It Began with A Radio Station Slot: A Story from the White Mountain Apache in Arizona

Over the course of 7 years, Andrew, the youth pastor for a Cowboy church in Colorado, has been faithfully serving the White Mountain Apache community on short trips to the reservation. Through Native American Missions, Andrew has played a crucial role in organizing impactful Rodeo Bible Camps and Vacation Bible Schools, fostering unity among local churches, and reaching out to the lost. The organization has most recently began providing essential resources such as Print-On-Demand Bibles and Pearl Player Audio Bibles to support local pastors and believers.

Andrew’s pickup truck rumbled to a stop in the gravelly driveway of KNNB Apache Radio, offering a stunning view of the hills enveloping the area—an awe-inspiring landscape cherished by the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Invited by none other than the Tribal Chairman, Andrew’s presence at the radio station was imbued with significance. He was there to speak about the Native American Mission’s work and the precious Bibles he had brought into the community, a chance to spread the Word of God to the very heart of the tribe.

The White Mountain Apache community holds radio in high regard as a vital form of communication in their rich oral culture, where spoken words carry immense weight. The radio plays a pivotal role in disseminating news and essential information across the tribe. Today, Andrew had the honor of occupying a portion of the esteemed Tribal Chairman’s slot on the radio programming schedule. The airwaves were about to resonate with the sound of the Gospel of John, spoken in the melodious cadence of the Western Apache language, reaching countless homes and vehicles tuned in to the broadcast.

Pictured above: Andrew Bowman (left) and his White Mountain Apache friends who were gifted a Pearl Player and a New Testament in Western Apache.

As Andrew passionately spoke about the Print-On-Demand Bibles and the Pearl Player Audio Bibles he had in his possession, a sense of excitement rippled through the community. Pastors from the tribe eagerly rushed to the radio station upon hearing the broadcast. Their eagerness to receive these precious gifts was palpable, for the prospect of having God’s Word in their native tongue was truly a momentous occasion. When he had finished his slot, two pastors were outside waiting for him. Within an hour, several more showed up, a testament to the hunger for God’s Word.

Even after the radio slot ended, the enthusiasm only grew. People from the tribe began reaching out to Andrew via phone, expressing their eagerness to embrace the Word of God in their heart language. One remarkable call came from a woman who had tragically lost her ability to read due to blindness. Andrew marveled at her determination to acquire a Pearl Player in her language, speculating that she had gone to great lengths to retain his contact details. Moved by her perseverance, Andrew took the time to demonstrate how she could use the device before leaving it in her capable hands.

The impact of these treasured gifts was profound. Andrew recounted how he witnessed Apache men, their eyes welling with tears, as they listened to the Gospel of John on the Pearl Players. The hunger for God’s Word had finally been satisfied, and the sheer magnitude of this moment was overwhelming.

In a poignant moment, one lady’s response to the Pearl Player was nothing short of astonishing.

Despite the sweltering 90-degree weather, she shivered with emotion upon hearing the Word of God in her native Western Apache language. With heartfelt sincerity, she revealed that listening to the Bible in her mother tongue carried a depth of meaning that English could not replicate. Drawing a fascinating comparison, she illustrated how the English name “Grindstone” for a mountain in their region paled in comparison to its Western Apache equivalent, “green blue shining rock,” signifying a far richer understanding of the sacred scriptures in her own language.

As Andrew witnessed the fervor and devotion of the White Mountain Apache people to embrace their faith in their heart language, he understood the immeasurable impact of providing Bibles and Pearl Players. The profound connection between language, culture, and spirituality was evident, and Andrew felt privileged to be a part of this transformative journey, bringing God’s Word closer to the souls of the White Apache Tribe.






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