We flew into Manaus and headed 24 hours up the river. We then spent 6 days in 6 villages along one of the tributaries off the Amazon.
We traveled with a local pastor and the missionaries who spend their time in these villages. It never ceases to humble me to compare all I was born into versus these people that live with dirt floors, wood walls, and palm leaf ceilings. Even by America's humblest standards I am abundantly blessed. Then again, life is simpler along the river-there are fewer conflicts interfering with who God is, and what He offers. There are no false promises, just genuine faith. They are thirsty for the gospel. Yet, there are also universal problems. We found one lady sitting on a little couch (a rare site) in the family's open kitchen area. Her family had left for the day to go to the city and she had nothing to eat or drink. She began crying as soon as we stepped onto her porch out of loneliness being met. We brought food and water from the boat. We also passed another house where there was a domestic dispute. We spent time talking to the husband, and more time nurturing his wife. She was limping and bruised, but more than that, devastated by her community who all knew that her husband took out his frustration with his fist, but they refused to interfere. It makes my heart ache still, yet what an honor to be able to tell her she was loved, that we cared, and to step in and be the hug she has needed all these years. My prayer is that the counseling with stick, and that our compassion will be remembered long after we leave the village.
Wild animals are daily sites. We met monkies, parrots, snakes, and birds of every color.
I don't know if I'll go back next year, but I know I'll be sharing the stories from this year's adventures long into eternity.