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Christian Wilderness Press  -  this is Missionary Trips 4     Amazon

Go on missionary trips several times a year with Jim Durham...email  Jim:  ville1960@yahoo.com

December 16, 2008

        Hello Ron and Barbara, it has been awhile since we have communicated.  Below is my report on my last Amazon mission trip in November.  I’m a little late in getting it out.  Hope you are doing well.  I will try to write more later.

        This trip was my sixth mission to the Amazon.  Every one has been a great trip.  Each is unique and yet similar.  This trip we went to 4 different villages (or communidades) as they say (ko-muhn-ah-dah-gees).  These were not as far from civilization as some of the others I have been to, but the people said that no one had come to visit them.  Each village has a president no matter how small it is, and one president said that they see boats go by, but none ever stops.  He said he had been waiting for years for this to happen.  Another village president said that it was the best thing to ever happened to his village.
 
        The community sizes were from about 20 houses to 80 houses, with other houses scattered along the river nearby.  Once again we were on the Rio Solimoes, one of the two main branches that make the Rio Amazonas.
        We set up clinics at each of the 4 villages and treated about 350 patients.  We went door to door with translators, sharing the plan of salvation and had evening services.   Every village had a school building of some kind where we could set up a clinic and have evening services.  One village also had a high school.  The young kids went in the morning and the older ones in the afternoon.  They had school “boats” to bring kids to high school from other villages.
        We recorded 144 professions of faith.
         A previous team had laid the groundwork for a new church in one village; it met on the porch of a home.  We did what we could to help strengthen that little church while we were there.

        Most of our team was from North Florida , with one team member from California .  There were 14 on the team, plus translators, a native pastor, and the boat crew.  As always it was a great team.
        Follow-up and discipleship is a continuing problem after we evangelize a village.  At a recent AVM board meeting, I had recommended that we attempt to use current technology and solar power to leave Bible studies with them on CD or VHS.  Then one of our board members found “Proclaimers” on the Internet; these are solar powered and receive their unique signals from a satellite.  On this trip we gave 6 of them to the presidents of 6 villages for all of the people to use.  We hope that this will provide the people with some regular basic Bible study.

        One of my favorite moments on this trip was the last day, and we had a deadline to get back to the main boat.  We debated whether we should try one more house, and our collective answer was yes.  There were three of us, plus a translator, plus the native pastor who spoke no English.  When we arrived at the house, there was a lady in her 30’s.  Her name was Fransesca.  We shared the gospel with her, but she would not make a decision because she said that her husband would make fun of her.  Each of us shared the best we could, but each time she said no.  Finally, I told her that she was the last person we would be able to talk to before we left for our home in America; that we would honor her wishes; but that we would always be concerned about the condition of her soul.  She responded (in Portuguese), “I want to receive Jesus.”  The native pastor burst into tears and all of us started to cry.
        It was a great way to end the mission trip.


 
Amazon sunset.                                                             Typical house on the Amazon River.


 
Children in front of their house.                          New one-room school under construction.


 
Muddy river at low water.                                          Going to village 30 minutes into jungle.


 
School boat.                                                            Up and down slippery clay banks.


 
Searching for more houses along the river.                 Small croc caught by fisherman.


 
More steep banks to slide down.                                   End of day. 


 
Unusual "fruit".                                                           It is a cashew fruit with one nut.


 
Kids playing near the river.                                   Typical bad thunderstorm. Note lightning.


 
Porcupine.                                                        Mantioc, a staple in the diet...garnished with flowers.


 
Drinking milk from coconut prepared by a local.             Just another little critter.



Afternoon evangelistic meeting on school porch.           River baptism service.


 
Giving a "Proclaimer" to village president.               Team with Francesca (last person saved on trip).


 
      
   WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN THIS:  BEING ON THE AMAZON RIVER TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT JESUS


                                    Email Jim Durham and perhaps go with him on one of his excursions.


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