Translating the Bible for Mexico’s Indigenous People

Mexicans Hear God’s Word in their Native Languages for the First Time

Did you know that Spanish isn’t the only language spoken in Mexico? There are more than 60 indigenous languages spoken by almost 10 million people across the nation. These Mexicans often have difficulty understanding the Bible in Spanish. They long to have a Bible in their own language.

For decades, Bible translators have been working diligently to translate God’s Word for Mexico’s indigenous people. Today, seven indigenous languages have a full Bible and several others have the New Testament.

But how does Bible translation turn into Bible access?

Audio Bibles Provide Access to God’s Word

Many of the indigenous communities in Mexico face high rates of poverty and low levels of education. Sixty percent of the population does not know how to write or read in their own languages.

To provide God’s Word to indigenous communities, the Bible Society of Mexico is providing audio bibles. The Bible Society began recording available Bible translations fifteen years ago. These recordings, fully dramatized with music and sound effects, were recorded on audio tapes, CDs, and now solar-powered audio devices that look like radios. Church leaders and pastors then form groups where people come together and listen to God’s Word played on the the audio players.

Thanks to audio Bibles thousands of indigenous people are hearing the gospel of Jesus for the first time in their own language!

“I’m very thankful and happy because now I can hear the New Testament with my family who are not believers … I am happy to have the Word of God in my language,” says Prudencia from an indigenous community in Central Nahuatl, Mexico.

The success of this program has been astounding. By the end of 2018:

  • The New Testament was translated into 13 indigenous languages and recorded on audio radios
  • 14,000+ adults and children participated in weekly Bible listening groups
  • 1,605 people from 106 communities in 12 states were trained to lead listening groups
  • 540 people joined a local church

Praise God that Mexico’s indigenous communities now have access to his Word in their own language. Join us in praying that God’s Word will transform these communities for generations to come.

Pray for:

God, thank you for the progress that has been made to make your Word available to the native people of Mexico. We pray for the remaining indigenous languages to be translated and recorded so that all people in Mexico have a chance to be transformed by the truths found in the Bible. 

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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