Raimundo Andrade is a 66-year-old farmer living in Itapuru, 231 kilometers from Manaus, Brazil. This community can only be reached by traveling the river, and it was there that the Floating Church finished its activities this year.
Andrade has always worked hard to ensure his family livelihood, but in his heart he felt that something was missing; he felt empty and distressed. When the Floating Church arrived on the shore of his village, he and his wife were invited to attend the evangelistic meetings held in the boat.
It was while studying the Bible that the farmer discovered that this was the path that he had been looking for. He didn’t keep the information he was learning to himself, though! He invited his children to the meetings and the whole family began attending worship services.
On December 20, Church leaders from Brazil’s northwest region came to Itapuru to inaugurate one more Adventist church as a result of the work done with the missionary vessel.
During the ceremony, Andrade, Eumarina and their relatives, nearly 20 people, gave their lives to Jesus through baptism. “Today, our lives changed. I live less troubled, I am at peace, and I am happy because my family accepted Jesus as well,” Andrade says.
Volunteers from One Year in Mission joined the baptismal celebration. Twenty-four young people dedicated a year of service to the project in 2018, helping in villages where the Floating Church stopped.
The Floating Church planted five churches in 10 riverside villages in the north and center-west regions of the Amazon. That work resulted in more than 200 baptisms. Pastor Reno Guerra and his wife, Natália, the missionary couple commanding the vessel, are grateful for everything that God has done through the project, even with the challenges that preaching the gospel in that region implies. “God has blessed our work and it is gratifying to see so many people making the decision for Jesus,” Guerra emphasizes.
He also notes that, with the support of ADRA Brazil and volunteer medical professionals, more than 2,000 medical visits were made during the year, meeting the physical needs of the people, too. “We are grateful for God’s care and mercy,” he concludes.