CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO — Tarahumara Believers Sent Out as Missionaries

Located on a small plateau at over 8,000 feet, Centro Cristiano Tarahumara is a missionary training base located in the Sierra Madre Mountains in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico.  Overlooking the small town of Creel, the center was founded in 1994 with the vision of serving the Tarahumara communities by evangelism, training and mercy ministries.

The founder’s dream was to raise Tarahumara missionaries to go to new places to take the message of the Gospel.  After almost 30 years of faithful work, this dream is becoming a reality.  Digital Bible Society is blessed to partner with the the center in sending Tarahumara missionaries to new uncharted territories in the mountains.

In September of 2019, Digital Bible Society and Centro Cristiano Tarahumara signed an agreement to have a copying and distribution center to serve the need for Bible access in that part of the Tarahumara mountains. Interest in Digital Bibles is increasing in this part of Mexico, as many people have access to mobile smart phones. A Digital Bible Seminar was conducted for pastors and leaders from the area, and since that time, the center has been copying and distributing digital Bibles to towns and communities in that region.

Another real need is for Audio Bible Players, loaded with the Tarahumara New Testament, but the cost for these is higher than MicroSDs, and the people cannot afford them.   For this reason, the Digital Bible Society and its partners take every opportunity to provide Audio Bible Players to these communities.

In response to this need, DBS returned in March, 2020, to encourage the workers there and to bring Audio Bibles for a specific distribution deep into the mountains. Three Tarahumara missionaries were being sent to a remote area of the Sierra Madre Mountains. On March 17, Digital Bible Society and Centro Cristiano Tarahumara met for prayer and preparation. The next day, the missionaries started the journey to Cumbre de Durazno to share the Gospel and distribute Audio Bibles in that community.

“This is a virgin territory” says Manuel, one of the missionaries being sent, “not even the Catholic church has a presence there. The people are open and hungry to hear about the Creator God and his son Jesus”.

Manuel is one of the fruits from the work of Centro Cristiano. He came to the Lord back in the early 1990s, and is now leading other Tarahumara believers from his community to serve as missionaries to other parts of the mountains.

“These audio Bibles will help a lot to serve the people of these remote communities where we are going. While we are not there with them, as we come back for supplies (several days journey across a Canyon), they can continue to listen to the Word of God and grow in their faith” Manuel says with excitement.

Megan’s WORLD RACE – 11 Nations in 11 Months

In the Fall of 2019, Megan Gabrielse completed her World Race.  https://megangabrielse.theworldrace.org/

DBS partnered with her by sending Audio Bible Players and USB thumb drives in all of the languages of the countries she would be traveling to during this 11-month missionary journey.  The nations were Columbia, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, India, Nepal, Armenia, Georgia, Romania, and Spain.

In December, Megan was able to visit the DBS office and share a few stories of how these resources were able to impact the lives of those who received them.

One of these stories took place in Columbia, where she was able to see the impact first-hand of the gift of an Audio Bible Player to an older Christian couple, Miguel and LuzMarina, who had never learned to read. When they realized that this small, solar powered device would enable them to listen to the New Testament in their own language in their own home each day, they both began to weep with tears of joy and gratitude.  (See the video at the end of this post.)

When the team traveled to Argentina, they were able to share Digital Bible resources with a family that runs a Children’s home that rescues kids of all ages.  They were very grateful to receive the Audio Bible and Spanish Treasures USB drive.

In Nepal, Megan’s team was able to visit a small mountain home of an older couple that were new Christians.  Over a fire in the middle of the dirt floor, they made tea for Megan and her team (and their interpreter).  After visiting together, she learned that they were experiencing direct persecution from their Buddhist family members.  She also learned that the woman had never been able to read well, and that the husband was losing his eyesight.

Megan was so grateful to be able to pull out the Nepalese Audio Bible and give it to them, explaining through the interpreter how this would allow them to listen to the Words of God every day in the safety of their home.

She later found out that they both lay in bed that very night and began listening to the scriptures together.  Megan was so blessed knowing that this couple now has God’s Word to strengthen and encourage them as they walk out their new faith in the face of challenges and persecution.

