Place & Countries Involved: Chihuahua, Mexico
Resources Distributed: 25 Audio Bibles & 100 microSDs
Goals of Distribution: Digital Bible Society partnered with the End Bible Poverty initiative in Mexico.
Delivery & Distribution Summary
In October of 2020, our staff travelled to the Mexican state of Chihuahua to train missionaries and equip them with resources for the Pima Bajo, one of Mexico’s most forgotten indigenous people groups. These young missionaries were tasked with contacting the Pima Bajo, which proved to be a greater challenge than expected since the missionaries would have to not only befriend the Pima Bajo but also find out the exact location of their village.
In November 2021, with audio Bibles and microSDs in the language of the people, the team set out for Ciudad Madera. The team had heard that Pima Bajo people would frequent Ciudad Madera and decided to start asking around for directions to the village. They asked for several hours to no avail, and finally entered a small café to rest. As they talked around the table, a city official overheard their conversation. He introduced them to a man named Benito who was from the Pima Bajo tribe. To their surprise, this man agreed to take them to the village the next day.
The following morning, the team woke early to meet Benito at his house, fully expecting to meet the Pima Bajo community later that day. Benito told him that he had changed his mind. He would not be taking them to the village. The team felt defeated and tricked; but they prayed asking God to help them reach the Pima Bajo. One of their team leaders remembered the audio Bibles they had been given. He called Benito over and played him the audio Bible. Benito could not believe his ears. He had never heard the Bible in His language. After this, he decided to follow through on his commitment to take the team to the Pima Bajo village. God’s Word had opened a way.
Once at the village, the team saw firsthand how the audio Bibles are an incredible tool. The missionaries would play portions of scripture for the Pima Bajo people who would respond with amazement. Since this people group is usually mistreated, even by government officials, they have a great distrust of outsiders. As one of the lesser known indigenous groups from Chihuahua, they are often competing with the Tarahumara Indians, who the government endorses due to their touristic appeal. The Pima Bajo, on the other hand, do not receive the same help nor protection from the government. Even so, the audio Bibles created an entry point for this team to begin sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
One of the elders of the village, Don Paulino, was 90 years old and had never learned to read. The team played him the Gospel of John and asked him what he heard. The man responded by saying, “I heard that Jesus loves me and forgives me”. A missionary told Digital Bible Society staff that this man’s eyes were filled with conviction and peace. Don Paulino heard the words of Jesus in his heart language and believed. Two months after their trip, the team received news that Don Paulino had passed away.
Towards the end of their trip, one of the missionaries was sitting around a fire with Benito late into the night. They were telling stories and listening to the Bible together. Benito began to tell stories of the Pima Bajo mythology and their beliefs about creation. He told the missionary that no white man had ever heard these stories because they are sacred. Benito chose to open up and share these stories because they had brought them God’s Word in their language. They thanked Benito and in turn shared with him a full explanation of the Gospel.
There is currently no established church among the Pima Bajo, making them an unreached people group. However, God is using audio Bibles to begin saving them and to disciple this often-forgotten indigenous people. One of the missionaries who visited the Pima told Digital Bible Society that although they are not translators, having these audio Bibles opened the door for them to reach a group of people that would have otherwise never heard God’s Word. The Bible is available and ready for them. The team was honored to be the carriers of God’s Word to the Pima Bajo.