Betty (Albertine Jantina) Smit: Angel of the jungle. The nomad in the "Green Hell".
Betty Smit was born on November 1st, 1943 in a middle class family in Zwolle, the Netherlands. Her parents had six children of which Betty was the third. Raised in a Dutch Reformed * environment and because of her work as a child care professional, she came in contact with the Salvation Army. She visited several services of "the Army" and repented: she came to know God in a personal way. This event would become the foundation of her future work in Brazil.
Her mission was to bring Hope in the Green Hell.
Betty started going into the jungles by boat in 1968. She was meeting people in pitiful conditions.
They were Indians and rubber tappers, who where still living in slavery until well into the sixties. Betty provided medication for the sick, food and clothing and bandaging whenever possible. As she ministered to the people she would always extend an invitation to attend a church service. Back then she was completely dependent on a handfull of friends in the Netherlands who would send her finances.
A television broadcast of NCRV with Jan van Hillo in 1972 got her national attention. The young, slender blonde from Zwolle stole the hearts of thousands during that broadcast. Her courage, based on a child like trust in God was impressive. With more then half of a million Dutch guilders she departed again to the green hell of Brazil. She had gone to Brazil for the first time in 1966 at the age of twenty three. In complete surrender to God, she would enter the jungle of the Amazon river to provide material and spiritual aid to the people who were, and still are living there under wretched circumstances. Her work area has shifted several times.
Betty married José de Almeida Pimenta in '77.
Doktor Josè De Almeida Pimenta, "My gift from heaven"
Brazilian in heart and soul: José de Almeida Pimenta.
Himself son of a rubber tapper and raised under the same cumbersome circumstances as the people he is now helping. The evangelical outreach of Betty in 1971, changed his life.
He became saved and they got married many years later. He gave up his philosophy study and enrolled in medical school to become a physician. In the role of a physician, but also preacher, pastoral councellor, technician, and if needed, handy man, he is a blessing to many. For Betty: "my gift from heaven".