Written by Sarah Rodrigues (National Director – JMA)
According to NASA (August 13, 2019), the fire season has arrived in the Amazon rainforest! One of their articles states that “…in the Amazon region, fires are rare for much of the year because wet weather prevents them from starting and spreading. However, in July and August, activity typically increases due to the arrival of the dry season. Many people use fire to maintain farmland and pastures or to clear land for other purposes. Typically, activity peaks in early September and mostly stops by November. As of August 16, 2019, satellite observations indicated that total fire activity in the Amazon basin was slightly below average in comparison to the past 15 years. Though activity has been above average in [the state of the] Amazonas and to a lesser extent in Rondônia [state], it has been below average in Mato Grosso [state] and Pará [state], according to the Global Fire Emissions Database.”
As this subject has been given widespread coverage in the media outlets around the world, we can imagine the questions and concerns that have surfaced as a result of these stories, given that so many of you care deeply for the people in the Brazilian Amazon. Nonetheless, it is difficult to fully contextualize these fires taking place in some parts of the Amazon.
Let me share what we know…
Nature has it’s own ways
And the war is real! How do we attempt to know the actual truth on the matter in a time of fake news and manipulated information bathed in different interests from all sides? We should not minimize the damage these annual fires do to the jungle and arguably, countering the fires should be a priority. Nonetheless, I encourage you to use discernment in what you read. Crosscheck your sources. If you seek alternative sources of information, you are likely to achieve a more balanced and accurate perspective.
Our friends are safe
Many of you have reached out to us asking about our pastors, friends, and staff who live in the Amazon, and we are thankful and relieved to tell you that these fires have not taken place near to them. Although some news would have you believe that these fires are taking place all over the Amazon, and there is no hope of recovery, that narrative simply stated is not true. The fires remain in specific areas – mostly deeper in the Amazon, the northern part of the Amazonia, and other states of Brazil. Please pray, nonetheless, for the affected families in those areas.
“…creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.” (Romans 8:19)