ForeverMissed
His Life
I was born and reared in Delta, Colorado. After graduation from high school, I attended Pasadena College in Pasadena, California. I was a Biology/Chemistry major with a pre-med emphasis. I received my B.A. degree in 1964. Between my junior and senior year, I married Brenda Rupp who had just graduated as an elementary school teacher.

We spent 1964-65 in Okinawa as school teachers in the Okinawa Christian School. Our students were from all over Asia-Phillipines, communist China, Japan, and Taiwan as well as some kids from the USA and Canada. I taught 10th grade Geometry and Biology, 9th grade Algebra and General Science, and home room for 7th and 8th grades. It was a rewarding and enjoyable year there. We each received $100/month salary. We lived on $100 and saved the other half to purchase our return trip tickets to the States.

1965-1969 were years in medical school at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. Amy Ruth, our first child, was born during my junior year, and Todd Steven, our second, was born during my senior year. Brenda taught school (4th grade) the first two years, and then together we managed an apartment building for the last two years while she stayed home to care for the children. During my last two years, I worked part-time at Denver General Hospital in the lab.

My internship was spent in Gorgas Hospital, Canal Zone, Panama from 1969-70. This gave me good basics in tropical medicine which helped in my later practices. I took a residency in general practice from 1970-71 at Contra Costa County Hospital, Martinez, California. This type of residency is now history. There was good instruction in general surgery which I used constantly in Africa.

The next four years, we were missionaries for the Church of the Nazarene at RFM Hospital in Manzini, Swaziland, Africa. While we were there our third child, Dale Wesley, was born. I was the doctor who delivered him - all 9 lbs. 10 oz. These four years were perhaps the most rewarding of my medical career. The focus was strictly on giving the best care possible, under the circumstances, with no threats of lawsuits, failure of insurance companies to pay, etc. I performed close to 1000 caesarean sections in those four years - keeping in mind that the hospital was the referral center for about 300,000 people in central and eastern Swaziland. When the general surgeon was gone, I became the surgeon, which would be a book to itself.

Out of the next 11 years, we spent seven in Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. The terms there were one year, two years, and four years. The rest of the time was spent working in clinics and hospitals in Pittsburg, CA; Hanna, WY; Cut Bank, MT; Cedaredge/Delta, CO; St. Edward/Albion, NE; and Questa/Taos, NM. During these years, I had the mental image that I would be returning to an overseas practice as a medical missionary. I therefore generally took paid positions that would allow for ease of return to that type of situation.

Lindy Lee, our fourth and last child, was born in Cut Bank, MT, on a cold, cold winter day in November (the 10th - Brenda's birthday). She spent the majority of her childhood in Kwajalein and in Oregon. 

It was in Florence, OR, however, we found a "home" that we will never forget. Our ten years there were great years, and both Dale and Lindy graduated from high school there. I worked seven of those years as a family practicioner in a private setting - the Florence Clinic - and three years full time at the emergency department at the local hospital - Peace Harbor Hospital.

In transition from my situation there to returning overseas, I worked temporary assignments in Petersburg, AK; Kodiak, AK; Del Norte, CO; Greeley, CO; Leavenworth, KS; and one year in Rangely, CO. The family stayed in Florence, OR with the exception of the year in Rangely, CO. Everybody liked living in all of the places except Hanna, WY (too much dirt in the air), and Rangely, CO (just too much dirt, period!).

Rangely should be cut out of Colorado and assigned to central Nevada, perhaps. The one good thing about our time there, however, was that in an hour and a half I could be in Grand Junction and spending time with my parents in some of the last years of their lives. That actually made Rangely worthwhile.

In preparation for our move to Ecuador, we downsized our possessions in Oregon and moved for two years to San Angelo, TX, where I worked on salary in an urgent care clinic associated with Shannon Hospital. We loved living in Texas. The weather and scenery were certainly better in Oregon, but the people of Texas made it all worthwhile.

In August 1999, I came to Ecuador looking for a site for an orphanage that we wanted to build. I purchased land in Baños and returned to Texas to close out our affairs and sell our home there. We moved to Ecuador in November 1999 with all of our possessions that remained.

In September 1999, the volcano Tungurahua located near Baños became active again, and the threat of a major explosion prompted the evacuation and closure of Baños. So, on our arrival, we were unable to come to Baños. We spent time in Quito and Salcedo before renting an apartment in Shell where there is a jungle hospital, Voz Andes. I worked part-time in the hospital for the nine months that we were there.

In September 2000, we were able to come to Baños. We rented a house and began construction of our home and training center for orphans, El Dulce Refugio (Sweet Refuge). Out of the seven orphans that we have taken into our home, we have permanent custody of three that remain. Our home will have space for 18, but our plan is to take care of 12. We are in Ecuador as "permanent residents" which means we are here as long as health and life permit. 
Author - Wesley Llewellyn King, MD 

*Note - Our beloved mother, Brenda, went to be with the Lord on April 5, 2004, just 17 months after this was written.