The Strong and Powerful Man
Chicahua recently arrived in the LA area, from his village in the Mexican state of Durango. Like many travelers, economics forced him to find a job this side of the border. The big complicating factor for him was that like many tribal immigrants, he doesn't speak Spanish. His mother tongue is Nahuatl, and his lineage is from Tenochtitlan, the Aztec homeland around Mexico City.
His tribe has been moving around for 500 years, and this move is not really that different, except that there are few Nahuats around him in his new community. And while he gets paid, he knows he gets paid less because of his status and lack of knowing Spanish. His name means “strong and powerful”, but he doesn't feel that way here.
Recently, some of his tribesmen told him about Mrs. Lopez. She brings a group of Nahuats together each week to learn Spanish. She has what she calls a "New Testament" in Spanish and Nahuatl - together in one book! She shows them stories about Jesus. They each look up the stories in their own language, and they read to each other. And then they practice reading and speaking the Spanish. His friend, Ahuiliztli, has been coming longer then he has, and says learning about Jesus has changed his life. Chicahua wants to learn Spanish and about Jesus too.
Chichua’s need for a two-language Bible is no longer the exception. It’s the norm. The 21st century is a time of global movement and migration. People are using two or even three languages on a daily basis as they attempt to settle in new places. Bibles need to accommodate their need to understand God’s Word deeply in their language and bridge them into the language of the Bible in their new home country. A two-language Bible is not a luxury. It’s spiritual survival and growth.
Now, I made up parts of this story, like the names. But, the story is actually true, and it has already happened. A real live hispanic woman learned there were Nahuats around her, who could not speak Spanish. And they needed help. Somehow, we don’t know how, she found a Nahuat-Spanish two-language New Testament on our website, and started ordering a few at a time (www.virtualstorehouse.org/bilingual-bibles) and started her Bible studies. Ordinary people seeing a need, and responding. You could do this too!
Brent Lindquist, Technology Evangelist