Our First Bible: 20 Years Later

What happens decades after you give someone their very first Bible?

Have you ever wanted to ride in a time machine? Today you can!

Back in the year 2002, the Wichí people of northern Argentina received the Bible in their heart language for the very first time. Twenty years later, their community has been totally transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, allow these grateful souls in the Wichí community to answer a powerful question for you:

What happens decades after you give someone their very first Bible?


“Life was very difficult before,” says Felix, remembering the constant conflict and violence that used to exist in his community. “Now, even those who aren’t believers benefit from the fact that the gospel is among us, because we have peace in the community.”

Julia & Ceferino

Julia, pictured here with her husband and granddaughter, keeps her Wichí Bible in a colorful, woven cloth bag called a yica. Because their community deals with frequent flooding, the Wichí people store their most precious possessions in these portable bags, keeping them on their person at all times.

Julia flips through the well-worn pages of her Bible and starts reading in a soft voice:

“Jesús yachajo tä tahuyej wichi wet yok.”

The text is from John 8:12, in which Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life, and will never walk in darkness.”

“That passage is very important because that is exactly what happened with us. He showed us the way to go,” Julia explains. “The Word of God enlightened people so they can live together.”

Julia’s husband, Ceferino, agrees: “The Word [in our language] has been the most important thing. There is nothing else we follow that has helped us like this.”


“When people didn’t have the Word of God, there was no peace,” Calixto remembers. “Now we have places where we all live together in safety, but it wasn’t like that before. Each family lived separately on the mountain.”


“I learned many things that help me in difficult times, and how to live as a believer—things I didn’t know before,” Fanny celebrates. “I can read the Bible in Spanish, but I understand very little compared to when I read it in my own language.”


Rodrigo oversees Bible translation projects for the local Bible Society in Argentina. He’ll never forget learning about a Wichí pastor who gladly handed over his precious yica bag— representing all of his earthly possessions—as a way to say “thank you” for the gift of God’s Word in his heart language of Wichí.

“The Bible is the only thing I need,” the pastor declared. “Thank you for giving us this!”

Rodrigo has a special message for you—the faithful partners of American Bible Society who make miracles like this possible.

“It is not our money that persuades people to treasure the Word of God,” Rodrigo admits.

“But your financial giving makes an incredible spiritual impact. Whatever money you can give helps show others that treasuring Scripture changes your life. So, thank you! You are great, you are important, and this Bible ministry would be very hard to do without you.”

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