Strengthening the Indigenous Church

EMQ » April–July 2024 » Volume 60 Issue 2

Brazil: The red cliffs of Chapada dos Guimãres have fired imaginations for hundreds of years. It was in this beautiful setting that the Ammi Training school was established. Photo by Heather Pubols

Summary: In the heart of South America, the Ammi Training Center brings people from diverse tribes together for discipleship and ministry training. Graduates leave with life-long friendships and ready to reach Brazil’s many ethnic groups still waiting to hear of God’s love.

By Trudy Seng, Meiry Yakawa, and Vera Bergson

Chapada dos Guimãres has fired the imaginations of many anthropologists, archeologists, and tourists. Recently it has stirred the heart in another way. Local lore claims it to be a place of magic and intrigue. This quaint and lovely little town in south-central Brazil nestles above walls of red sandstone hovering over an exuberant garden of trees. Camouflaged by lush vegetation are gorgeous waterfalls and singing streams only the curious discover.

It is officially recognized as the center of South America and divides the waters of two great rivers – the Paraguay and the Amazon – one flowing north and the other south. It holds deep mystical meaning for the hundreds of Indigenous people groups scattered over the vast area. Centuries ago, their gaze took in vast, yet unspoiled, plateaus and forests that had been their habitat for centuries. So though great rivers flowed apart, Indigenous people met in this place, though not always for peace.

In this beautiful setting, the Ammi Training Center[i] became a new meeting place where many of the offspring of the ancient peoples of this land gather together for worship drawn by a deeper call. It was to be a place where members of Brazil’s more than 300 Indigenous groups could meet their parentes (a term meaning relative and used to refer to other Indigenous groups).

It was to be a true home away from home where they could get to know the Creator God who revealed himself through his Son Jesus Christ. People once divided by ethnic race, fear, and hostility towards each other, could join a greater and multi-ethnic family with a beautiful single focus. 

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