We live on the Madeira River. Madeira means “wood” in Portuguese. Some say it is because there are so many trees lining the riverbanks. Others say because there are so many trees, branches, and tree trunks floating down the river. Five hours (by speedboat) downriver are two Brazilian families living in the village of Auxiliadora. Around their community are many other smaller communities. Three hours farther away are two more Brazilian missionary families living in the community of Manicore. Last week Frank (our Brazilian leader) and I visited both of these areas. Not only where they live, but also traveling to many communities where they have been visiting and sharing the Good News. We left Sunday about 4pm. The flight to Manicore was against the wind and therefore took about an hour and twenty minutes. Coming back, with the wind, the flight was just over an hour. A college-age girl came to our cell group the day I got back. Instead of the hour or so by plane, she had spent over 30 hours on a boat to do the same trip!
A 30 hour boat ride was only an hour and 10 minutes by plane!
Monday morning we got up early to make the three hour boat ride to Auxiliadora. It was pouring down rain at 6:45. We waited for a few minutes and then decided to go for it. Thankfully the boat has a top on it……well, going 20 mph the top doesn’t keep the wind from blowing in and soaking you!
We met up with Jadilson and John Paul (the two workers in Auxiliadora) and headed up river. They had just received their speedboat the week before, so this was only their second trip up this particular river. We visited about five communities, some they had contacts in, others we were visiting for the first time. The first night Frank had a powerful message in the home where we were staying. By the end of the message, we were on our knees pleading for the lost souls living up and down that river. You can see an interactive map to locate the different villages we are working in.
We then headed back to Manicore to go out and visit the cell groups and GE (Group evangelism) where Fernando and Jouffre have been working. We visited Vista Alegre first. There they were all working to make farinha, the cash crop that sustains many of these river families.
Later that night we had a cell group (small family group meeting) in the city of Jatuarana. I had visited this community two years ago on one of my first vision trips to this area. They remembered me and actually gave me and Frank the same room I had slept in last time!
Many of the communities we visited are in terra firme (or solid ground). However there are many villages that we visit that are not. Here is how they get around sometimes!
Overall a great and needed trip. I just saw in the title “supervision trip”. It actually was a Super Vision!
Remember these families uprooted and moved 900 miles from their hometowns. Some had never traveled more than 50 miles from where they were born!
Please pray for these families as they spread the Gospel and more importantly find men and women of Peace that can be trained as local leaders.
Also pray for these villages that are experiencing severe flooding as the river rises to record levels this year.
If you would like help financially (either us personally or the mission), please visit the mission’s website.