Twenty-five years of memories flowed through me as I walked up the wooden stairs they’d made for our arrival, in the small village of Bela Vista. Carmosa and her daughter came running to me, weeping and hugging me like a long-lost friend.

by Phyllis Woodward on March 01, 2024

When we met Carmosa on the first Amazon Outreach trip in 1999, she was in the village of Sabina. She told us she’d been praying all night for someone to come and help them…and there we were! The village allowed our team in the first year but not again.

Even today some villages will not allow us to enter. Back then it was also true. Since villages in that area wouldn’t allow AO teams to serve in them, Carmosa and her husband, Joachim, let us come to their family farm to serve their local community. Though the only building was Joachim and Carmosa’s house, villagers from miles around came to their place to see the Americans, receive medical and dental care, and feel the love of Jesus.

Standing there in March of 2024, I had no idea then, that 25 years later, this precious land, home, and family would become family to me. I thought back to the times when AO teams came to build a small wooden church and 80 people showed up for the first service. Other teams came to build a teacher’s home for the school that had been established. We were there to comfort Carmosa’s family when their son died and their grandson went through cancer treatments. We celebrated with them when there were baptism and graduation ceremonies. There were times when the entire family lined the steps up to the village waiting for us to arrive.

During the evening service on my March trip, Francisco, Carmosa’s son, spoke to the team. He pointed to me and said I was the founder of this village and if it weren’t for me, none of this would be possible. But I knew the truth. None of this would’ve been possible without God’s nudging so many of us over the years to step out in faith to serve the villagers of the Amazon. They call themselves the Forgotten People, but I believe that the AO teams who come to love these villagers remind them how much God loves them and that they are not forgotten.

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