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December Update

    Dear Friends,                                                                                                                                December 2021

    Christmas is the time of new beginnings. In our calendar it is at the end of the year, but several churches celebrate December as the beginning of the new church year. Christmas shows the way to something new, and that is the situation at the Shell Hospital right now.

    Dr. Juan Carlos Panchi has been associated with us in Shell for a long time now. He is the designated director of the hospital. He is with us part-time now to get to know the process for the future and the many details that will be required to lead. We are happy to have him officially on board.

    The next director is starting part time in order to be known at the hospital

    Our treatment prices are too high for many of the indigenous people living close by. For one month we plan to offer them half-price for Family Physicians in the outpatient clinic. We hope this will result in more patients from this patient group.

    December 6th is a holiday in Ecuador. We met with the members of our Foundation all day in Quito to plan the future of the Shell Hospital. We noticed that general surgery and orthopedics have no specialist to take over. It would cost too much to bring new staff here. Ophthalmologists and ENT surgeons have no interest in coming. We have to bring our hospital to a new level and make the difficult decisions for the time when the Wolffs will leave.

    Our one-day strategic meeting in Quito with all of the members of our foundation

    One of our strong services is the scientific investigation by Dr. Jacob Bezemer, a Dutch missionary. He is working now in Leishmaniasis. If we continue these types of programs, we could receive outside donations for more programs to show the excellence of the hospital.

    Right now, our maintenance team is working on two houses (las casitas) for indigenous people who are mainly from the jungle to stay with them when family members are hospitalized. The first house has a roof. The second house needs some new walls, a new roof, a completely new water
    and electrical system, and finally new cooking areas with gas and a fireplace. We have some funding but not enough to finish. This is currently our most important project.

    We need more connections with the indigenous groups in Ecuador. A few days before we celebrated a contract with the Shiwiar nationality for medical treatment. They have some money from international help that will pay for the treatment of their people. Another connection was built through a diabetes patient with glaucoma who we sent to a foundation close to Quito for surgery. Her world changed when she was able to see again. She was one of the representatives of the Záparas in international meetings in the US. There are ways for new connections through medicine, and we pray with all of these people.

    Signing a contract for medical treatment with the Shiwiar

    The next project is our guest house for international visitors. One of the former missionary houses will be completely renovated. The roof construction is already done but the inside needs much more work in order to have space for 27 visitors and/or medical students to help in the hospital.
    We had a visit from a US couple in October. We hope they will come next year for teaching as Family Practice physicians and to be part of our team. They need a clear call from God to join us. Please pray for them.

    They and their friends are planning to take over Lightway Medical Foundation in the near future, as Steve and Diana Wilson who started it years ago are passing it along. Thank you to Steve and Diane for so many years of connection with the Shell hospital!

    The rest of our medical team is growing together more and more. Our team is learning from Dan Fontain in a course about spiritual care for patients, and that the body, spirit, and emotions have to be cured together. Every day in our morning meeting we discover together what this means for our patients. We look deeper into our patients, and we grow together as a missionary team. In all our time working in Shell, we have not noticed how deep some of these things go.

    Preparation time before Christmas this year is more than finishing a calendar year. It is the beginning of something new as the Wolffs will finish in May 2022. It is the start of a new level of the hospital and we thank you for joining us, especially in prayers. It is God’s work, and years ago He gave us the vision and strength to do this. It is for HIS glory. God bless you.


    You can send your tax deductible US contributions to Lightway Medical Foundation at the address below. As of right now, 100% of your contribution will be given to efforts here in Shell. There is NO administration fee because of the volunteer service of those running Lightway.

    Contributions can be sent to:

    Lightway Medical Foundation
    PO Box 8066
    Fort Wayne, IN 46898

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