As I said in an earlier post: going to Ecuador was really about the people. I met some amazing brothers and sisters in Christ. One of the sisters I met was Martha. Martha will be turning 80 this year, still rides her bike through the village of Pifo, and is a somewhat of a legend in the area.
Martha came to Ecuador in the late 1950's to work for HCJB radio as a nurse in Quito. A few years later she moved to a small clinic in Pifo where she was the only nurse between Quito and the Amazon jungle. During the course of her work, she ended up adopting 20 children who were left parentless for one reason or another. Many of these children were half of a set of twins. Twins were considered to be a curse by the indigenous people because there was no way to keep both babies alive. A mother could not nurse two babies because of lack of nutrients. Many times a mother would choose one baby to keep alive and would leave the other to die. Martha ended up keeping these babies. I had the privilege to meet 6 of Martha's children and a few of her grandchildren.Here is Ruth,
Carola and a grandaughter,
and here I am with Patty. I did not get pictures of either Nancy or Rosa.
They are all committed Christians. They were all a blessing during our trip. Sometimes they translated for us or helped keep children entertained...or just simply helped with crowd control. Martha has some children who have moved to the USA. One son is a doctor in Houston. TX. After Martha adopted 20 children, she started sending other children to the USA to be adopted. You can check out a story about one of those children here.
On the last day of our trip, we were treated to lunch at Anita's house and many of the members of the family came.