One of the first things you ask yourself when you arrive in the Amazon is, “Aren’t these kids afraid of piranhas?” While the adults play soccer, the kids play in the river. They spend hours swimming as if there was nothing to threaten their safety.
Three siblings play in the river in the community of Nova Jerusalém (New Jerusalem), where the Amazon Lifesavers Health Post is located. We’ve been able to plant a church here, and almost everyone in the village has become a Seventh-day Adventist.
There are many children in the riverside communities, and they are kind and welcoming to guests who come from far away. It’s such a privilege to serve God in the Amazon! Sometimes I travel by canoe to another village to give Bible studies or to visit a sick person and pray with them. When I’m paddling down the river, it feels so good to know that I’m exactly where God wants me to be.
If you’re interested in being a volunteer, please visit AdventistVolunteers.org. Raimunda, left, studied the Bible with us and decided to become a Seventh-day Adventist.
Men in this region don’t have beards, so the children aren’t used to seeing them. I have a beard, and sometimes the babies cry when they see me for the first time. Apparently this child got a little scared and hid behind his mom.
If someone told me a few years ago that I’d be in a place like this, I would have thought they were crazy. I used to think that being a missionary was only for those who have a lot of Bible knowledge or who are doctors and nurses, but I was wrong. We can all be missionaries, lighting up a corner of the world for Jesus. Being a missionary through Adventist Volunteer Service changed my life. Could God be calling you to be a volunteer too?
Before Fernando Borges became a missionary in the Amazon, he worked as a photojournalist in São Paulo. He attended School of Missions, which trains missionaries to live and serve in communities along the Amazon River. He now promotes Amazon Lifesavers Ministry. 29