To God’s glory, a door opened for me to visit a few communities along the Wood River (Rio Madeira) in the Amazon. It was a great and unforgettable experience!
The Wood River is the largest tributary into the Amazon River. It is home to a massive variety of wildlife, and also the ribeirinhos, people living on the river. There are yet thousands of small communities spread throughout the Amazon river basin with no gospel presence whatsoever.
A great burden of ours is to see the churches we plant evangelize not just in their community but around the world. When I was asked to take this trip, therefore, I was delighted, knowing it could be a tremendous opportunity to film the experience and pass it on to the members of our church. I did just that last night. You can see the same video here, only with an English narration. Enjoy!
I do hope this video gives you a better understanding of this people group (which, in fact, was not officially recognized by the Brazilian government until 2007). They are extremely spread out along the rivers of the Amazon and can only be reached by boat. This video may not be on par with that of National Geographic, but I do hope it gives you a better glimpse into the need, especially from a missionary’s perspective.
So you better understand what you are seeing in this video, I traveled with a few Brazilians who know this part of the river well, along with a group of six Koreans on a mission trip. Years ago, this ministry was started by a bi-vocational Brazilian pastor named Melo. He has seen several communities trust Christ and churches started. On our trip we saw several people confess Christ, and, though I went to observe and film more than anything, I had the opportunity to lead 4 deaf teenagers to Christ, and I don’t even know sign language! (I wish that could have been recorded on the video, but I could not do both evangelism and filming at the same time. Just to explain, I learned they knew how to read, so I witnessed via handwritten notes. The Koreans joined in the effort.)
What is amazing to me was how much we traveled on the trip, and yet we still touched only a small piece of the entire puzzle. A host of laborers are needed to reach the Amazon region of Brazil. It is for this reason that we are burdened to see Brazilians rise up to the occasion. The ribeirinhos are ripe to receive Christ; that was obvious from my first experience! If we just had more laborers!
What would be necessary for our church to begin this outreach? I could mention spiritual growth, prayer and God’s blessing, and do mention those, but it seems only to make sense the a suitable boat would be necessary along with an inexpensive place to dock. We would also need someone living near the boat to take care of it when not in use. We are needing, therefore, to pray for God’s wisdom, timing and supply that such an outreach could be possible through our small congregation.
Would you pray for this?