Amazon Mission: stay inside all editions

The Maranatha Christian Church (MCC), through the Maranatha Christian International Mission (MCIM) in the partnership of the Manoel dos Passos Barros Foundation (MPBF), carries out Social Action and evangelization activities to assist the riverine populations in Eastern Amazonia, more precisely in the cities of Melgaço, Bagre, Breves and São Sebastião da Boa Vista, located in Marajó Island, in the state of Pará, within the smaller HDI (Human Development Index – PNUD Brazil 2013) areas of the country.

From April 2016 through November 2018, six missions have been carried out, which are called the Amazon Mission.

Map of travel itinerary and assisted cities

1st part: Belém to Melgaço – red line – 10 hours of navigation.

2nd part: Melgaço para Bagre – yellow line – 2 hours of navigation.

3rd part: Bagre for SSBV – orange line – 3 hours of navigation.

4th part: SSBV to Belém – green line – 5 hours of navigation.

The missions to the Eastern Amazon provide a very poor population with few resources with high-quality specialized medical care.

As medical care is provided, other members of the team carry out social, educational, and evangelization activities in the streets, houses, shops, churches, squares, and gymnasiums where everyone is invited to hear the Word of God.

In all activities, the team proclaims the salvation of God in Jesus Christ to man. Distributing invitations (A Word of Hope for Your Heart) and the New Testament, the Word of God is announced.

The six missions to the Eastern Amazon were carried out on the following dates:
1st Amazon Mission – April 11th through April 20th in 2016;
2nd Amazon Mission – October 17th through October 23rd in 2016;
3rd Amazon Mission – April 7th through April 15th in 2017;
4th Amazon Mission – October 23rd through October 30th in 2017;
5th Amazon Mission – May 20th through May 28th in 2018; and
6th Amazon Mission – November 18th through November 26th in 2018.

1) Medical and Social Action care

The medical and Social Action care seeks to address the needs of a population extremely lacking this care.

In each of the Missions, all cities received medical, dental, nursing, and pharmacial services. Pharmaceutical services distribute free drugs as prescribed by the mission doctors. Simultaneously with medical and dental care, dentists take turns giving lectures to children and adolescents in the community on good oral hygiene. In these lectures, oral hygiene kits containing tooth paste, tooth brushes, and dental floss are distributed free of charge to participants.

The services are performed by physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and pharmaceutical and nursing assistants who serve the population in the medical specialties of general practice, cardiology, gynecology, pediatrics, orthopedics, radiology, and dentistry.

As a result of the partnership established with MCIM, the municipality of Melgaço has made available to the riverine community its Basic Family Health Unit – BFHU that is a boat with three doctors’ offices, a dental office and a small pharmacy room.

Basic Family Health Unit – BFHU

Among the MCC members, there is a waiting line to participate in our Missions and all of the Amazon Mission participants are volunteers who pay their own travel expenses from their home to the city of Belém, Pará, from where they depart in a vessel to carry out the Mission. Doctors, dentists, nurses, and other health care professionals, as well as environmentalists, instrumentalists, educators, singers and evangelists dedicate between 10 and 12 days to the Mission. MCIM covers all transportation, food, and lodging costs from Belém for each participant.

Throughout our six Missions, more than 8,000 patients were served. About 30,000 nursing procedures were carried out and almost 16,000 free prescriptions were distributed to the riverside residents who were served by the doctors and dentists of the Amazon Mission.

In addition to medical and dental procedures, health, beauty, and socio-educational services were also carried out, in which haircuts and oral hygiene workshops were given with the distribution of oral hygiene kits consisting of tooth brush, tooth paste, and dental floss. About 900 of the kits were distributed to children and adolescents.

In line with the October Pink campaign, in October 2017, in the 4th Mission of the Project, the gynecologist and radiologist performed consultations and prevention procedures with the female population in the city of Bagre.

