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Gustavo and Ines are recordists with the Global Recordings Network Mexican centre (Grabaciones Buenas Nuevas), working in the Amazon in Ecuador. It is a place with such a huge diversity of different cultures.
One of their biggest challenges since their arrival in Ecuador has been the Gospel recording in the Chachi tribal language. The language is spoken in a very isolated location far from any other civilization. To get there from Shell, where Gustavo and Ines live, is a very long journey. You first have to get to Quito, the capital city that is 5 hours away, then 8 hours to the town of El Borbón, which is in the province of Esmeraldas. From there it is an 8-hour canoe ride and then a 2-hour hike through the jungle to get to this location. On the way to this community there are several other areas where there are believers who are occasionally visited by Christians from various churches. However this community of Chachi speakers never have visitors coming through as it is such a long, difficult trip. It is not only time consuming but expensive as well to travel to such an isolated area. This has been the most adventurous trip so far that Gustavo has made in Ecuador. Whenever Gustavo goes on a recording or distribution trip he always plans to go with someone who knows the area, and preferably someone who knows the community of his destination. But on this occasion the person he had arranged cancelled at the last minute. So he had to make the decision to make the trip by himself. It was a very long journey, 2 days of travelling without knowing another person along the way.
Praise God that Gustavo was able to make contact with someone there who was willing to help him, a teacher and also the owner of the only store in the area, so he was always very busy. The only time he had to help with the Gospel recording was from 3:00 am to 7:00 am.
During the day while the language helper was busy with his other jobs Gustavo had the chance to be with all the children in the community. He was invited to share with the kids about his work as a missionary and about life in Mexico. He was able to present the Gospel message to these little ones and each one of them responded to the invitation to receive Christ as their Lord and Saviour!
While the recordings were under way the entire community was curious as to what was happening. When Gustavo and the language helper finally finished, they gathered everyone together to hear for the first time in their own language the stories of the Bible. After he played a portion of the unedited recording he stopped the playback to explain the Gospel and the way to salvation. Gustavo went on to explain that to receive and become a follower of Christ is not always easy and that one must repent of their sins and obey to receive this new life offered. He always likes to present the Gospel message this way so that it will not just be an emotional decision that is made. He wants them to understand the sacrifice Christ made for each one of us when He died on the cross.
When Gustavo was ready to leave the town he was told that he could depart with a boatman leaving at 3am in the morning. If he didn't want to leave then he would have to wait 4 or 5 days until someone else was travelling. Since the river was so wide (about 100m) Gustavo wasn't very excited about being on it at 3am in the morning. Since he didn't want to wait another 4 or 5 days he decided that he would have to leave at 3am. When they went to see the boatman that Gustavo would be travelling with he said he would charge Gustavo another $100.00 dollars to lead him out. Gustavo was under the impression that price he paid to get here included travel both ways. He had no more money. When the boatman saw that Gusatvo had a cell phone he said that he would carry him if Gustavo would give him the phone. After thinking about it Gustavo decided to give the boatman my phone so that he could be on his way.
As they departed Gustavo had never experienced anything like this canoe trip. It was so dark. And the boatman only had one small lantern to light the way. Gustavo was in the front of the canoe and could not see a thing. They ended up running straight into a tree that had fallen into the river due to the heavy rains. The canoe got tangled up in the branches. Praise God that neither of them were injured and the canoe did not get damaged. To get the canoe untangled from the branches one of them had to put the motor into reverse and the other had to get in the water to untangle the canoe from the branches. Since Gustavo didn't know how to properly operate the motor he had to get in the water. He was able to get in between all the branches and push the canoe out. At last they were able to get it untangled and continue on their way.
Gustavo and Ines are so thankful to the Lord that they were able to get this recording made in this isolated place knowing that soon all the people that live in this area will be able to have the full edited recordings to hear the message of salvation in their own language. They ask that you pray with them that as these programs are completed that we would have the means to be able to distribute them and that many will be able to hear the message of our Lord Jesus Christ. They know that God will help them find the way to do this, along with the financial resources to do it. It will be expensive to get these recordings back into this area, but they trust the Lord will provide a way.