Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | October 4, 2016

The Girls of Pindobal

Amazonas, Brazil

We arrived at the village of Pindobal sometime in the night while we slept soundly — like babies in a gently swaying bassinet. Traveling on a big boat on a wide river will do that to you. The river will lull you to sleep to the hum of the boat’s engine, a sort of lullaby that assures you all is well.

When we woke up we were no longer moving but anchored on the deep banks beneath the muddy bluffs of Pindobal — a larger-than-most village. After breakfast, we carried our gear up the steep bank like Himalayan Sherpas. The village leader gave us permission to meet in the school, a nice building provided by the government of Brazil.

In places where there is no doctor, offering medical, dental and optical care is a big deal. Everybody comes with their accumulated aches and pains — and fears about what this cramp or that sore might mean. Answers are as important as treatment. Just finally knowing alleviates a lot of anxiety.

While our clinics were in full swing and the kids sang and laughed and played, a young lady approached me and simply said, “I want to know how to go to heaven.” The look on her face told me she had been thinking about this for some time. She wanted answers to a throbbing ache in her heart that caused her to contemplate eternity.

We sat on the sidewalk in front of the school and I told her the story of Jesus. This was it, what she had longed to know. It made perfect sense to her. So, she bowed her head and, in a beautiful moment, placed her faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.

And then, she looked up and excused herself for a moment. I waited. She returned, with a friend. “Tell the story to my friend,” she said. And so I did. Within an hour my friend Rick and I had shared with several more of her friends.

Bible Study in Pindobal
And now it was my turn to ask a question. “Would you like to know more about how to grow in your new faith in Jesus Christ?” She and all of her friends said yes. And so we spent several hours that afternoon and the next seated in a classroom, teaching them how to navigate the pages of the Bibles we had given them.

By the second afternoon, these girls were turning to passages on their own. Finding a verse on their own was a huge accomplishment. Their smiles said it all. We taught them some study basics and encouraged them to start with the gospel of Luke to better understand the flow of Jesus’ life. They promised to continue meeting together to study, pray, and encourage one another.

On the evening we were scheduled to leave, these girls came to the river to be baptized as a testimony to their new faith in Christ. And so, Rick and I had the privilege of baptizing them in the murky brown waters of the river to the rejoicing of those watching the scene unfold. It was beautiful. Afterward, they thanked us for coming and telling them about Jesus.

As we made our way to the next village, I thought about what Jesus said about the kingdom of God. He likened it to a little bit of leaven that a woman worked into a large amount of flour — something small that eventually transformed something larger.

Like leaven, the kingdom of God quietly spreads from one life to another — transforming individuals one by one. My prayer is that as the girls of Pindobal share what has happened to them, the kingdom will indeed spread and transform lives in their little corner of the Amazon.


  1. Omar: what a great testimony of God’s power and how HIS Word reaches. We prayed, and GOD answered! Looking forward to meeting these new sisters in Christ in heaven.

    • Amen to that, Selim. That will be a great reunion, indeed.

  2. Joy and peace have been given to these precious girls. It is too much to stay tucked within. The Spirit will spill out and touch others. What great joy awaits you all in Heaven when you see just how far the ripples of their new faith travel. To God be all glory! 🙂 Thank you for being His Light and love to ones so far away.

    • Absolutely right, Pam. Their new found joy in Jesus will indeed spill out and touch those around them — and God’s kingdom will grow. Love it!

  3. Praise God! I love this! May these new believers shine with the Light of Christ such that others would be attracted to the Light and a people movement to Jesus would take place!

    • Amen. That’s our prayer, Cathy. May His kingdom extend to every village along the Amazon.

  4. What a beautiful way to see the gospel transforming lives Omar!

    God Bless you my friend!


  5. […] of my hopes for this third trip to the Amazon was to return to Pindobal, a village where I previously had the privilege of seeing several young ladies come to faith in […]

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