Polish association


Wystawa zorganizowana przez Stowarzyszenie Charytatywno-Misyjne im. Sary Gabrieli Ściepuro oraz Autorskie Licea Artystyczne i Akademickie


And God created Ecuador                                                                                                                                                                                                                


We are going to a mission in Ecuador!

The decision comes unexpectedly easily. I am drawn to South America by memories from before 20 years, images that I cannot (and do not want to!) forget. Joanna agrees without any hesitation. She still remembers my promise after I had got back from Peru, that I would take her there one day. The boys...

Why are you taking your children there? - we hear the question now and again.

Right, as a family we are so unprepared for such a venture.

„To make them more sensitive to the needs of another man”. - I answer intuitively.

„For them to understand that our parental love will find its fullest expression if they see that they are not the centre of the world.” For I strongly believe that God created Ecuador also for us, so that we do not lose the gift of love. Our missionary trip to Ecuador is an attempt at finding ourselves thorugh perceiving the needs of others. And with some things one must not wait too long...

We invite you to see the exhibition!

Joanna, Dariusz, Wojtek and Tomek Sciepuro


Among our photographs you will also find some pictures taken by Lana Pecotić and Drina Cavar. Drina spent two years in Ecuador at the mission. Without her we would have never made it there.


To describe some photos we used fragments of our blog: misja-ekwador.blog.pl


Another supper, traditionally we are finishing off the leftovers from dinner – arroz con pollo - washing it all down with freshly made juices from exotic fruit, exotic in two ways, since even the names of some of them sound totally unfamiliar. To our right and left – where the sisters are – we hear joyful explosions of laughter. I look around in surprise. Only maestra nobly manages to keep serious. Tomorrow the mission school is awaiting a visitation from authorities, who will decide the formal status of the school in the coming school year. Behind us a day full of effort and striving.And what we have got here is an explosion of joy... So this is what a life of nuns looks like, the nuns who sacrifice all their time to the needs of others. Sacrifice – but is it a proper word in this context? For you do not see here the feeling of lack, of renunciation. What we have got here is a conscious and joyful OFFERING. And the fullness of meaning found again.

The teenage Shuar girls, straight from the heart of the jungle. „What is absolutely unusual about them is that they managed a beautiful smile at all times. - says Wojtek (14) - „They never seemed to quarrel about anything, and their life at the mission was the life of hard work and study, since dawn till late at night. It is not an easy life they are living!” We have no doubts – this attitude is clearly an influence of the sisters, 2 or 3 years of living together in the atmosphere created by las hermanas have brought about the blessed results. And this joy on the part of the girls is not diminished by their memories of the stormy past or by the uncertainties of their future.

The Iberia plane rises steeply just over the roofs of the nearby buildings. Far away we are leaving the people we have felt a very deep affection for. When we were coming we wanted to give something from us to the mission. And we have probably managed, a little. „Regresen pronto” - „come back soon” – shouted the sisters and las ninas. But to tell you the truth, it is us who feel like we were at the receiving end in all this situation. Perhaps for the first time we can see it so clearly, that giving really IS receiving. How incredible love is, the more you give it to others, the more of it you will feel within you!

The exhibition was financed and prepared by ALA, Wroclaw

With children among the Shuar Indians


How incredible love is, the more you give it to others, the more of it you will feel within you! (poster)

The fullness of meaning found again (in the hands of Jesus)

And this joy is not diminished by their memories of the stormy past or by the uncertainties of their future. (Deisy and Esperanza laughing)



The mission

Comunidad Cristo Misionero Orante was sterted 11 years ago by s. Lenka Covic from Croatia. One day a friendly Indian woman offered her a piece of land on a slope in the village of San Francisco de Oyacoto, 40 kms north of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, 2500 metres above the sea level, where she started living together with three other sisters (now there are ten of them).

At first, apart from this piece of land, the sisters had virtually nothing, but a few faithful friends in Italy and Croatia and unfailing faith, also in this that they must manage. At present they run a kindergarten and a school for over a hundred children aged 2-9 from families in most desperate situation from the neighbouring villages. First and foremost, these children have to feel they are loved, they also have to be transported to and from school plus be fed – they lack all this. Besides, the sisters host a group of 15 teenage girls from the Indian tribe of Shuar, the feared headhunters.

