The Amazon River Trip Has Come To An End

Amazon RiverThe Amazon Team arrived in Belem this morning at 7am and we praise the Lord for a great trip along the most amazing river. Many of the team members felt like we were on a lake not a river this year because it was flooded and there were times you could hardly see from one side to the other. It really is a massive river. The highlight of the journey happened yesterday when we passed through some narrow canals and met many children in dug-out canoes that approached the fast moving boat. Some hooked onto the boat and came aboard selling things or asking for clothing, etc. Others just sailed within a few feet of the boat and asked that we throw things out to them. We were prepared for them with Walmart bags that had in them clothing, a small doll, and a gospel tract.They live in such poverty and great need that it was such a blessing to be able to throw out three duffel bags full that we had brought from the US… but even that seemed so little. Ryan came to me and said he saw a little girl open the bag and find the doll and that her face just lit up. I swear it was Ryan´s face that was lighting up as he recounted that moment. Another quirky highlight was when I was woken up during the night by a fellow passenger. He said that one of our boys, Ian, had been sleep walking and had gone to another hammock belonging to a Brazilian and had forced him out of the hammock. When I got over there, I saw this old man sitting next to his hammock and Ian sound asleep in it! Quite embarrassed I woke Ian up and he jumped out of the hammock and looked at me and said, “Is it time to get off the boat?” I guided him back to his own hammock and in the morning he was telling the other guys about this weird dream that he had during the night. Of course everyone rolled on the deck laughing when I told him it hadn´t been a dream. Fortunately the old guy took it all in good humor as well… but I think he was relieved it was the last night on the boat. However, the team left a very positive mark with the other passengers and crew. The cook loved our kids and was very impressed with how much they enjoyed her food. Every meal she came by and gave Cody a kiss on the head, and she called Maria her little doll. She requested a team photo with her in the middle of the gang before we got off. One of the other cooks sought out Vanja for prayer because she was going through a very difficult time and our team had really blessed her. I enjoyed watching things going on during the voyage like the day our kids were reviewing all their memory verses in the middle of a quite a few passengers that were backpacking foreigners from Ireland, Switzerland, France, and Japan. These guys have all sorts of strange beliefs but here they were getting bombarded by Xcripture and they had nowhere to hide. So now we are at our TMI base in Sao Miguel do Guama, just two hours from Belem. Everyone has recovered their land legs after an afternoon of swimming in our creek and getting lots of laundry done. I really am praising the Lord for the answered prayers regarding health. We usually have two or three that struggle with this boat to land transition but tonight during group devotions everyone was in very good spirits. Tomorrow we will work alongside our BMW students and get a better look at what we are doing with TMI here in Brazil. They have already seen their first tarantula but it was actually the sight of a bat that got Juanita rather vocal and animated (in other words running and screaming out of the bathroom). This week we will also get prepared for our next journey by bus for a week of ministry with a very special group of people in a state south of us called Maranao. I wish I could say more but you will have to ask the team themselves when they get back to the US after the summer. Thank you for your prayers. Keep praising the Lord for what He is doing and praying for what He is yet to do.

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