Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | October 1, 2016

Along the Amazon River

Every time I think about the Amazon River my imagination is stirred. Winding its way through the vast and dense rainforest that comprises the earth’s lungs, the Amazon and its tributaries are home to tens of thousands of small villages — rugged enclaves perched on steep and muddy banks.

Life in these villages is hard. Believe me. Really hard. The indigenous peoples who have learned to subsist in this jungle-on-steroids are also pretty rugged. They have to be in order to survive where there is no doctor, where too many things can harm or kill you, and where you will not find the least bit of anything resembling what we might consider a comfort.

Amazon Sept 2016 Team
I was happy to return to the Amazon last week with an amazing team of volunteers. We made the journey to this rugged place to visit villages along the river to offer medical, dental, and optical clinics, to work with kids, and to share the greatest love story ever told — essentially, to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a place that could be the poster child for ”the ends of the earth.”

Along the Amazon
Like Jesus, we ventured out “full of grace and truth” — prepared to show kindness to people who seldom receive visitors like us and to allow our acts of kindness to open hearts to the truth about Jesus. When Christ-followers fall deeply in love with Jesus — Christian radicalization, perhaps — the result is always a determination to love and serve others without condition.

We are living in days when acts of violence and hatred make the daily news. Every week, groups like ISIS rush to proudly claim responsibility for some act of terror around the globe. In reality the best that thugs like ISIS can offer the world is to turn the clock of civilization back to the days of barbarism.

The news will never be dominated by stories of those who selflessly serve others, who never resort to violence to make the world a better place, and whose presence actually makes hearts glad. That’s ok. The truth of the matter is that while some prefer to agitate the surface of the waters, there is a deep undercurrent of love that can’t be stopped. And love will ultimately win the day.

Boats of Pindobal
Make no mistake about it. God is on the move. Like the waters of the mighty Amazon, there is a redemptive current today that is reaching every corner of the globe — and it is sweeping men, women, and children into the kingdom of God. This current is strong and unstoppable. The dams of terrorism, hatred, and violence will not be able to hold back these waters but will, instead, buckle and ultimately break under the pressure.

This past week, I once again marveled at the power of the Amazon. There are no words to describe this mighty river that pushes fresh water a hundred miles out into a salty sea. Wow! But I have marveled even more at the things I saw God do along the Amazon. Our work here has indeed moved us a little closer to that day when the whole world will be filled with the knowledge of God even as the waters cover the seas.


  1. So thankful for each person on this team and their selfless love. My heart is full of praise for what God is doing in these last days!

    • Thanks, Pam. Appreciate your prayers and friendship.

  2. I love reading your blogs.. so jealous I wasn’t on this trip helping the people on the Amazon. Many pieces of my heart have been left in those villages the past 10 trips. Happy for you it was a great trip!

    • Missed you and Sherri. God blessed us with a great trip. 62 folks placed their faith in Christ. Awesome stuff! Looking forward to seeing you in Cambodia in January.

  3. Can you please add my husband to your email list for the Go Beyond blog?  His email address is, Laurel Kronenberger

    • Hi Laura, I will add his name. He will receive an email that will ask him to confirm his subscription. Once he does that he will receive my posts by email.

  4. Omar: So glad to read about the Amazon trip and happy that you guys were able to represent God and serve the Amazon people. I wish I could have joined you as well. Maybe when we go to La Mosquitia I’ll be able to join you.

    • Great trip, Selim. Will post more stories this week. Looking forward to our new work in La Mosquitia. See you soon.

  5. So glad you had a great trip and more lives accepted Christ. Wish we could have been on the river with you all. Looking forward to what God is going to do in Cambodia. See you in a few months.

    • Thanks, Sherri. Had a wonderful time. Missed you and Tesha but so glad we will share a new adventure in Cambodia. Look forward to seeing you in January.

  6. Omar, you continue to truly move me through these blog posts. I have been following them for quite a while now, and read every single one you submit. I feel God’s presence in your very words. I’m so thankful you are our missions pastor. Your impact for Christ is truly powerful! Continue to go with God, and I will continue to pray for you and your teams regularly.

    • Thanks so very much for your kind words and for your faithful prayers for me and our teams. I love that we are always undergirded with prayer as we make Christ famous among the nations.

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