The wild and untamed Amazon jungle is home to pink dolphins, green anacondas and black caiman alligators. The tribes are as unruly and untamed as their vast, luscious and overgrown environment. The Amazon river is 6,575 km (4,086 mi) long and runs through numerous countries and communities in South America.
The Amazon Tribes need Jesus
Unfortunately, many indigenous communities in the Amazon do not have the same moral values as Christians. In many of these communities, children are abused as they do not value human life. It is heart-breaking that an innocent child’s life is not valued, but to the people of the Amazon this is normal. In Mark 10 verse 14 it is clear to see the love that Jesus has for children, “He said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Many of the Amazon tribes have shamans who have a wide knowledge about the plants and animals in the region. The shaman often communicates with spirits and exposes the tribes to darkness. This is why it is so important to reach these tribes with the Gospel and win their souls for Jesus.
Whatever it takes!
The hot humid air of the jungle will never steal the joy or kill the excitement of those who bring the Good News. Despite the drenching heat and the overweight mosquitoes; God is present in the Amazon too.
After years of prayer and preparation it was finally possible for Harvesters Ministries to start training pastors in the Amazon two years ago.
The only way to reach these indigenous groups, is by flying in a small 8-seater airplane and then travelling the rest of the way per boat. It takes a few days just to reach the first community. One can see some interesting things and eat very strange dishes on these trips.
‘Badhu’ is a type of mud eating, hard-headed, blackish, thick-lipped, skew-eyed, slippery catfish and a favourite among the Amazon tribes! We were served fish soup, fish eggs and fish meat during our last trip. They watched us carefully as we ate the fish as brave, culturally, sensitive missionaries do. They proudly announced, “Now you are part of us – truly Amazonian”. We faked a smile as one last fish egg found its slippery way down our throats.
Testimonies from the Jungle
During a recent visit to the Amazon a lively pastor, Sadia, was full of fire. She made sure she understood all of the ‘mechanics’ of how to plant a church and off she went … and planted a church – even before the training was done.
Sadia cannot do this alone! She is currently training student pastors and your gifts are making this possible. Sadia is from the Santo Antonio village which is expanding quite rapidly due and there is a great need for the Gospel.
God’s Kingdom is Growing in the Amazon
Since the very first training session two years ago 423 churches have been planted in Brazil alone and more than 170 pastors have received training. Many of these pastors reach out into the Amazon. They are passionate about winning souls for Jesus. Generous gifts from donors like you have made it possible to train these pastors in Evangelism, Discipleship and Church Planting.
Another victory was when it was possible to hand out the Word of God in the heart of the jungle. Most of the new believers in the Amazon tribes do not own a Bible and have no way of ever purchasing one. Your gifts made it possible to take the Word of the God to some of the most remote villages on the banks of the mighty Amazon river. The Word of God does not simply enter a community, it transforms a community.
The doors that the Lord has opened in the Amazon reminds us of God’s promise in Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”