24 June 2021
Protecting precious water sources in Brazil
Water is a way of life for the remote fishing communities that the Evangelical Mission for Assistance to Fishermen (EMAF) serve in Brazil. Each day revolves around the ebbs and flows of the Amazon River and coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Often this life is a difficult one though, with people being barely able to bring in enough income to support their families, cut off from essential services due to their remoteness, and without the hope found in the Gospel. It is these kinds of communities that feel the full weight of climate change, relying so heavily on the rhythms of the water which can be thrown off as eco-systems are damaged through increasing temperatures and reduced rainfall.
An essential part of EMAF’s ministry, alongside sharing the good news of Jesus, is therefore to educate communities on the importance of protecting the water sources they rely on, and the life-giving habitat around them. They share:
All our community projects aim to care for the environment, either directly or indirectly by raising awareness and education.
One major aim of EMAF’s community projects is to increase the productivity in the regions where they work, through teaching local fishermen new techniques for better management of the resources present in the region. This way, local fishermen are able to have a superior harvest whilst protecting a precious resource. This goes against the negative commercial exploitation cycle that, for decades, has been predominant.
The team also limit the exploitation of the ecosystem by promoting community gardens, teaching people how to raise poultry and providing environmental education. In the Delta do Parnaíba area, for example, where litter was once freely spread about, there are now bins, collected regularly, and notices to promote the benefits of not littering.
Alongside these community development projects, the EMAF team travel great distances to reach out to riverside communities demonstrating God’s love practically through running children’s centres, planting churches and providing floating medical clinics.
Teaching local people how to use natural resources around their communities in a sustainable way to provide additional income is also key. In the communities of Toro and Caicara, local women are being taught how to extract and sell coconut oil. Before this project, dry coconuts were simply being discarded, meaning the oil went to waste, and many women were relying on government assistance.
Another source of income is also coming from learning how to sustainably harvest, treat, package and sell brazil nuts, to help the river communities along the Purus River, a tributary of the Amazon River.
Praise God that through this work, communities are coming to know Jesus and celebrating God’s wonderful creation in all that they do. Join us regularly in praying for EMAF, and other ministries like them across the world, by signing up to our prayer calendar today.