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Christian Wilderness Press - this is Missionary Trips 5 Amazon
Go on missionary trips several times a year with Jim Durham...email Jim: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello everyone...and Ron,
Here is my report from my March Amazon mission trip. I will try to keep the details to a minimum and just let you look at the photos.
A group of 15 of us from Wisconsin, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida left March 2. We were supposed to leave on March 1, but the airport in Atlanta was snowed in. After that, there were many difficulties in getting to the Amazon – too many to tell you about. I am probably the only person who has ever had a trip from Florida to the Amazon canceled because of snow.
The temperature was in the mid 80’s here and even hotter there.
We went into 6 small villages and set up a clinic, "kids club" activities, and "door to door" witnessing. Sometimes the door to door was actually "boat to door". In summary, we had 188 professions of faith, and treated 400+ patients.
This was the first time I had gone back to a village I had preciously visited. Four of these I had been to last January. In one little village, Bom Jesus (meaning Good Jesus), we had dedicated a new church-site in January 2008, and in April some folks from a Florida church came and erected a church building in the village. Therefore, on this trip we had a weeknight service there with 95 people attending. The little church was packed full; people came from up and down the river. Night life is somewhat limited along the Amazon River, which may be one reason that the typical family has 10 to 12 kids.
One village to which we returned was Novo Brasil (New Brazil). Last May, we held there a Sunday afternoon Mother’s Day service and 150 people from all over came. Rosa (pronounced Hosa), the recent village president, has lost her job (every village has a president) because a new leader was elected for the municipao. She owned a small store that sold beer. We stopped in and shared the plan of salvation with her and she accepted the Lord, as she had already been under conviction.
The new president stopped by her place and so we share with him and he accepted the Lord. As it turned out, Rosa and her husband had been feeling that they need to close the store, and so we strongly encouraged them to quit selling the beer. When we left, they were very excited about serving the Lord. Unfortunately, this is like so many of the villages: there is no church or leader for the new Christians. In each village, we are leaving “Proclaimers”, which is a solar powered instrument which plays the Bible in Portuguese. The message is satellite transmitted. We hope that these will help where there is no pastor or leader. The small village of Bom Jesus also has no leader; however, a couple came forward in the service and said they wanted to help lead the church.
Moreover, I was able to visit with my friend Maria in Novo Basil. When she heard I was there, she and her father came to see me (she lives down the river a ways). It was in May that I had the opportunity to lead her to the Lord (she is 19 and loves soccer) and so in that visit I had given her a new soccer ball. This trip she brought me two large Copuacu fruit, and when I found out that the ball I had given last year was no longer usable, I gave her another. Needless to say, that brought a smile to her face.
In Sao Pedro/Novo Canaa, we found two girls (see the pictures) that have similar foot problems. Their feet are turned under and they actually walk on the top of their feet. One girl is 6 and the other 7. They are not related and they live about two miles apart on the river. The problems are similar in appearance, and we have no idea why there would be two living so close on the river with similar conditions. Both need surgery and we have arranged for it free through the Minister of Health. But sadly, the parents probably will never follow through. It takes time to go to the city where a hospital is located, and they would need a place to stay during recovery and rehab. Therefore, there is a good chance that the surgery will never be done. The fact that they are girls may also make it less important to the parents.
One photo below shows men with lumber they are cutting for a new school room in the village of Iuaudu . They cut lumber with chain saws and they do incredible work. See how straight the cuts are. At the time, five men working and we presented the Gospel to them. One was the president of the village and probably he was already a believer. Three of the men accepted the Lord, including the principal of the school.; he canceled a village meeting at the school that night for us to hold a worship service. Well over a hundred people came.
When you (dear reader) get a chance, go on a mission trip. You will help someone, you will help yourself, and it will give you a new perspective on life and on your priorities. If you have any interest in going to the Amazon, Mexico, Guatemala , or Romania then give me a call at (863) 224-8500. I will gladly talk with you about what I do and how you can avail yourself to go with us.
Typical Amazon House. Cooking supper.
Mantioc root (like potatoes), also makes tapioca. Kids by river (no babysitter needed).
This family has 13 kids. Here are 6. Sunset on the river 1.
School in village of Bom Jesus. Happy baby.
Amazon River Jim, "door to door" with the Word. New church in Bom Jesus.
Another end of day. School boat.
Maria and Amazon River Jim work a trade. Rosa (in yellow, former village president) accepted Christ.
Orchid in tree. Amazon critter.
Farm family grows juta (make ropes, etc.) Family processing juta. No furniture, typical.
A family canoe can hold even more. Missionary "Kids Club" under a tree.
New lumber cut with a chain saw. An Amazon River sawmill.
A child with bad feet - Kasia. Another child with bad feet - Demaris.
Child with cleft pallet. Some Amazon kids.
Tree trunk, careful where you place your hands. Near the end of another day.
What could be better than this: on the Amazon River telling people about Jesus
You can join Jim...or at least call and talk to him about his trips. He might be available to speak about the trips and help with advice about such trips by people of your church. Call...he is a great guy.
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