One of my favorite experiences is boating along the rivers of the Peruvian
Rainforest. The rivers and trees are immense. Butterflies, monkeys and birds abound. Words cannot do the beauty of the jungle justice. But, then we stop the boat, the breeze goes away and the bugs begin to feast. Few endure the heat and bugs except the Indians who live in much the same way as they have for hundreds of years. They live off the land with no electricity or running water and extremely little communication with the outside world. They are largely forgotten.
Jorge Alvarez who directs AMFA does not forget these people. Jorge has been working in this jungle for over 20 years meeting two fundamental needs of these people—clean water and Christ. MCC has teamed with Jorge to sponsor the installation of one or two water wells per year. This past year a sponsored well was drilled in Nuevo Panailll serving a community of 459 souls. While in the community hygiene training, kids camps, movie night and the well dedication were all used as opportunities to share God’s word.
The engagement does not end with freshwater. Rather, MCC is also working to seed churches in the jungle. We are sponsoring Edgar, Fernando and their families to minister to villages where wells were drilled. We are supporting Edgar, Fernando and their wives to attend a Bible Seminary focused on equipping indigenous pastors. Edgar, Fernando and their entire families travel from their homes deep in the jungle to Pucallpa three times each year to attend Seminary. This involves a difficult 200-mile trip by boat and bus. Although their education was suspended by the Pandemic they are back on track and have finished about 1.5 years of their three-year program. We hear that they are very good students and are very eager for the Gospel. When they are not at school they are back home putting their new skills to practice. MCC has also helped in the construction of church buildings for the new pastors.
The remoteness of these jungle villages makes it difficult for churches and pastors. Toward this need MCC is sponsoring Pastor Victor to travel around to these isolated churches to encourage, teach and reinvigorate the body. Pastor Victor will travel tens of miles by boat and foot to visit these communities every month. Alternatively, Pastor Victor will organize revivals and workshops where pastors and Christians alike will gather to study and worship together.
The most exciting part of my boat trips in the jungle is to see how the villagers come running to the riverbank waving their hands and shouting Jorge or Victor. This is highly uncommon as the Indians rarely trust the Peruvians. But through Jorge and Victor’s hard work and dedication they have earned the Indian’s trust and more importantly they are putting their faith in God.
You can play a part in this ministry by praying for Jorge, Victor, Edgar, Fernando, their families and the whole AMFA team. You can also help support the ministry through designated gifts. Finally, cards or notes (in Spanish) are always welcome.