Stay in the Game: The Role of the North American Church in the Amazon

EMQ » April–July 2024 » Volume 60 Issue 2

Brazil: Indigenous church and mission leaders honor pioneering Brazilian national and foreign missionaries who worked among Indigenous peoples. Photo by Heather Pubols.

Summary: Foreign missionaries arriving to serve in the Amazon and lowland region of South America are entering a different mission context than 20 years ago or even 10. Capable and wise Indigenous Christian leaders have a significant presence. Yet while the role of foreign missionaries is different, there is still a place to serve.

By Chris and Tina Ferry

Foreign missionaries continue to serve in the Amazon and lowland region of South America, and new missionaries arrive daily. Typically sent by Western churches and mission organizations, they arrive eager and committed to make a positive impact. Many individual churches are also directly sending and supporting their missionaries which is admirable church missions engagement!

However, the realities of today’s Indigenous church in this region are often not fully understood by those coming to minister. While tribes still exist without external contact or a complete grasp of the gospel, foreign missionaries aren’t the sole believers in the Amazon region. Capable and wise Indigenous Christian leaders comprise a significant presence in the area. The unique and crucial role foreign missionaries continue to hold in missions in the Amazon and lowland region of South America remains important. Yet to fulfill the Great Commission in this region, foreigners need to participate in a different way.

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