ywam amazon welcome to the jungle

There are three YWAM Bases that operate in the AMAZON. Today we will talk about two. YWAM Amazon Reach in Belem, Brazil and YWAM Manaus.

They both operate some of the most REMOTE and UNREACHED people groups in the world. BOTH see that boats are the ONLY way to reach the ISOLATED "river people" of the AMAZON.

The Amazon Region is home to world's windiest rivers and its land area is almost as bug as the continental USA. These rivers are home to over 360,000 people and 108 different people groups with of them have never heard the gospel.

Amazon Reach is run by Joe and Jill Novelo. They were missionaries with Marine Reach and asked the question "who is reaching those

The Amazon Reach Project is part of Marine Reach Ministries International; a ministry of YWAM which has for many years been serving the poor and needy around the world through practical expressions of LOVE and COMPASSION.

Belem is in the North East of Brazil.

In the same way the Amazon Reach project wishes to enrich the lives of those who live in POVERTY, ISOLATION and WITHOUT HOPE in the Amazon area, giving them opportunities to improve their own lives. Thousands of people are living alongside and depend on the enormous Amazon River and South American rain forest for their living. Many survive in utter poverty, LACKING SERVICES such as HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, SOCIAL and SPIRITUAL WELFARE. The Amazon Reach project, in conjunction with YWAM Brazil aims to address these needs by PROVIDING A VESSEL with a well-equipped MEDICAL/RELIEF equipment onboard. This unit, along with the international medical volunteers we will recruit, will provide full DENTAL services, test and provide suitable glasses and carry out SURGICAL procedures on EYES, such as cataract removal, correcting squints etc… In addition the vessels will provide a MOBILE BASE for initiating PRIMARY HEALTH CARE and educational programs. The project staff will promote COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT programs that are also ecologically sound in order to help the Amazon people IMPROVE their own QUALITY OF LIVE.

In addition, the example and teachings of JESUS CHRIST will be taught, as we believe that this will help to TRANSFORM the communities along the Amazon River.

Main Ministries

  • Inductive Bible Study and VBS
  • Weekly Kids Club
  • Home Visits
  • Church Planting
  • Bible Distribution both hard copy and SD Cards
  • Showing and distributing the Jesus Film
  • Academic Tutoring
  • Weekly visits to youth detention centre
  • Reaching out to victims of Human Trafficking
  • Medical and Dental Clinics
  • Community Development Programs

All this done in the more remote areas and rivers as the Churches are able to reach the larger regions.

<<<<< YWAM Amazon Reach Location

I loved that it's right on the river with a vessel easily accessible whenever we needed it. The location allowed for visits with locals doing children's ministry in the community every week. Everything is on the banks and so with boats everything was very approachable.

Lukas Perez - DTS Outreach

Pioneering in the AMAZON

Kent & Josephine Truehl. Founders of YWAM Labria and long term workers at YWAM Manaus. The Truehl's felt the call of God to reach the world's most isolated people, the river people and indigenous people of the Amazon.

FOUNDATIONAL scripture to the ministry, “And Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, favor with God and Man.” Luke 2:52

This scripture was chosen because during our first four years of starting a YWAM base in the capital city of Manaus, Amazonas our research and intercession led us to believe that Luke 2:52 was what Don Richardson described in the book Eternity in their Hearts, as an “Eye Opener” and a "Redemptive Analogy.” Sociologically, wisdom, stature, favor with God and Man represent four roles and required elements of any social grouping in the world being the functional elements of Education, Health care, Spiritual development and social governance.

The Truehle Family spent 12 Years on the Labia Purus River in Amazonas Brazil. This is picture of them and their family on their River Boat. Their home for around five years. They planted the first church in this part of the Amazon, established multiple others and did discipleship and community development in their time on the Purus River. They would travel is cycles up and down the River. Their encouragement to other young people wanting to start similar work is that it hard, isolating and you need to be prepared spiritually and financially, make sure you have a clear word of the LORD, BUT its the opportunity of a LIFETIME!

Challenges and Limitations

Distance. One community 10 days buy boat from Labria. $800 fuel lots of food.

Hard to get to.

Learning the river systems and how they change of season and where all dangers where and how the rivers changed between seasons.

Learning about rivers themselves. The geography and science behind it all.

No charts or maps.

180 people groups means many languages. To reach people speaking their language is important. Most speak some Portuguese.

You are in the Jungle! Deadly animals.

Fighting between communities.

Costs. Boats are expensive even small ones.

500km from nearest river (Labria) end of the Amazon Highway.

Hard to build roads as the surface is wetlands jungle and clay.

Boats are the only way.


Spiritual Atmosphere.

Prayer with Purpose!

For Joe and Jill Novelo and the base leaders.

YWAM Manaus

  • The harvest is plenty but the workers are few
  • Skilled workers - Medical, Bible, Youth, Mechanical, Builders
  • People willing to live in the communities for church planting
  • Need good middle management positions as the ministry grows.
  • Prayer regarding our equipment… .with 3 cars and 5 boats something always seems to be breaking…. we feel this is actually a spiritual attack on the ministry.
  • Spiritual health of the staff so they can continue to minister to others.
  • Those with heart to reach isolated people
  • Openness
  • Increased connections with the local poeople
  • Learning river systems and languages
  • Pray against isolation
  • Spiritual Warfare - ALOT of vodoo and witch doctors


Created with images by Zemlinki! - "Bird watching" • CIFOR - "Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest" • jrubinic - "Ecuadorian Rainforest: In the dugout canoe" • Sociedad Biblica Chilena - "poverty-bible" • pellaea - "Kids Peeking Out" • aitoff - "hazard warning road" • niekverlaan - "volunteer voluntary guide" • nile - "boot tropics river"

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