Thursday, February 10, 2011

Manaus, Amazonia





A month ago today we were finishing packing our bags to leave Rio de Janeiro and arrive in the Brazilian state of Amazonia. As we flew over this region there was a huge sea of jungle, litrally for miles upon miles. Brazil is seriously larger than what I imagined, its huge. Hours later we arrive in Manaus, the capital of Amazonia. This city is basically an island in the middle of jungle of sea. There are is no infrastructure that connects this city to the rest of the country. You can only come here by boat or plane. If you take a bus from any city in Brazilian you will eventually have to get on a boat and ride the river for hours to arrive here. As Pastor Manuel told us the first day we were here, "No one comes to Manaus by mistake." It's just not possible.

When we arrived I was excited. I am still beyond excited to be here. To be a part of what God is already doing in this region. The Church of the Nazarene has been in this region for the past 10 years, so the work here is fairly new. Missionaries, Rev. Manuel & Lidia Lima have been faithfully serving here for the last half of that time. There vision and passion for this region is contagious. There is only one Church of the Nazarene in the city of Manaus. Their hopes and desires are to focus on disciplieship this year and begin home small groups throughout the city that will potentially transform into churches.

Their passion and vision for the river communities is as vital as the ministry in the city of Manaus. Pastor Manuel told us that before we begin ministering in this region we have to come to understand the context and realities of the people their. We have been learning that the river communities are generations of migrant workers from the Northeast. Many of these migrant workers were promised food, water, housing and a good stipend. Only to result in forced labor, they basically were slaves.

This last week Scott & I spent four days in a town called Nova Airão, a small town of 14,000 people acroos the Black River. Then we traveled to two river communities; one of them called Santa Isabel. At Santa Isabel the Church of the Nazarene will be buiding a water well here in the next month. Later we visited some families, prayed for the sick and later that evening share a meal and encouraging word with the professor and leader from the community.

The population of river communities runs from 50-100 people.
They are warm and simple people.
They people that are like you and me; hungry and thristy to know God.
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