God Flows in Brazilian Waters
A missionary camp has impact when we understand God's actions are bigger than our own. Our only step is to join Him in His work and, when we follow the Lord, He acts upon us.
I have traveled for two days from São Paulo to Lábrea to work with our team of missionaries in the Amazon, and had the opportunity to meet the Paumari - a people who were almost decimated with various diseases in the 1980's, when only 96 people survived in the tribe. Being a peaceful indigenous community of fishermen, they live on six locations by the Purus River with approximately 1,500 natives nowadays.
The Paumaris were first heard about the love of God by two English missionaries, Shirley and Manki from the Além Mission, who lived in that village and dedicated their vocation as nurses to save the Paumari Nation not only physically, but also in proclaiming the Gospel of the Land. They began translating the New Testament, a work which took more than 30 years to complete, and were instruments of God for the preservation of this people.
After 35 years there is a strong church with native leadership, eager to study God's work and willing to evangelize the Paumaris and every other fishing community that rests in the Purus. I was in that church, in a mass full of songs in Portuguese and in their native language, while children praised the Lord and the youth declared that Christ is King of their lives. I briefly shared some thoughts based on Acts 11 and was challenged to proclaim the Gospel to everyone who was there, and by the end of it our dear brothers and sisters declared their duty to spread the Gospel and show no judgement to others. We find this necessary because we see this in the actions of God, and there's an old rivalry between the riverside communities and the indigenous people.
A young Paumari couple who partner with EMAF have been able to evangelize three communities. Local leaders have been asking us for their help, for they wish to see their people have a stronger purpose to be together. Just this region between the lower and the upper part of the river - the Middle Purus - there are more than 300 communities without proper access to social services, and they have no evangelical presence. This makes it hard to reach them, but God has sent us missionaries both from afar and within the Paumaris, a nation He rescued and restored just as he did with us, when we were destroyed in sin.
I want to encourage you to rest your trust in the Lord, all your frustrations and inner conflicts, and accept the invitation to serve Him. If He calls you to a specific cause, go then, be it among the fishing communities or others. But you can embark with us to help many people discover how redemptive and immense His love is.
I believe the flow of God in Brazilian waters is the start of a great wave of revival in these distant and almost inaccessible regions of Brazil. My heart delights in being parts of this story, and although we've had many struggles the Lord has been, and always will be, faithful in performing what He has promised to you and me!