Água da Vida (Water of Life)

Rather than retreat in the face of injustice and wickedness, AmazonVida believes that Christians should engage the lost world with the life-giving gospel. That is exactly what we do with our Água da Vida (Water of Life) campaign.

During the last weekend of every June, the city of Parintins hosts a world-famous festival called the "Boi Bumbá." This festival attracts dozens of thousands of people from around Brasil, South America, and the world. The basic premise is that two teams compete with elaborate theatrical presentations of ancient Amazonian myths and legends. Many of these artistic expressions highlight the beautiful and creative local culture. However, the teams allow large amounts of demonic influence and activity to permeate their performances. In fact, each team has professional witch doctors who summon demons to possess the performers before each act. Equally concerning is the magnification of domestic abuse, sex trafficking (especially of minors), drunkenness, and neglect of minors. Because of the tourism influx and drug and alcohol consumption, these injustices become more pronounced in the city.

We believe that all of these injustices are symptoms of broken lives and broken relationships with God. And we believe that the solution to this brokenness is the good news of redemption through Jesus. That is why we organize a large ministry campaign during the entirety of the Boi Bumbá. This year, during the weekend of June 24-26, AmazonVida mobilized more than 160 volunteers from our partner church in Parintins. They divided into evangelism teams throughout the city, handed out thousands of free water bottles, and employed various forms of creative evangelism. The church's dance team and theatrical/drama team performed numerous times throughout the city, attracting many people that saw and heard the gospel message.

We were thrilled to see God move mightily through our work. More than 400 people placed their trust in Christ and many more were blessed by our love and care. Please continue to pray with us for those new believers and others that we impacted.

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A New Board President & A New Board Director

On March 29, 2016 , AmazonVida's Board of Directors elected Marty Davenport to replace Joshua Rolf as President of the Board of Directors. Furthermore, the Board voted to add Bryan Gibbs to the Board of Directors.

Thank you, Joshua Rolf

Joshua's tenure as President was a phenomenal one. He led AV through a foundational period in which we re-articulated our ministry's mission, core values, and direction. We couldn't be more thankful for Joshua's service to this ministry and we are thrilled that he will remain on the Board moving forward. He is getting married this month and needs to free up some time for this exciting step.

Joshua, congratulations to you and Maria on your marriage and thank you for your service to this ministry! We pray that you and Maria enjoy the blessing of God uniting you both as you work together for the advancement of God's kingdom.

Introducing Bryan Gibbs

Bryan has worked for the last 13 years at Capital Institutional Services in Dallas as First Vice President, Transition Management. He mainly helps plan sponsors, endowments, and foundations with their asset allocation restructurings by doing analysis, strategy formation, and trade implementation.
 
Bryan went on his first trip to the Amazon in November 2014 and was amazed by how much the Lord was able to work through the team to transform so many lives in the village in a 5 day period. He fell in love with the Luke 10 model of evangelism, which AmazonVida uses to focus not only on making followers of Christ but also on empowering them as leaders to take the work forward after the team leaves. He views it as enormously effective to train up the few to reach the many. That first trip also reshaped how he views evangelism in his hometown area of Dallas, TX. He went back to Brasil again in November 2015 and has two trips planned for 2016.

A Message from our new Board President, Marty Davenport

My wife, Christina, and I have had the opportunity to start our own business over 10 years ago.  From the very beginning believed God has given us the business as our tool to serve HIM here and on the Amazon River.  With 16 trips under our belts we continue to marvel at how God is using the ministry of AmazonVida to reach and disciple the lost, and edify the saints on the river.  I do not take my new position lightly and am elated that God has opened another door in which I can serve HIM.

Jarrod Landers - Media Missionary

We are thrilled that Jarrod Landers will soon join the AmazonVida team to help us accomplish our mission of making disciples, developing leaders, planting churches, and restoring communities. Here at AV, we ask our US staff to raise funds for their employment and travel costs. This helps us ensure that all of the general donations we receive can be utilized in Brasil. Right now, he's has raised about 50% of his needed funds. Would you pray with us that Jarrod would reach his funding goal soon? Here is a little bit more information about him and his role with AV:

Jarrod, what will your role with AmazonVida be?

