changing lives - not only for today - but for tomorrow


Posted on July 12, 2013

Most Rev. Dom Luiz Soares Vieira, D.D., Archbishop of Manaus, Amazonas
"Our people are suffering due to lack of good education..., and your donations have eased the situation with several schools being funded by your organization. I have visited ... and seen the great work involved in the educational area and approve of all that is happening and projected to happen... With people like you and organizations like Amazon Relief a difference is being seen and felt. Your work is essential... We thank you."


Br. Leo Patin, C.Ss.R., Founder and Former Director of St. Gerard Youth Center and Trade School, Coari, Amazon

"The people coordinating the work of Amazon Relief do not just talk about the poor. They roll up their sleeves and do hands on helping in the soup kitchens and shacks of the poor and sick several times a year down here in the heat and humidity of the Amazon Jungle. And without the monthly financial help of Amazon Relief, our vocational school could not operate as it does today. Neither could I adequately care for the elderly and the sick that I have in my care. Amazon Relief is changing lives, and I, along with the people served by Amazon Relief, are truly blessed by the help."

Jan Parker, OFS, Current National Minister of the Secular Franciscan Order

"Pope Francis says, “Love isn’t words, but works and service; a humble service performed in silence without seeking acclaim.” How well this describes Amazon Relief! Amazon Relief is a unique and amazing outreach – it is simple, direct, hands-on, Franciscan love in action. I’ve known Jim and Lois Flickinger for many years, and I am so thankful to them for the gift of this ministry and for the invitation to be a part of it. Let us put love into action by our generous support of Amazon Relief."

Tom Bello, OFS, National Minister of the Secular Franciscan Order (2009-15)
"Permit me to bring to your attention the work of Amazon Relief with lepers, at-risk children and the poor in Brazil: For the past ten years, I have been a personal supporter of the Amazon Relief work of Jim and Lois Flickinger, both Secular Franciscans....[and] I believe every National Minister since Richard Morton has supported the work of Amazon Relief. I encourage your support of this work."

J. Patrick Mendes, OFS, National Minister of the Secular Franciscan Order (2006-09)
"Amazon Relief is an apostolate which we Secular Franciscans of the USA, in a very special way, call our own. Founded by our brother, Jim Flickinger, OFS, to care for the poorest of the poor and the lepers of today in the Amazon Region of Brazil, it is truly worthy of our support. It is my heartfelt wish that at the top of the list for your charitable giving, both personally and in our local fraternities, will be Amazon Relief."

Carol L. Gentile, OFS, National Minister of the Secular Franciscan Order (2003-06)

"Amazon Relief is an apostolate that truly emulates our Seraphic Father, Francis of Assisi. This ministry reaches out to the poor...the children and other destitute brothers and sisters who live in the Amazon Region of Brazil. I would encourage you to support this ministry. Christ has commissioned us to care for our brothers and sisters. "I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me." Matthew 25:40

William Wicks, OFS, National Minister of the Secular Franciscan Order (1997-2003)

"As a Franciscan and a Christian, I thank God for the good works that you are doing to aid our brothers and sisters of this one world. Your work with the Amazon Project is truly the work of a disciple of Christ; you have emulated Francis of Assisi in your work with the marginalized, the poor and the helpless."

Richard Morton, OFS, National Minister of the Secular Franciscan Order (1991-97)

"Amazon Relief is an apostolate worthy of the support of every Secular Franciscan...This ministry reaches out to the poorest of the poor...the children and other destitute brothers and sisters in Christ who live in the Amazon Region of Brazil. As you evaluate your priorities, I pray that you will give Amazon Relief due consideration."

Rev. Greg Joeright, OFM, Missionary in the Amazon

“I have known Jim and Lois Flickinger for over ten years and I have witnessed firsthand all the good that they have been able to attain through their work with Amazon Relief. As a Franciscan missionary living in the Amazon Region for 40 years, I have experienced so many situations of poverty, sickness and human suffering and often feel that there is so little that I can do. At these moments I remember what Jim has said so many times: ‘I cannot do everything, but I will do everything I can.’  Jim and Lois, as Secular Franciscans, truly live the Franciscan spirit and have dedicated themselves to helping the poor of the poorest in the vast Amazon Region. The projects that Amazon Relief support are true signs of how the Christian values of sharing and generosity can change the lives of so many people.”

Wendel Messios Ferres, Student in One of Amazon Relief’s Schools

"I, Wendel Messios Ferres, am 6 years old. ...Thanks be to God for the Americans...Thank you very much for the opportunity that you give me to learn to read and write. I would like to ask you for the same opportunity that you gave to me for other humble children. God bless you and us too."

