Mexico (MNN) — Alcoholism, family struggles, and a stale understanding of the Bible were all rampant in the mountains near Oaxaca, Mexico just a few weeks ago. And that’s exactly where Jim Loker and his team went.
“We were in an area where the people were very hard-hearted,” Loker said. “It was a very dark region.”
That’s why Loker’s organization, Audio Scripture Ministries, collaborated with a church from Grand Rapids, Michigan to send in a team with God’s Word in audio.
“A big reason for all of that mess and darkness is that Mixteco (the language they speak) Scriptures have not been accessible to the people for many, many years, and it wasn’t until recently that [things changed].”
Wycliffe Bible Translators completed a Scripture translation in Mixteco some years ago, but since most Mixteco are oral-preference learners, few from the area could easily access it. At the time they went in, ASM knew of only a handful of people who could read and understand the Mixteco Bible.
Recently, the ASM studio in Oaxaca finally found the resources and voices to record audio versions of the translations. The team then took the audio Bibles into the mountains to distribute them.
“We worked through local pastors and leaders, and we were able to walk their trails and visit local families, and we were able to share the Gospel with lots of different people,” Loker said. “We shared the Gospel, saw many families come to Christ, showed people how to use the Bible, and prayed for their family needs — not only their spiritual needs but their physical needs.”
The trip also allowed the team to encourage local church leaders.
“Many of them [struggle] because they work in a really, really hard part of the world where they don’t see a lot of results,” Loker said. Part of what makes the area so hard to minister in is the lack of Bibles and interest in the Bible.
“Now, with all these different audio Bibles in the hands of local believers and nonbelievers, they can hear the Scriptures and the Scriptures have become resurrected.”
Want to help? Loker said ASM needs more teams that can help them distribute Scripture in the area. Audio Bibles have the potential to reach countless people thanks to communities that share resources and play the audio at gatherings — but they have to reach those communities in the first place.
Most of all, ASM is asking for prayer. Loker said he can trace almost every change they’ve seen back to prayer, and ASM has even made a prayer guide that can help you know how to pray.