When most people hear the word ‘conference,’ what comes to mind is not a week spent in the middle of the jungle, overlooking the Amazon river, learning and worshipping with courageous and faithful Christ-followers. But the 4th Annual Jungle Pastors’ Conference was just that. A team of 15 pastors and church leaders from the U.S. and U.K. gathered with 45 jungle pastors, wives, and leaders at the John Pac Centre on the Amazon.
The week was truly a glimpse of the global Kingdom that God is building even in the deepest, darkest parts of the world. Jungle pastors traveled from days away by speed boat, foot, bus, and river boat to make it to Terra da Paz and receive training and encouragement. Founding pastor of Reston Bible Church (VA), Mike Minter, spoke each morning on the topic of Grace vs. Works. A series in developing leaders was taught by Jeff Simmons, lead pastor of Rolling Hills Community Church in Franklin, TN. In addition, conference attendees had the option to choose from various breakout sessions throughout the week. Breakout session topics included:
- Teaching the Bible Effectively, led by author and Bible teacher Kelly Minter
- A Church Who Worships, led by U.K. worship leader Jorge Mhondera & Rolling Hills worship pastor Leo Ahlstrom
- Finances in the Church, led by Harold Pinto
- A Strategy for Kid’s and Student Ministry, led by Rolling Hills Student Pastor Chase Baker
- Acts 2:42-47, led by Winston Lages, pastor of Comunidade Viva, a church in Manaus, Brazil.
- Kids and Student Ministry Games, led by Rachel Trammell, JMI Sponsorship & Development Director
We are so grateful for all that made this conference possible. To all that prayed fervently, gave sacrificially, and joined us on the River: we are immensely blessed by you. Families, churches, and communities throughout the Amazon will be encouraged, taught, and cared for as a result of this conference. The Gospel is going forth in the Amazon, and these Pastors are the ones carrying the good news.
As always, spending time with these River people left us with a better understanding of the God who provides, a deeper thirst for bold obedience in our lives, and a greater joy in all that the Father is doing to care for his people along the banks of the Amazon.