 years after which time we began working among the tribe.
We both had wanted to work with tribal people because, frankly, not many people are willing to do so. It is not easy to go and live in the jungle without modern conveniences and such. We were willing and had been trained to do that and spent over 10 years living among them as family.
There is a great need in the US and else where but there are many people who can reach those groups. These groups also have the benefit of technology to promote their works. These groups have access to material, education, and funds. The tribes do not.
We wanted to work where we felt we could help in a place others could not reach.