Within the scope of the Project, the Mission develops and executes tasks focused on the environment and on the health of the population in the Amazon. Among the members of the Mission, there is a team of researchers and teachers with doctorate degrees from Brazilian federal universities who collect water and soil samples at various points in the community to conduct research and proposal solutions to address water treatment and soil management issues with a goal of forming partnerships amongst the local government, MCC, the Federal Universities of Viçosa (FUV), and Lavras (FULA) both in the State of Minas Gerais. Together, we can resolve the water treatment and soil management issues facing the Amazon region.

Also as part of the Social Action efforts carried out by each Mission, a group of interpreters of LIBRAS (Brazilian Sign Language) participate to reach-out to the hearing impaired. When arriving into each city or community, the interpreters work to locate people with hearing impairments. Often in difficult to reach places, these people are found and assisted, either for follow-up for medical consultations, or for socio-educational and spiritual assistance.

Inclusion work is carried out by interpreters of LIBRAS

Another important Social Action effort is the donation of orthoses (braces) and prostheses to people in need within the community, thus providing greater integration, mobility, and quality of life.

Delivery of orthosis and prosthesis

2) Evangelization
While Social Action efforts takes place, evangelization efforts are carried out in the streets and squares and, at night, special services in the churches and gyms of the municipalities, are given to announce the Gospel and Salvation in Jesus Christ. These efforts benefit not only their quality of life but more importantly their spiritual lives as well.

Evangelization on the streets, and houses, and gyms

Thousands of biblical booklets, such as the “A Word of Hope for Your Heart”, and New Testaments are distributed free of charge in each edition of the Mission. The need of their souls and their desire not only to know the Word of God but to live its precepts and doctrines, is apparent amongst those who live the Amazon region.

Numerous houses near the riverside are visited many of which can only be reached via the river in small boats. People are heard in their problems and afflictions and assisted from what the Eternal Gospel teaches, the essence of the preaching performed throughout the Project.

Visits – Houses near the riverside

Within the work of evangelization, it is worth mentioning the assistance that is developed with the children and adolescents in the streets, in the schools and in the services of evangelization, where we can observe the quick and total acceptance to the invitations made and the participation and reverence in the cults. The teachers in the local schools always receive our team enthusiastically with an expectation that the message of God will be transmitted to the children in their classrooms. The directors of the schools frequently report a change for the better in the behavior of the students who participated in Amazon Mission activities.

Evangelization in schools – Children

Evangelization in schools – Adolescents

In schools, daily meetings, and services, children are taught biblical stories and hymns with the objective of fostering their human, moral and spiritual development not solely based upon Bible, but upon living out the doctrine contained therein.

The distances traveled, counted in dozens of hours of navigation through the Amazonian rivers, which are the only “roads” that allow access to the communities assisted by the Amazon Mission, demonstrate how these populations are isolated from everything. Above all, it is a service worthy of health and spiritual support, with the aim of dissipating the thirst of their souls.

The results can be measured in the growth of MCC in the region. In just three years of existence of the Amazon Mission, five new churches have already begun in the region, bringing together a few hundred people. These churches have satellite dishes to receive satellite transmissions that allow them to participate in the services transmitted from MCC’s headquarters in Vila Velha, in the State of Espírito Santo.

Satellite Reception System – Sunday Bible School (EBD) – Church on the Umarituba River

There are numerous testimonies from the riverside populations served that confirm the value of the Project and serve as fuel for its indefinite continuation. Families report the value of visits received; homes are reconciled; youth are rehabilitated after situations with drugs and local violence; children sketch smiles not frequently seen by their parents. God is working through the Mission to reveal His love and power to all of His children no matter where they live.

The Amazon Mission is an MCC initiative aimed at bringing dignity, health, Christian education and an opportunity for those who are more isolated and excluded from the country to live out a personal and real experience with God.

São Paulo, SP, on January 16, 2019.

Josias Júnior / João Evangelista Cidade Neto

Maranatha Christian International Mission

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