Mexico officially became a country in 1821 after gaining independence from Spain. Because of its history, Mexico has a rich and diverse cultural landscape. The Mixteco de Jicaltepec people live mainly in tropical, southwestern Mexico — some in mountainous areas, some in lowlands and others near the Pacific Ocean. They work as farmers, merchants, craftsmen and artisans. Although the majority of the Mixteco de Jicaltepec people identify as Christian, many still worship spirits.
Today there are around 20,000 Mixteco de Jicaltepec speakers in Mexico, and the history of the Mixteco de Jicaltepec history includes many migrations. Young people still migrate to urban areas for work and educational opportunities. But these migrations haven’t caused their cultural identity to diminish. In fact, the opposite has happened: The migrations have prompted affirmation of their culture!
Bible translation work is currently underway in the Mixteco de Jicaltepec language. After a translation is drafted, staff members share it with local speakers in order to gather feedback about how clear and understandable the translation is. For the Mixteco de Jicaltepec Bible translation team, these community checking sessions have turned into more than draft reviews — they’ve provided an opportunity for people to learn about God’s Word.
Team members have already noticed spiritual growth among Mixteco Christians. Mothers and their daughters-in-law, who had once experienced turmoil in their relationships, began to change their attitudes and behaviors toward each other when presented with translated Scripture passages. Staff have observed similar conflicts being resolved peacefully as people gain a deeper understanding of the Bible’s message. Even non-Christians often gladly help the team by reading drafted materials, and some have come to Christ during these review sessions. Bonfilia, a Mixteco translator, said: “The Word of God in our own language has brought a spiritual and holistic transformation in the families of our community.”
The goal for the project is to complete and publish 12 Old Testament books, check 2 Chronicles with a consultant, and record Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy in audio format. The team also plans to host literacy workshops and show the “JESUS” film in the community.
- That God will bless and encourage the team, and that he will help them accomplish their goals.
- For Mixteco Christians to be strengthened by God’s Word and grow spiritually.
- That non-Christians will accept the translation, be receptive to the gospel message and be transformed by Scripture in their language.