Wherever the River Runs is Kelly Minter's story of her introduction to the forgotten people of the Amazon River in Brazil. She wasn't planning to go to the Amazon. She never imagined she'd find herself returning yearly to visit friends up and down the Amazon River. She certainly didn't expect to receive more from them than she ever gave to them. But that is where she found herself. Her eyes were opened to the disparity between the needs of the Amazonian people and the affluence of her own country, and also to the needs of the people in her own community. Kelly found her own faith challenged and her life changed by the experience.
Wherever the River Runs is an interesting book. It was easy to read, since Kelly's writing style is engaging. I've never been on a boat traveling up the Amazon River, but I have lived in Panama as a teen. I could picture some of what she described, the people, the rickety homes, the heat and humidity. I've felt the same dismay as I realized that my lifestyle in the lower middle class of America was extravagant, sheltered, and easy compared to the daily life of most people there. The best part is that Kelly (along with her family and friends) didn't just ponder the difference and then bury their guilt in a flurry of activities. They actually let the experience change them and their view of those around them. They continued to give, at home, and in Brazil.
I enjoyed this book. It wasn't life-changing for me, but it did remind me of what I already knew. It also challenged me to not be afraid to pour myself out in relationships in my community, to not be afraid of being needed, or of difficulties. To be willing to get a little dirty and be inconvenienced for the sake of spreading Jesus' love to those around me. If you have a heart for missions, for South America, or have ever wondered about short-term missions ... you would enjoy Kelly Minter's book, Wherever the River Runs.