Our First Indigenous Conference

by Juçara Dini Tonet, National Director, TeachBeyond Brazil

From July 2-4 over 500 indigenous people attended TeachBeyond Brazil’s first Missions Conference on the Bacajá reserve in northern Brazil. This was an initiative that was sparked by the Transformative Missions conference, held at the Theological Seminary of Gramado, Brazil in May 2021. During the online conference in May, participants heard from many dynamic speakers on the theme of justice from a kingdom perspective.

Aiming to establish a genuinely indigenous church in northern Brazil, TeachBeyond missionary couple Alexandre and Rúbia dos Santos, and their sons David and Levi, work with the Xikrin and Kayapó ethnic groups. The family is based in Marabá, Brazil.

“We want each indigenous person to know that they are very valuable to the Lord.” Our goal is to show the importance of God’s sacrifice in every detail of our lives,” Rúbia says.

Recently, Alexandre was in Mrotijdãn Village, Bacajá Trench Reserve, in Altamira. The Trench is the largest indigenous reserve in Brazil, spanning 1,670,000 hectares, with 20 Xikrin villages. Leaving his home in Marabá, the 350-kilometer trip to reach the reserve took 16 hours. It was a difficult trip for him on a motorcycle and for the bus that was accompanying him.

“In the middle of the rainy season, access to the villages is almost completely cut-off,” he explains. “The roads were very slippery, but we persevered. I was able to give thanks for God’s goodness and care. My heart greatly rejoiced in seeing how eager the people were to hear the real truth of God’s love.” The indigenous people finally received Bibles in their own language.

According to Rúbia, it was the first time she and her two children have traveled to the village since the pandemic started a year ago in March.