John Engler, Former Governor of the State of Michigan (1991-2003)

"I commend your efforts with the relief programs and encourage you to continue your work... Your humanitarian efforts have and will continue to make a real difference in the lives of many...."

Richard DeVos, Co-founder of Amway Corporation

"I...wanted to commend you for your the Amazon Region of Brazil. Your care, concern and commitment give hope to others. I salute you..."

Gerard Thomas Straub, Author of The Sun and Moon Over Assisi and When Did I See You Hungry?

"I was recently graced with the opportunity to spend nine days with Jim Flickinger in Manaus, Brazil. Each day, as I toured the schools and chapels, the soup kitchen and the [hospital], that Amazon Relief supports, my admiration for Jim and his organization grew. Amazon Relief is truly making a difference in the lives of the poor, and giving them a chance for a brighter future. Without any hesitation or reservation, I fully endorse the work of Amazon Relief and highly recommend that you consider supporting them with your prayers and financial assistance. I have told countless friends how inspired I am by Jim and the magnificent work of Amazon Relief. I urge you to reach out and help them continue to bring good news to the chronically poor people of the Amazon region."

Joel Samy, President of World Hope

"It is with great respect and admiration that I support and commend Jim and Lois Flickinger... The Flickingers provide much needed physical and spiritual help to those experiencing tremendous pain and suffering. Thousands of lives have been touched through their vision and mission endeavors."


Amazon Relief was originally known as Bright Light, Inc. From 1992-2001 the organization did relief work in hospitals and refugee centers in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo. In addition, the organization worked with the poor and homeless in the United States. The work of the organization has been recognized worldwide. It has been honored at the White House by Former President and Mrs. Clinton. It has been featured on the TODAY Show, in news presentations on NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN, and in numerous newspaper articles and radio programs. Special endorsements of the organization and its directors include:

William J. Clinton, President of the United States (1993-2001)

"Thank you for your remarkable efforts...These are a series of astonishing human testaments. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more proud to be an American than when I’ve heard you talk. It is very important that these efforts continue, and, in fact be intensified. This kind of energy can turn nightmares into peace."

Hillary Rodham-Clinton, First Lady(1993-2001), U.S. Senator (2001-2009), and U.S. Secretary of State (2009-2013)

"You have made extraordinary efforts to help those in need."

Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Sarajevo

"Thank you for all of the humanitarian work which Bright Light, Inc. has accomplished... Many lives have been helped through your efforts...(and) through your efforts all three warring sides (in Bosnia-Herzegovina) are being brought more closely together... (Your) unique projects...are giant leaps forward in creating an atmosphere of peace... Your commitment to serve people in need is to be commended."

G. Richard Wagoner, Jr., Former President and CEO of General Motors Corporation

"...Let me reiterate what has already been said, and that is how proud GM is of you and what you are doing. It is really an inspiration to see someone take what seems to be an unsolvable problem and, by their personal actions, make things better."

Joseph D. Spielman, Vice President and General Manager, General Motors Corporation

"In my opinion, I feel this organization’s greatest accomplishments have been in the example they give and the momentum they foster...When Bright Light, Inc. learns of a real need to help, whether in the U.S. or in a remote, impoverished country, they make every effort to fill that void. Since they are often the first organization to arrive ‘on the scene’, Bright Light develops a systematic program of assistance from a zero baseline. Often, once the groundwork has been laid, other long-established and more endowed institutions ‘pitch in’ to enhance the endeavor. This has happened countless times. No one loses by this approach... everyone, especially those in need, become winners... Bright Light is certainly the catalyst for many philanthropic causes and I am privileged (and proud) to have been associated with this organization."

Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Jim (Flickinger) is a ‘true worker in the vineyards of the Lord.’ He has demonstrated without fanfare a commitment to serving those who are poor and vulnerable."

Notre Dame Lawyer Magazine

"More than just bringing the necessities of life to those in need, he (Jim Flickinger) shares his life with them as he shares in their lives. More than just providing physical help, he provides spiritual nourishment to those whose lives seem, to many, to be utterly hopeless because of war, poverty, or physical or mental illnesses. More than just healing the problems of their bodies, he helps heal the problems of their spirits."

St. Anthony Messenger

"The Book of Tobit says, ‘A bright light will shine to all parts of the earth...’ (13:11). Jim Flickinger is the spark that ignites the flame."