Eight Hours Down the Amazon

by Kristel Ortiz on July 6, 2018

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Early in June, a vibrant blue and red boat cruised eight hours down the Amazon River. Aboard was a 20-member Builders International team, headed for a Brazilian destination so remote that it cannot be found on a map – it does not even have a name.

“This isolated river settlement would be overlooked by most people,” says team leader and Builders International missionary Tom Moore. “But God has an interest there.”

The venture was a first for some of the team members; for others, the construction missions trip was one of many. Moore reports that the work was difficult, hot, and at times slowed by tropical rains. But that did not deter the team and the Brazilians who worked alongside them.

“The building we worked on will be a place where people can belong for years to come,” Moore says. “Where hurting people can find hope. Men who are facing problems they cannot solve will find hope. Women who are struggling to deal with the hardships of daily life will find hope. Children trying to find their place in the world and deal with personal fears will find hope. We did not build an ordinary structure. Yes, it is made of ordinary cement, block, steel, and roofing, but it is so much more than that. We built a place where people can find hope, no matter what kind of problem they are facing.”

The team was a result of Builders International’s recent partnership with AGWM missionaries Mark and Helba Lemos, who spearhead an initiative to plant 100 churches along the Amazon River Basin.

As is standard for all Builders International projects, the team worked hand in hand with the national church, who complete certain tasks before the team arrives. The team then propels the project forward by erecting walls, a roof, and laying as much block as time and weather allow. The local church adds finishing touches after the team departs.

The church constructed by Moore’s team was number 90, and already another team has begun work on church number 91.

In addition to building, the team was also invited to visit a government school in the area and to pray with each class that meets there. The team, though very surprised by the request, was happy to oblige and was received warmly and even asked to return.

“When we said our goodbyes, boarded the boat for the last time, and headed up the river that we called home for a week, we all knew we were leaving behind a lasting legacy of life,” Moore concludes. “But there are more churches to build.”

To find out how you can be part of a Builders International team, please visit

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