Average reading time is about 2 minutes
AN AMAZING FACT: Someone said it couldn’t be done, so Ed Stafford decided to do it. After leaving the military, the 34-year-old British army captain became bored with office life. So when someone told him no one had ever walked the length of the Amazon, he took it as a personal challenge. Ed began his trek on April 2, 2008, leaving the Pacific Ocean in Southern Peru. His friend and traveling companion, Luke Collyer, returned home after just three months. Along the way, he recruited Sanchez Rivera, a 31-year-old Peruvian forestry worker, and the two continued the journey together.
At first, Stafford guessed that his jungle trek would take around a year to complete, but he soon realized that was wishful thinking. Each step of the 4,200 miles brought a new battle. Stafford and Rivera contended with piranhas, giant anaconda snakes, whirlpools, flood currents, relentless rain, mosquitoes, and disease. They dodged 18-foot-long caiman crocodiles and endured many food shortages. They lived off piranha and palm hearts, with occasional stops for provisions at villages along the river. But the biggest threats were the territorial natives—mistreated for decades, the villagers were often distrustful and frequently violent. Nevertheless, for two and a half years, Stafford relentlessly trudged, swam, and climbed along the river bank, often needing to hack his path one step at a time with a machete.
Just one day shy of his destination, Stafford collapsed at the side of the road, his body so spent that he broke into a whole body rash. However, after a few hours of rest, he was back to his feet, pressing on. Fifty-three miles later, on August 9, 2010, an exuberant Ed Stafford ran into the Atlantic Ocean at Crispim Beach in northern Brazil. He is the
first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon River, from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
Sometimes the Christian life can seem like a difficult and endless journey, but all things are possible with Christ. Paul encouraged the Romans with this thought: “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Let’s press forward, friends, for our pilgrimage will soon be completed!
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Philippians 3:13I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.