Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | September 30, 2017

Novo Niníve

The Amazon River | Western Basin

The village of Novo Niníve (New Nineheh) is located about 15-hours down the Amazon River from Tabatinga, a frontier town on the Brazilian and Colombian border. There are no roads to this village. You can only get there by boat. But, unless you know where you are going, chances are you will miss the muddy bluff that shelters this little village from civilization.

The Ticuna Indians call this part of the Amazon home. They have been here for generations, living in villages nestled between one of the mightiest rivers in the world and a rainforest so vast that it is regarded as the lungs of the planet. This is a place of remarkable beauty and very real dangers.

Life along the Amazon is anything but easy. But, tribes like the Ticuna continue to thrive here, thanks to essential survival knowledge passed down from generation to generation. Their food largely comes from the river and the rainforest. And, because of boats that trade along the Amazon, they also have access to other staples and a few modern conveniences.

Ours is the first team of English-speakers in recent memory to visit Novo Niníve and the adjacent villages. That’s understandable. There is nothing easy about coming to a place like this. Everything about venturing to Novo Niníve spells inconvenience. But that’s what makes it so attractive to me.

The good news is that the Good News has reached the people of Novo Niníve thanks to Portuguese speaking evangelists. The bad news is that the bad news is still here and very much a part of the lives of the people. Animistic beliefs are still strong here — and the confluence of these beliefs with the gospel has made the waters a bit murky.

In the words of one pastor, they know how to get people to the foot of the cross but don’t know where to go from there. There is a strong need for instruction in spiritual development and doctrine— the kind of knowledge that can help them untangle messy syncretistic beliefs from their worldview. This will be a particular focus of future trips.

Our team provided optical and dental care, something that is not easily accessible in these remote villages. I always enjoy the final vision test once we have fitted a person with glasses. We ask them the men to put monofilament line through a fish-hook and ask women to thread a needle — simple daily tasks that had become difficult because of failing vision.

We are happy to start what we hope will be a long-term relationship with Novo Niníve and the adjacent villages of Santo Domingo. Village leaders have asked for specific help. We will return at their invitation and work alongside them to improve the lives of their people and to strengthen families. And unlike Jonah who tried to run away from God’s call to go to Nineveh, we look forward to returning to Novo Niníve.


Responses

  1. I love hearing about these remote villages. Praying for you guys. Thank you so much for being the hands and feet of Jesus.

    • Thanks, Leslie. We had a great week with the people of Novo Niníve. Look forward to our return trips. Thanks for your prayers.


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