January 2 - Light Bearer

(man) leo and jessie halliwell renounced family, friends and the comforts of home. They traveled to a distant land to serve the people along the amazon river. Throughout their 30 years of work, it’s estimated that 250,000 people were served.

And their legacy lives on. For 85 years the seventh-day adventist church has sponsored workers to operate luzeiro boats in the amazon river, to bring hope, health, and healing to the people.

The amazon river system includes an estimated 38,000 miles of waterways and passages. When leo and jessie first arrived here, they found poverty, superstition, and sickness along the banks. So in 1931 leo designed and built a boat that he named luzeiro, or the light bearer.

This was an efficient way for them to begin a medical missionary program in the amazon region. The luzeiro boat today is still the most efficient way for serving the people.

Through the years many luzeiro boats have come and gone, transporting medical missionaries and supplies. The fleet is now expanded to luzeiros 26 and 27, two launches in the original size with sleeping rooms for doctors to stay overnight.

There are also 2 smaller and faster boats used during emergency situations. They are called jessie and luzeiro express. Currently adventist development and relief agency, or adra, oversees the boats and teams of volunteers, who come to offer free health treatments, dentistry and education.

The project continues, still today there are needs here. You will find a lot of needy people and a lot of volunteers who come away from the city, to find happiness and joy in serving these remote communities.

They do their best, they want to make a difference and change the lives of people. So through this project, through the luzeiro boats, health comes to the community, it comes to their front door.

We come with qualified doctors and nurses. And after a visit, we can see the progress, the development, the satisfaction where this assistance is most needed. So it’s a joy for me to see a project that is 85 years old continuing on.

It’s our desire to see more boats, reaching more communities so this project can transform and assist even more people. (Man) the good will of the people involved is remarkable.

Highly trained health professionals come on a regular basis, offering their time, expertise and love. They also bring tools, medicine and a christ-like attitude that is remembered well after they leave.

Leo and jessie halliwell made quite an impact in the amazon jungle. A small medical clinic they established is today’s largest seventh-day adventist hospital in the country of brazil.

There are other adventist owned and operated hospitals in the region, schools and universities. Their dedicated work stretched from manaus to belem approximately 2,000 miles away.

But it’s only in heaven that we’ll know the true extent of their boat ministry. Thank you for your prayerful support of mission!.

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