The Amazon River is the single most compelling place I’ve been to out of all my travels. While theologically I know the presence of Christ never leaves me, something about being on that vast and mighty River makes me feel closer to God in ways I can’t describe. And God’s vast nature is not all there is. The people of the Amazon are some of my very favorites. I’m looking so forward to this trip because Angela and I will have the great privilege of seeking God with you in one of the most amazing places in the world while serving those whom much of the world has forgotten. I can’t think of anything better than combining The Word and Mission into one unforgettable trip down the Amazon River…with you.
My dear friend, Kelly Minter, and I are humbled by the opportunity to invite you to come with us to the Amazon. We will serve the Lord there and study His Word together. We will fellowship with one another and be revived by His presence. I wouldn’t dare make lofty promises about this trip, except God will be there. We’ve seen Him do it time and again, a hesitant heart gets on a plane, uncertain about why, only to find out all along, the invitation is from God, because He loves you. I hope you can come!
Join Kelly Minter and Angela Thomas Pharr for a very special event! Experience a week of Bible teaching and mission work, with women of all ages, along the beautiful Amazon River. As we seek God and dig deep into His word, you will have the opportunity to see God’s hand at work through Justice & Mercy International, and minister to the people of the Amazon.
*Dates may change a little due to flight routes
All travel arrangements will be handled by the Justice and Mercy International (JMI) staff. You can also book your own tickets if you prefer. Individuals will fly from their home city to Miami to meet the team. From there everyone will fly to Manaus together in the afternoon. You will arrive in Manaus late in the evening. The flight home is usually an overnight flight leaving in the evening and arriving early into Miami the following morning. No visa is required, just a current passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your return date.
Each day will include daily teachings by Angela Thomas Pharr and Kelly Minter and reflection time on the boat. You will also be ministering in villages along the Amazon River. This may include gathering villagers together for singing, small groups, activities for the children, and visits to individual homes. There will also be opportunities to debrief with the team about experiences and participate in excursions to see all the wildlife and beauty the Amazon has to offer.
Teams will sleep on our brand-new triple-decker boat in hammocks with mosquito netting. There are no individual rooms, but rather an open area for all the hammocks. You will be sleeping right next to your friends on the team. It’s quite an adventure and we promise you will get used to it! The boat has several simple individual bathrooms and showers to accommodate everyone.
Throughout your trip, your meals are prepared by our wonderful cooks on the boat. You won’t go hungry, the food is delicious! All our meals are served and eaten on the boat. JMI works hard to make sure all the food and water served is safe for Americans.
The weather on the Amazon River is usually in the upper 80s during the day and mid-70s at night. It is also quite humid. Everyone will get a nice detox from sweating!
JMI has a robust travel insurance policy that will cover everyone on a JMI trip. The policy includes health coverage for team members while in international locations. Please see our FAQs below about purchasing trip interruption insurance (if desired).
The Amazon is a beautiful place with many things to explore. We have a wonderful jungle guide, Milton, who will be joining us. He knows more about the Amazon region than probably anyone. He will guide you and keep you safe. Possible excursions include caiman hunting (searching for little alligators at night), jungle walks, swimming with pink dolphins, going to see the meeting of the waters, searching for other wildlife (sloths, monkeys, lizards, birds) on the speed boat, visiting local floating villages and artisan markets. Excursions will be finalized as the trip gets closer.
It is inadvisable to attempt a trip to a third-world country if you are in poor health. The weather in the Amazon is hot and humid. You will need to be able to get on and off the boat as well as sleep in the hammock for the week. If you have a pre-existing physical condition that requires special monitoring, specific diet or refrigeration needs, or a predisposing fragility to your condition that could potentially deteriorate quickly, please consult your physician and JMI before committing to travel. Taking chances with your health may not only impair your opportunity to enjoy your time away but might also affect the ability of your entire team to accomplish its objectives.
Your $500 deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. If you need to cancel 6 months out we can transfer your funds to another trip within 1 calendar year if we are able to find someone to fill your spot. If you need to cancel 1 month out all your funds are non-transferable and non-refundable.
If you have more questions, contact Kari Bidwell at
At this point, no other vaccinations are required for this trip. Some trip participants choose to take medication for malaria prevention and to get other recommended immunizations. We encourage you to check the CDC recommendations and talk to your doctor about what is best for you.
Watch this video about packing here!
View our packing list here!
Please keep in mind you only get (1) 50 lbs checked bag + carry on.
Also, don’t bring anything fancy or that you would hate to lose. Be comfortable, it’s hot in the Amazon! You will be able to take a shower each day if you would like.
JMI has a robust travel insurance policy that covers you in an emergency. This includes medical emergencies, emergency evacuations, etc.
Our travel insurance does not include trip interruption or if you have to stay in the country longer due to a COVID quarantine. If you wish to purchase additional insurance we suggest TravelSafe. Please contact them directly if you have any policy questions.
As of April 10, 2024 a tourist visa will be required for all US citizens to travel to Brazil. JMI will give you information on how to apply as you prepare for your trip.
The price includes a week of Bible teaching and mission work along the beautiful Amazon River with Kelly and Angela! All accommodations, meals, drinking water, boat rentals and excursions are included. Your airline ticket is not included in the $2,600 base cost. However, we will help you book your tickets. Part of your trip price will also go to support the work of Justice and Mercy International.
We will have a nurse on the boat with us. There are a couple of air-conditioned staterooms reserved for those who get sick. If more serious medical attention is needed we will take our fast boat to the hospital in Manaus.
The only air conditioning is the breeze off the river and fans. Sweating is a wonderful natural detox. 🙂 Believe it or not, it does cool off a bit at night. Our boat does have a few air-conditioned rooms in case someone gets sick.
Yes, there are outlets on the boat you can use to charge small electronics like your phone.
It will be hot and humid. T-shirts, modest shorts and lightweight pants are best. Us veterans usually pass on makeup and there will be no way to blow dry your hair. We’re all family here — come as you are!
The size of the group may vary. We are hoping to have 35-50 women on this trip.
We welcome any woman interested over the age of 16. We’d love to have women of all ages join us for this adventure!
Justice & Mercy International (JMI) is a faith-based, non-profit organization that exists to make justice personal for the poor, the orphaned, and the forgotten of the world. JMI primarily works in Moldova in Eastern Europe and in the Amazon region of Brazil and we do our work through programs that have the Good News of Jesus at their core.