Early in July 2013, a group of 28 of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brazil left the town of São Félix do Xingu to travel to the territory of the Cayapo and Yuruna Indians. In a 15-meter-long (50 ft) riverboat, they made their way upstream on the Xingu River, which flows 2,092 kilometers (1,300 mi) northward to reach the Amazon River.
The group made this journey to preach about God’s Kingdom to those living in villages along the river. On the third day, the group reached the village of Kokraimoro. The visitors were welcomed by smiling and hospitable people. One woman they met was gesturing frantically. The local guide who accompanied the expedition explained what she was telling them: “Her gesture means: ‘Come all of you. We want to know all of you!’ ”
The Witnesses talked to everyone—to some in Portuguese and to others by means of signs and gestures. The colorful illustrations in the Bible publications they brought with them were helpful, and many villagers accepted literature, especially the brochure entitled Listen to God.
Gerson, a special pioneer in São Félix do Xingu, recalled how a villager received the publication entitled My Book of Bible Stories: “He looked at it and clutched it tightly with both hands; he didn’t want to put it down even for a moment.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses left some 500 books, magazines, and brochures with appreciative villagers along the river. In Kawatire, the villagers listened with great interest to the Bible’s promise of an earthly paradise. “The people in Paradise will live like we do,” speculated Tonjaikwa, a hospitable Cayapo Indian.
Many in the town of São Félix do Xingu knew about the expedition. Simone, one of those making the trip, said that some people from her hometown had expressed doubts that she and her companions would be allowed into the villages. Yet, there was no problem. “We were welcomed,” Simone said, “and we preached to all.”