I call myself a "Media Missionary." As a Media Missionary, I believe that God’s purpose for my life is to use the unique gifts, skills, and passions that He has given me to produce quality videos and still photography in an effort to serve God’s kingdom work. I will be using my gifts in videography and other multimedia to paint the picture of Pastor Elmer Lessa’s vision for the Amazon, showing current and future supporters what’s really going on, and how Elmer’s ministry is being used to spread the Gospel and help these people.
I am also excited about the numerous opportunities to serve God as various needs come up, like building water purification systems, evangelizing, and discipleship.

Why are you raising funds?

I am raising my own personal support for two main reasons. First, I do not wish that any money that is given directly to AmazonVida would be used on me, but goes straight to Brasil and directly into other resources that are needed, such as funding for medical supplies, water purification systems, and resources needed to send teams to the villages. Second, I need to raise funds rather than work a second job for money, because if I’m going to do my part, I need to be fully committed and not sidetracked or distracted by another job. Third, I need a team of warriors back home that I can count on to pray for me, encourage me, and help me in settling into this new role, and also help me with re-entry when I return home.

Where can I learn more?

You can find out more about me from my website, www.media-missionary.com. There, you can watch videos about my ministry, read my full story, and, if you feel led, contribute to my support by clicking the donate button at the top. Any further questions, I’m always available to meet in person or by phone/Skype. Just email me at jlanders@amazonvida.org and we can set something up.

Tabatinga, Brasil

Please pray with us...

By God's grace, AmazonVida has been able to serve the villages surrounding Parintins for over 60 years. He has empowered us to make disciples, develop leaders, plant churches, and restore communities through our leadership training, clean water initiatives, medical and dental outreach, and short term mission trips. During this new season for AmazonVida, we believe that God is challenging us to begin extending our work into other parts of the Amazon Region.

That brings us to Tabatinga, Brasil. Tabatinga is a very unique place which sits on a "triple border." The countries of Brasil, Columbia, and Peru all meet at this city of about 50,000 people. Hundreds of villages are within a short boat ride from the city while many of the Amazon's uncontacted tribes surround Tabatinga.  Clauber and Deonora (pictured above) have been missionaries in Tabatinga for 15 years. They reached out to us through some mutual friends and expressed the desire to partner with a ministry that can help guide and support their mission work. Without having ever talked to us or read our mission statement, they told Elmer that they want to make disciples and develop leaders, which matches perfectly with our mission statement. They have much of their financial support raised. But they need some help building their infrastructure, missions strategy, leadership training curriculum, and resources to restore the communities they want to work in. All of these are things that God has equipped us with over the years. Elmer Lessa has almost 2 decades of experience doing these things in Parintins. We could not be more thrilled about this opportunity to replicate our work in another area of the river. Elmer has often spoken of his vision for the Amazon like a skipping stone: we want our impact to "skip" up and down the river, creating ripples of hope and restoration that will last for generations to come. Tabatinga might be that next "skip" of the AmazonVida stone.

  • Please pray that God would give us wisdom on when and how he wants us to work in new areas of the Amazon, specifically Tabatinga.
  • Please pray that we can find new financial partners that can help us boost the work that Clauber and Deonora are already doing. Specifically, they need a boat to start surveying more of their area and building new relationships. Currently, they are scraping to borrow a boat every time they try to visit other villages. They will also need some more funds to boost their leadership training program.
  • Please pray that God would use AmazonVida to bless and encourage thousands of people near Tabatinga.

If you would like to help financially empower our work in Tabatinga, then you can do that by clicking here.

Check back here for updates on our work in Tabatinga. Please subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on our social media pages. Both opportunities are in the footer of this page.

Victories, Challenges, & Needs

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Working in the Amazon Region of Brasil is both exhilarating and rigorous. We are working hard throughout the Parintins region to make disciples, develop leaders, plant churches, and restore communities. Along the way, we will keep you up-to-date with the various victories, challenges, and needs that we have. We have many opportunities ahead of us as well as stories that will inspire you. Here is where we will bring those to you. Check back soon for some AmazonVida News!