To such a community we came for 6 weeks at the end of January 2010. We were bringing some financial help and our readiness to help with eveything, but especially as teachers of English.

The picture:

The mission buildings, a view from above


S. Lenka – maestra. She takes all decisions, grants permissions, the responsibility is all hers, and yet she works as hard as the other sisters, serves the others whenever possible. She is a very tranquile person, she smiles a little less frequently than others, does not burst out with this joyful laughter so characteristic to the others. She must be feeling this burden of responsibility on her shoulders, she does not raise her voice - obviously there is no need for that, the sisters do their best all the time – one can sense it at the end of each and every day.



The little ones are leaving home after another day at school. They are packed like sardines into two little minibuses, formally seating 15 passangers each. But this time something is definitely wrong – s. Rosa pokes her head inside and immediately knows for sure that one student had not managed to hold what he had been supposed to hold – hence the smell. Thus, off they go to the nearest toilet with running water – the others wait patiently despite the heat.



Veronica, like most of the teenage girls living ten months a year with the sisters, ran away from the Amazon jungle, selva de selva. One morning after prayers the sisters ask las ninas a question: When was the first time you wanted to commit a suicide? Each of them considered suicide at least once in their short lives. They ran away not to be another wife of an old man, they ran away from the reality where most of the burden of everyday life falls on a woman, and at a very young age.



Araceli (12) has been with the sisters for two years. She finds it more difficult to smile joyfully, she had lost her right arm when working at a sugar cane plantation in her home village.

(Picture to the right)

Great in spirit.



Anahi, the youngets at the mission, she lives here with her Mum, a cook and catechist.


Las ninas doing the Shuar dance



Beautiful but sad faces. The hardships of life have left a painful trace.


In the art of the Andes, whether music or painting, the dominant note is sadness. It is not difficult to understand why when you look at the faces of these children.



Typical houses from the coast (top left) and the Andes (top right). S. Lenka in front of a Quichua house. Inside just one room that sleeps (apart from little Moses and his mother) five of his brothers and sisters. Their father also, at times. When he drinks, he disappears for weeks – and he takes Moses with him. Then nobody knows when the boy is coming back to school.


Promised land. The pioneering four sisters came just here.

Prayer in the chapel.

Little Joanna is happy today. She has chewing gum to chew on her way home



One day together with Tomek we decide to explore how to get to the house in the picture. The shortest way cannot be taken, you can easily see why. We need to take a long walk along the precipice to our right before we reach a place with a wooden bridge which allows us to get to the other side with the house on it.

One can sense the power of the elements under the thin crest of earth here. „We build and live hoping that nothing will happen” – answers my worries s. Lenka.



Ash Wednesday



Our last visit to the community room of the ice-cream makers. S. Lenka presents them with brand new Bibles. „Los Polacos helped us finance the purchase” - explains maestra.

„Are you going to return to Ecuador one day? - ask the Indians

„Naturally!” - we answer.

I can see that the presents have impressed them a lot. They ask me to sign my name on their copies. They perceive a friend in me and want to have this little sign, a promise thay I will keep my word and will return pretty soon.

„But he is not the author of this books” - laughs Joanna. Why, this is obvious to everybody here. They treat us to bread and cocoa.

A man in his forties comes up to me. It is our first meeting.

„I work in the north, in a power plant. I would also like you to give me a book that would help me in my work.” - he looks pleadingly into my eyes.

Wow, now I have got what I deserved for signing the Bible!

Wait a minute, hermana Lenka, she will help – I desperately cling to this idea and drag the man behind me.

„He also wants to receive a copy of the Bible for himself, since he mostly lives away” - maestra explains.

„I want to have this Book to be able to change my life” - continues my new grey-haired friend. (the one in the corner, with his arms crossed), - and he leaves, a proud owner of the Word.

And I – I want to warn him of the difficulties, advise him to start form the New Testament, to.... But I look maestra in the eyes and stop worrying immediately. „Everything is going to turn out well – I quote to myself the words of John Paul II in a private conversation with a Polish dominican a few months before the pope's death. And I begin to feel a bit more like a missionary.