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Miles Apart

by Jim Hedlund; Retired missionary to Ecuador
in Ecuador, Prayer, Stories
“How can it be that we talked and heard each other so clearly when she is so far away!”

     Let me introduce Norma’s good friend Miik. When we arrived in Makuma Ecuador in 1968 she was the school cook preparing meals for 70 or more school children most of whom lived in the dorms nearby. Cooks like to share recipes so Norma has learned how to prepare delicious Shuar food from her. In these latter years we would see each other occasionally when in her community or when she stopped by for a visit at our house.

   Esteban, her brother, is one of the Shuar Bible translators helping to finish the Old Testament in their language.  He also worked on the New Testament years ago when young. Thursday as I started work with Esteban via Internet, he mentioned that his sister Miik was very sick, probably dying and had been taken to the health center in Makuma. Norma asked him to please give her greetings to Miik, telling her we would pray, yet thinking it was a good-bye until we would see her in heaven.

     Friday morning just at daybreak Esteban and Rosa left home for the Makuma Clinic where they found Miik very weak, unable to walk and almost unresponsive. Rosa’s reaction was “We have to take Miik home with us to care for her.” So Esteban hired a car to take them to the river. There the two of them loaded her on the cable car to cross the river. He said it was just like managing a quarter of beef but somehow they made it across the river.

     Soon Esteban’s adult sons showed up to help carry Miik home, lying cradled in a blanket suspended from a pole. Minutes after I turned my computer on Saturday morning, up popped a chat from Esteban that Miik was with them, had slept well and even eaten. Upon hearing Norma’s greeting she asked to talk with Norma. Esteban helped her to the computer and, due to the marvels of technology, from jungle house to Minneapolis these two friends had a good chat.        

     We heard her say to her brother “How can it be that we talked and heard each other so clearly when she is so far away!” We are thankful that God spared her and brought healing. The next day she wanted to get to her house and care for the chickens, so off she walked, strong enough once again. We are reminded of God’s care, which we have seen as we work with the Shuar translators over the Internet!

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