Amazon Arising: Joy in the Jungle
Experience encounters with exotic animals, witness souls that are hungry for the gospel, and feel the impact joy can bring to those who need it most. Amazon Arising is a first-person missionary feature documentary that transports you into the heart of the Amazon jungle. It’s high water season and this adventure-packed journey follows the life of Jungle Jen as she reaches the “unreached.” Observe the victories and the challenges that a modern-day missionary faces on this journey of joy.
Amazon Arising—Joy in the Jungle is an amazing journey that follows the efforts of “Jungle Jen,” Jennifer Foster, a missionary for Stand Out Ministries. I was awed by the number of problems she encounters in simply attempting to hold services and bring gospel worship services to various locations in the Amazon. But Jen is the perfect fit for this role. She always prays, always trusts God, and keeps moving forward. And somehow, things always work out—not always as she would have planned, but they work out. What a great life lesson and reminder for anyone watching this remarkable film. Its message of trusting God in all situations is bolstered by several on-screen examples.For instance, her helper, Wendel, gets his wallet stolen at the beginning of the boat portion of the journey. When the pastor who is supposed to greet them to take Jen and her team to Marajai doesn’t show up, she can’t reach him on her cell phone. By the time they arrive, the person with the key for their lodging has left for the day—along with the key! Jen keeps her sense of humor, mentioning that they have gone from Plan A to Plan B, and finally to Plan C! But she does manage to find a ride to Marajai., and she eventually retrieves the key she needs to get their belongings, which are locked in a room in a local church. Her journeys take her to other locations such as Ponta Da Castanha, Tauari, Ponta Da Sorva, and Dessana. Jen affirms that the obstacles are constant, but the Holy Spirit laid it on her heart to keep moving ahead, “whatever it takes.” And that is the principle she lives her life by, to do “whatever it takes” to accomplish God’s purpose and to follow her calling. In one instance when things don’t go as planned, she says, “This could be divinely orchestrated by God.” Jen and her team are tough when necessary. They live in some difficult situations, eat what is set before them (although they seem to love the food the native people offer them), and in one instance they tell a pastor that support is going to be withheld from him until he does what he promised to do. In this case, he used paint for his own boat but did not paint the church as he was supposed to. He also did not have the church plan for the one-year anniversary which is what Jen and her team came for—to celebrate with a service. Yet we happily learn that the church does make the appropriate changes and sometime later the support is re-instated. And they do hold the service. It is obvious that she has been a tool of the Lord to transform a lot of lives. The love of God shines through in this wonderful lady’s big heart. She hugs the families, ministers to them in word and song, and brings a light of hope to them. This is a wonderful film, which chronicles a woman on a crusade to follow God no matter how difficult it gets. But the victories she encounters are much greater than the difficulties. We are pleased to award this documentary our Dove Seal for All Ages, although it is not intended for young children. Jennifer Foster is an incredible woman and this film shows why—she serves an incredible God.