Lights in the Amazon I
In some communities, if you really make an effort, it’s possible to find a phone signal. Note the ladder built by the villagers!
’m Fernando Borges, a volunteer missionary for the Amazon Lifesavers Ministry (ALM) in Brazil. I’ve been doing this for years, and I love it! ALM missionaries minister to the needs of the people living along the Amazon River. We introduce them to Jesus and start groups of believers where there’s no Adventist presence. If our ministry sounds familiar to you, it may be because you’ve heard of the Adventist missionaries Leo and Jessie Halliwell who started this work in the 1930s. They traveled all over the Amazon in their legendary launch called the Luzeiro, or Light Bearer. We’re doing our best to continue their legacy, sharing the light of Christ’s love to one heart at a time.
Here’s a glimpse into my world. Being a missionary is amazing, but sometimes I miss my family and friends. Whenever I feel discouraged, I spend time with the local children. Their joy is contagious.
Paulina, a five-year-old girl, is happy to have her hands on lunch. This is a matrinxã fish, a favorite among the river people.
This woman lives in a solitary home on a small piece of land with her mentally challenged daughter. Living in this area can be rough for the elderly and even more so for those who have no one to help them. She works hard to care for her daughter. When groups of students, friends, and families come for a short-term mission trip, we take them on a boat that becomes their home for 10 days. They love the experience of sleeping in a hammock, bathing in the river, and sharing Jesus with those who have never heard His name.
The men and women in the villages along the Amazon River love to play soccer. I join them when I can—it’s not only fun, it’s a great way to make friends and share Jesus. Soccer seems to be in the DNA of every Brazilian citizen.