Europe is a challenging mission field because of secularism. In the 10/40 window, the difficulties are immense in order to reach the Muslims. There are even today, many countries that are closed to Christianity, such as North Korea and Saudi Arabia. Each region has its challenges.
We live in a Christian country with religious freedom. Talking about Jesus here is neither complicated nor dangerous. The people of the Amazon are very open to the gospel. But there is here a great challenge to be overcome: distances.
There are thousands of rivers. Here the trips are made by boat. If we get out of Manaus towards the Juruá River, the trip can take 7 or 8 days. From our headquarters in Manaus to our health post on the Massauari River, the trip can last for 30 hours. From Massauari to our other headquarter in Coari, another 65 hours. Our work is done sailing. Our roads are the rivers, and our “cars” often move at 6 miles/h.
In Manaus, where Amazon Lifesavers Ministry’s headquarter is located, there are many doctors and dentists who wish to volunteer for a few days in the communities cared by the project. But because of the great distance, it is currently almost impossible. Usually these professionals can only leave their jobs for 3 or 4 days. Riding on a boat to go to a community in which we work usually takes one day to go and another to return, which makes it difficult for many to participate. If we had an airplane, we could send these professionals in a few hours to the communities in which other volunteers are already working.
The Amazon is huge and at the time, the community further away from our base, is about 40 hours by boat. But our goal is to achieve even more isolated places where the message of Jesus has not yet been proclaimed. To reach certain areas, one needs a 6, 7, 8-day boat trip. This makes it almost impossible not only for us to take doctors and dentists, but also to do short missions. Before we send our missionaries to live in riverside communities, we need to open the doors of these communities. This is usually done with health care. We can’t send missionaries without having a first contact with the people of the region, and in those cases where a trip may take one week to go and another to return, the only way is to have a means of rapid transportation. After these places know what we do, we can send our trained missionaries to live in these almost inaccessible villages.
We are very excited and happy to see that God has guided our lives in amazing ways here in the Amazon. We completed our Missions School’s building construction, the number of volunteers has grown, we see more and more people interested in devoting more time to God. He has made it clear that we must continue advancing, and through a partnership with the AWA, we believe we can go even further.