I’m writing this from the boat as we slowly wind our way back home on the river from Sao Jose do Araras. Return trips always involve mixed feelings – so many heart-felt “Thank-yous”, so many hugs sent along to deliver to friends and co-workers who couldn’t come this time. It’s especially bittersweet remembering precious friends and volunteers who helped us with these projects so many times, but were taken from us by Covid.
Last night at our farewell meeting, as Braulino spoke we all had lumps in our throats. An old man at 80 years of age and using just a few simple words, he thanked us for our visit to the community in which he lives, a community at the edge of one of the “lakes” located on the river. As tears welled up in his eyes, he shared his gratitude to God for allowing a dream to come true. For years, as he watched the volume of fish in the lake disappear, he was a solitary voice in the community urging all to care for the lake, to maintain it, preserving it for future generations as well. This year, finally, fish are again abundant!
When Asas staff began to visit this community, they first listened, and then, among other things, encouraged the formation of a Residents’ Association. Three years ago, the Association convinced the people to give up net-fishing during the breeding season, and the result has been a multiplication of the fish. The lake is bubbling again! The colorful Peacock Bass, the Giant Pacu, the prehistoric Pirarucu, the silvery Matrinxa, and so many others – they’re all back.
The leader of the Association asked us to relay our thanks to all of those in Asas, for the help given in starting the Association and for walking with them on their journey. Another put it like this: “Asas de Socorro is Christian; as a group they do what Jesus said we should: practice unity and love your neighbor.”
Good ideas should get wings. Join us and be a part of the multiplication!
Used with permission.