Our hearts are heavy as we write to you this week. As you know the Amazon has been hit with another devastating wave of COVID-19, but due to the breakdown of government systems and maxed out hospitals, they are not equipped to deal with what they are facing and are literally running out of oxygen and medical supplies.
JMI’s Amazon National Director, Sarah Rodrigues, and her team on the ground are building a coalition of non-profit partners to join them as they oversee the organization and distribution of emergency medical and food supplies in the area. We recognize that we are stronger together! The Amazonas capital city, Manaus, and its surrounding areas, have been hit the hardest. They are closing down river boat traffic with the hope that it will keep the new strains of COVID from spreading aggressively throughout the jungle and the river communities.
This is not only impacting the ones we serve, but our team and volunteers are getting sick, and many family members are in the hospital. On Monday we received the heartbreaking news that our dear friend, and vice president of our Amazon board, passed away from COVID complications. Please pray for his wife who is also sick with COVID, and their 4 precious daughters. Our hearts are aching for those we hold so dear, and for those the Lord has called us to serve.
Yesterday our team visited a very poor indigenous area that has lost members of the community to the virus. Upon arrival our team learned that one of the leaders, Vanda, who is also a good friend of Sarah’s, was receiving her COVID vaccine. She was the first indigenous person in the whole of the Amazon to receive the vaccine, and Sarah and the team took a moment to celebrate with her. They were able to bring much needed comfort and hope to the community, and distributed 450 food baskets, personal protective equipment (PPE), and medical and hygiene supplies.
We need as much prayer support as possible in these coming days and weeks ahead. Please would you pray for our staff on the ground. They are doing an incredible job, but they are exhausted emotionally and physically. Pray for their protection, and for their families. Pray that God would continue to lead the way and carry them through, giving them His strength and His peace to do what He has called them to do.
With the generosity of many Brazilian donors we have been able to purchase 500 oxygen cylinders, and now we need to fill them. Many of you have so generously donated over the last couple days, and we have been able to raise $6000 which will provide enough oxygen for 70 cylinders. Thank you so much! We have 430 left to fill, and $36,550 left to raise to provide enough oxygen to fill all the cylinders.
Help us serve the forgotten people of the Amazon, and provide them with the resources they so desperately need.