Source: World Team (no date)
An informal settlement of over 4,000 people sits in the northwest corner of Manaus, Brazil. The residents hail from [more than] 30 different Amazonian tribes, some [with] little to no gospel witness. This is Parque das Tribos, one of many indigenous settlements that have sprung up in and around the jungle city over the past few decades. Its existence opens a world of possibility in a region nearly impenetrable for generations.
The story of missions in the Amazon has historically been further downriver, deeper into the jungle, one life at a time. Courageous missionaries like Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and countless others gave their lives to reach individual remote tribes scattered throughout the dense, 2.6 million square mile rainforest encompassing land from eight different countries [and home to] an estimated 1 million indigenous people.
Now, with guaranteed claims to land, voting, education, and financial assistance, indigenous people have begun moving to cities to access these newly granted rights. The wave of migration created a new kind of indigenous identity: the urban indigenous. Composed of a variety of distinct languages, tribes, and customs, these migrants were still distinctly indigenous yet plunged into a modern, globalized world completely unlike the communities they had left.
What if there was a movement to mobilize the urban indigenous in Manaus to become missionaries to these closed-off regions? By focusing on the urban indigenous, we are investing in the future of Amazonian missions: raising up urban indigenous missionaries who could return to their homelands and beyond, reaching the last of the last.
Read the full story. According to a related page, approximately 50% of Brazil’s indigenous peoples have migrated to the major cities of the Amazon region.
See also Brazilian Young People Love Jesus and Are Hungry for a Deeper Faith (Christianity Today).