During a men’s church gathering, TJ mentioned his upcoming trip to the Amazon to members of Digital Bible Society’s team. Little dit he know that he was speaking with people who have longed to see God’s Word reach indigenous tribes in the Amazon. Our team offered to support him with audio Bibles in the language of the people he would be ministering to. A few months later, TJ was pushing through vines and thick jungle, accompanied by a medical team from a church in Texas. He carried with him three Village Players, loud enough for an entire village to hear God’s Word, and three Pearl Players, designed for ease of use and powered by the sun’s rays – the perfect tool for an indigenous person to study the Bible.
Past the thick jungle, the team began the journey to the indigenous villages via small river boats. Upon their arrival, they began to set up for the clinic. Hundreds of people had heard about the team and many were coming from neighboring villages to receive care.
TJ had packed lights to help shine the light of Jesus among the indigenous people who would be cared for by the medical staff, but the lights had been stuck in customs in Leticia. He began to wonder why he had travelled so far only to be left frustrated and unable to minister to the people.
This is when he remembered the audio Bibles he had with him. In the middle of the floating clinic, built on a wooden boat, he pulled out a Village Player and began to play Bible stories in Kanamari.
Many missionaries have been kicked out of the Amazon, with indigenous leaders lobbying for their expulsion. However, the clinic was outside of these restricted areas, allowing people from many tribal groups to gather. Among them were several from the Kanamari tribe. One family had a little girl with them. Amidst the chaos, frustration, and tension within the clinic, the little girl came up to TJ and the Village Player. She grinned and began to take innocent delight in the stories being told in her language.
Soon, her family was also listening. More and more people began to enter the floating boat clinic to hear these amazing stories told in their native tongue. Suddenly, the clinic began to sink from the weight of so many people! God’s Word had broken the tension and brought joy to everyone in the clinic.
TJ took the Village Player outside and the Kanamari continued to listen to God’s Word on dry land. The audio Bibles also drew the attention of a local leader. Through this, TJ was able to share the Village and Pearl audio Bible players with other Kanamari communities. Hundreds of Kanamari can now listen to God’s Word in their language and continue to grow in their faith.
Despite the recent pushback against missionary efforts in the area, God is using His spoken Word to continue opening doors for many indigenous people to put their faith in Christ and learn to walk with Him.