Meet Zenilson. He, his wife and family live near Aritapeira on the Amazon River. His home was destroyed by the record flooding and his family was forced to live in the shed behind their house. His wife began to look to God for help. She started attending the local PAZ church and invited Zenilson, who was not a Christian and had no desire to go to church.
Pastor Reinaldo, the overseeing pastor of the churches in that area, visited their house and after seeing the immense damage, he asked PAZ to help. PAZ first visited in late June when the waters had already subsided a full meter (and yet the ground was still covered with water). You could see how high the water rose on the walls. You could see that even though the house was standing, it’s structure had been completely ripped apart by the strong current and left barely standing. Plans were made to come back when it was dry enough to begin rebuilding.
In the meantime, Zenilson’s wife continued to invite him to church, and he finally went. Pastor Reinaldo began to visit them at home, and one day asked Zenilson if he had made his decision to follow Christ yet. After seeing the love of Christ in action, he made his decision to follow Christ!
Months have passed since the worst recorded flood devastated the Amazon Basin and PAZ began a special flood relief initiative to help the victims of the flood. With the help that you gave, we have sent out a number of teams to minister to the worst hit areas around Santarém, and lives like that of Zenilson’s family have been transformed. Houses have been rebuilt. Construction supplies donated. Churches rebuilt. Medical teams sent. Water filter have been installed and maintained. The Gospel has not only preached, but has been lived out in a very powerful and practical way. Hundreds of people have made decisions to follow the Lord as a direct result of the flood relief! These people have been integrated into cell groups, given the opportunity for one-to-one discipleship and have what they need to grow deeply in Christ.
We recently went back to Aritapeira to maintain water filters, hold a medical clinic and fix the church. We also went to deliver new supplies and begin construction on Zenilson’s new house. We helped them square off their new house and get it started. The rest of the work is now up to them. The whole family was filled with joy and thankfulness, praising God and thanking you. Watch this short clip and be blessed: it’s a simple thank you from the heart of the Amazon to you.
Finally, have a look at some of the photo highlights of the last couple of months of river trips to hard hit areas. It really is amazing to see that all things work together for the good of those that love the Lord! Look at the harvest that is being reaped in the midst of difficult situations. Praise be to God! Click any one of these photos to see them larger. Then use your arrow keys to navigate the slideshow.