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scene1.jpg (61833 bytes)Amazon Relief brings aid and Christ’s love to "at risk" children and the poor who live  in "The Green Hell"— an area near the equator, 1,200 miles up the Amazon River. The poverty in the region can hardly be described. Many children and families live in overcrowded shacks, built on stilts over perpetually fermenting sewage. There are no roads into these areas — only foot traffic over precarious docks. And then there’s the heat, the humidity, the disease, the lack of food.....

Jim Flickinger, the administrator of Amazon Relief, had this assessment following one of his many trips to help in the area:

"You’d think by now I would be accustomed to the heat, the poverty and the disease. I’m not. It’s hard to describe.

little2.jpg (19032 bytes)"Holding a 4-year old in your arms as she edges closer to death from malnutrition. Her frail mother looks on, feeling useless. There’s no food or medicine. There’s little hope for improvement.

"As I held the child, I looked around. The living conditions were typical: a one-room shack on stilts over sewage. No bathroom. No electricity. No plumbing. Temperatures of 95-120 degrees with 99% humidity and no air movement. And the smells — like living above an old-fashioned outhouse. Outside there were other children. They were friendly and seemed bright enough. But they, too, suffered from hunger and not knowing how to break out of this life of poverty. I worried about the 4-year old and her mother, and about the other children and their families. I worried about how easily despair can set in. They must wonder, is there a loving God? Does He really care? Does anyone on earth care?"

The Problems

One of the major problems in this area is lack of basic education. Children who come out of the jungle or who live in absolute poverty are as bright, loveable and loved as children in the United States. But, because of their living conditions, they have not learned their alphabet, how to count, or even their age. They generally are unprepared to enter the traditional school system.

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A second problem is hunger. Many families eat sporadic, meager meals in the course of a week. Having so little food, their children begin to sniff glue to kill the hunger pains, or women and children slip into prostitution to survive.


Programs Changing Lives

We have all heard the expression "Rather than give someone a fish, it is better to teach the person how to fish." Amazon Relief is doing both -- it provides humanitarian aid, and it funds educational programs designed to break the cycle of poverty. A complete summary of the projects can be found by going to the "Project Summary" tab on this website.

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And talk about success! We educate pre-schoolers -- and 100% of them are entering first grade at the normal age. We educate 7-14 year olds who have never before attended school -- and nearly all of them are progressing into traditional schools. We educate high schoolers -- and all of them are planning for careers or college education. We educate adults who have never been able to read and write -- and they are finding jobs and supporting their families.

Also, through the meal programs that exist at our schools, sniffing glue, prostitution, and malnutrition among our students is virtually eliminated. And the assistance that we are giving to the poor lets them know that they are loved and cared for -- by both us and their Savior.

Ongoing Needs

Yet even with all this, a crisis remains. We need your prayers and your financial support. We have waiting lists at our schools --- children who want and need to come to school. To date we are only accommodating 15% of the children in the area. We need to hire more teachers and add on to our existing facilities. We also have opportunities to open additional schools, and opportunities to expand our adult education programs. And there are ongoing needs to supply food, medicine, clothing and shelter to the children and their families.

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100% of Your Donation Goes to the Poor

Amazon Relief takes no money out of any donation for administrative costs, travel, mailings, or even the cost of this website (All these costs are paid by some "special angels" or from bank interest). Every dollar donated goes to those in need.

Can you make a difference? Absolutely! Since every dollar donated to Amazon Relief goes to the poor, then your donation will help one person (or more) who would not otherwise be served. You can truly save someone from death, despair, and poverty. And when you do it, you have Christ's assurance that you are doing it for Him. Please help.

 

Pages courtesy of  The Independent