These stories are at the heart of why the Digital Bible Society exists… to ensure that people everywhere, in every language, have access to God’s Word.    

ASSAM, INDIA – Digital Bible Resources for Pastors

14 years ago, a Houston area pastor formed a mentoring relationship with an India man from the state of Assam.  He encouraged and supported this man as he planted a church in that region.

Through faithful prayer and labor, the Word of God has multiplied, and there are now 85 house churches that are led by an organic network of church planters — all of them under the mentoring  of the Texas pastor (name and picture not published for his safety), who travels twice a year to India to encourage and support them in their work.

In December of 2019, he went to India bearing gifts of digital Bible resources… over 100 Bible Libraries representing four languages: Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, and Rajbongshi.  Each of these libraries contained text, audio and video Bible content that was loaded onto MicroSDs and USB flash drives to be accessed on smart phones, tablets or computers.

These libraries included the new LUMO video series, which presents all four Gospels with word for-word scriptures.  These films were produced specifically for the propose of making a high quality resource that is easily translated into the languages of the world.

Date:  December, 2019
Resources Distributed:
37 Hindi Library w/ HindiLUMO
36 Bengali Library w/ Bengali LUMO
17 Assamese Libraries w/LUMO
  8 Rajbongshi w/ Bengal LUMO and GRN Stories

AMAZON BASIN, ECUADOR – Bibles for Minority People Groups

People groups in the Amazon river basin of Ecuador are receiving the Word of God in their own language.

Digital Bible Society is partnering with ABEL (Latin American Evangelical Biblical Alliance) to reach out to the minority people groups in that region.  This effort is called the Latin America People Groups Project.

Santiago Bustos leads a Digital Bible Society extension office in Quito, and he also works with ABEL.  Santiago has coordinated the translating of Bible studies based on the Gospel of John into the Shuar and Achuar languages.

The Gospel of John and these accompanying Bible Studies were then printed for the Shuar and Achuar people (for a total of 4,000 copies).

Translation has begun on Bible study lessons for five more minority languages: Quichua, Pastaza, Tsachila, Secoya, and Cofán.  These will be printed with the Gospel of John as well.

A second aspect of the People Groups Project is the forming of discipleship centers among these ethnic groups.  This is primarily done through using digital Audio Bible Players and Digital Bible Libraries (containing text, audio and video resources.)  The printed Gospels of John  are also a key part of this discipleship effort.

This work is primarily funded through DBS, and we are excited to see how the digital Bible resources are helping make disciples among the minority peoples of Ecuador.

 

BLANTYRE, MALAWI – A Second Stream of Distribution

In 2014, Scott Hoge, a police officer in Aleda, TX, met Pastor Happy Gondwe on a missions trip to Malawi, Africa.  Pastor Gondwe leads Champions in Christ Ministries in the Blantye area of Malawi, where he currently oversees 14 churches.  He also assists and supports many others churches in the rural region around Blantyre.  After returning home, Scott began corresponding with and praying for Pastor Happy and his ministry.

Scott was able to raise funds to send some print Bibleback to Blantyre for the churches there.  However, Scott became aware that many of the people there could not read.

Scott reached out to us to help provide Audio Bible Players, not knowing that we were headed to Malawi ourselves with Audio Bibles for the village chiefs there. He asked us to bring a few to be handed-off for Pastor Gondwe to evaluate.

They proved to be very helpful, and Scott began raising support to send more.

In November, DBS loaded 55 Audio Bibles, which Scott shipped to Blantyre, Malawi for Pastor Happy to distribute.  They have been placed into the hands of Pastors and church leaders under Pastor Gondwe’s oversight. They were very thankful to receive them.

Scott is already praying about how to raise funds for many more, because the need is so great!

Date:  November, 2019 and ongoing
Participants:  Scott Hogue (Aleda, TX) and Pastor Happy Gondwe
Resources Distributed:  55 MegaVoice Audio Bible Players containing the full Bible and 43 Discipleship Lessons, all in the Chichewa (nya) language.