A team of missionaries first began working with the San Jose Mixtec* community in 1960, but after nearly a decade there, they had to leave. Another team came in 1970 and experienced resistance from the community. Because of that and an inability to get a visa, they left a few years later. However, a local pastor worked with the team in Mexico City, Tucson and Kentucky until they returned in 1994. More interruptions occurred in the following years, but finally — after much perseverance — the New Testament was completed.
In March, the San Jose Mixtec community dedicated the New Testament, which was available in both print and audio format. Now that they have the New Testament, the team is focusing on translating the Old Testament so that the San Jose Mixtec can have God’s entire Word in their own language.
Many San Jose Mixtec speakers are monolingual, and the majority understand only a little Spanish. The translation team expects that the audio recordings of the Bible, which are made available on Proclaimers — small solar-powered devices that play recorded Scripture — will be widely used throughout the community.
The majority of the people are Catholics, but they also still practice their traditional animistic beliefs. Many are traditional healers, and they look to figure out the “spirit” of the problem when sickness occurs. The translation team believes that only a mere 5 to 8 percent of the community have an understanding of the gospel and what it means to follow Jesus. But now that the New Testament is available, more people will be able to hear God’s Word in their own language and be introduced to their loving savior.
- Praise God that the New Testament was dedicated in March! The celebration marked a long-awaited moment for the translation team and the San Jose Mixtec community.
- As the Scriptures get shared throughout the area, pray that more and more people would read or listen to the New Testament and be changed by the power of the gospel.
- Pray for the translation team as they work on the Old Testament and ask God to grant them favor and success as they work.
Make a Prayer Connection: Pray for Wycliffe missionary Linda Byrd serving in Mexico. Linda serves as Curriculum Writer for Refuge 139, a day camp-style program for MK’s, and as Director for SIL Mexico Branch’s Field Education System.