LITTLE ROCK, AR – Over 1,000 tributaries flow into the Amazon River Basin that stretches over 4,345 miles. Because the mighty Amazon flows into the Atlantic Ocean in northern Brazil, many people suppose that the river basin lies entirely within Brazil.
The Amazon River Basin actually runs through Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela as well as Brazil. There are more than 30,000 villages located along the banks of the world’s longest river and its tributaries.Following several short-term mission trips to Brazil, a small group of people led by Dr. Richard Walker formed the Amazon Mission Organization based on his commitment …
“To reach the unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the local church, regardless of the cost and efforts he would have to face. He ministered beyond all established perimeters, for he had a firm conviction in his heart that
“People will not believe the words of your mouth until they feel the touch of your hands.””
Dr. Walker went home to be with the Lord in 2016. His missionary legacy has continued without interruption through the second and third generations of his family, who now minister and lead well-organized mission trips along the Amazon, Solimões, Negro, Cuieiras, and Madeira rivers.
The only way to reach the villages along the rivers is by boat. AMOR operates two fully-crewed vessels based in Manaus, Brazil – the Linda Esperança (Beautiful Hope) and the Amor e Esperança (Love & Hope). The boats become the temporary home of short-term missionaries (STM) for the entire time they are on their trip until they return to Manaus. Typically, the 85-foot boats house and transport 50 people at a time. The on-board crew provides all the STM meals and cleans their laundry every day. Everyone sleeps on hammocks.
Native translators accompany the STMs, helping to ensure their ministries within the villages and local churches is efficient and effective.
According to the Mission Handbook, “No two days are alike, and no trip is alike, but there are similarities.”
A typical day begins with an early-morning breakfast, followed by a meeting for corporate worship, praise, and prayer in preparation for that day’s ministries. The teams get a rest break following lunch before heading back into the village for afternoon and evening church services.
The “touch of your hands” supporting the primary mission of sharing the Gospel includes medical and dental service, distribution of eyeglasses, hygiene supplies, and other essentials. Specific ministries on each trip include Vacation Bible School, Women’s Ministry, Men’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, Construction, Hair Ministry, and Soccer Ministry.
The original intent of the Amazon Mission Organization ministry was born of a dream to support local ministries within the Amazon River Basin who would otherwise have no representation. That is still AMOR’s objective. That objective is also supported by the establishment of the Riverbank Bible Institute where indigenous men and women are trained and encouraged in their calling to share the Gospel.