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Why You Should Care About Ending Bible Poverty Now

October 13, 2020

Growing up in a Christian family, I was blessed to receive daily instruction from the Bible. I’ve since learned, however, that not everyone who has access to God’s word is aware of the value and importance of it. Worse, there are even people who don’t have access to a Bible in their own language!

Here at YWAM Mazatlan through our ministry “Bibles for Mexico”, we do door-to-door Bible distribution.

Our goal is to place a free Bible in every home in the city so that each person can have an understanding of the value and importance of it in their own lives, leading them to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Learn More about Bibles for Mexico

This isn’t only for us here in Mazatlan—we’re simply working to set the standard for all of Mexico by becoming the first city in the nation where every home has a Bible. Below is some information on why and how we plan to accomplish this.

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What is “Bible poverty”?

Bible poverty is a term used to describe 3 tragedies in the world. First, it describes people groups who don't have access to the Bible in their own language. Mexico is home to some of these people groups, because surprisingly there are 68 languages spoken across the nation. Not all of those have a translation of the Bible.

Next, some people do not own a Bible because they don't have enough money to buy one, they don't realize it is free (online), or they don't think it's for "common folk" (only priests or "holy" people).

Finally, many people do not understand the value of God's word. Sometimes it is necessary to show these people it is valuable by taking the time to go to their door and hand them a Bible.

Why everyone should have access to the Bible

We believe God’s word is transformative in nature and plants a seed that produces a harvest at the right time. These seeds are not meant for the physical ground, but instead are meant to be planted in the soil of human hearts. As God spoke through the prophet Isaiah, the Word of God is like water to our souls:

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. [Isaiah 55:10-11, NIV]

According to this passage, God wants us to know that just like physical crops and plants need rain, so we need the Word of God. This word waters the spiritual fields of the earth—our souls thirsting for true life that is only found in the Lord.

Carnaval Bibles

We believe we’re “watering” the community when we distribute Bibles, and as God has promised, we know this will produce a flourishing community filled with the evidence of God’s life-giving instruction. When people receive God’s word and respond to it, renewed souls are a natural result.

It’s our prayer that God will create a hunger for truth, and to realize that the Bible isn’t just meant to be some religious book on display in a church. We want people to know these words are words of life and are useful for instruction in daily living.

Why you should care

Since we started Bibles for Mexico 5 years ago, we’ve distributed free Bibles to over 43% of the city. At the time of this publication, that leaves us with about 69,000 more homes to reach.

Our hearts are burdened that there are people in the world that don’t have a copy of God’s word, or at least have never understood its value in their personal lives.

Many of us are blessed to have a Bible in our own language, even sometimes with multiple translations. Can you imagine what it might be like to never have had access to your own copy of the word of God?

Many people think the Bible is just a “holy book” that’s not to be read by common people. But when we hand them a Bible and say, “here, take this, it’s a free message from God to you,” they’re often surprised and respond, “For free and for me? Really?”.

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Our Bible distribution process

The process is simple. Everyone gathers together right outside our campus dressed in shorts and sneakers, water bottles and sunscreen in hand, ready to walk the streets.

The ministry leaders give an overview on where each team will go and begin to split the group into smaller teams. We stuff our backpacks with as many Bibles that we can fit as different sections of the city are assigned to us for distribution.

Finally, we hop into vans which take us to our various assigned neighborhoods.

Once we reach our assigned neighborhoods, we go door-to-door handing out Bibles. Each time we’re able to give one, we put a sticker on the house to show that we’ve already delivered a Bible there. Lastly, we celebrate that there’s one more home that has a copy of God’s word.

Our teams are full of people from all different backgrounds. Some are volunteers, staff, and students, all from different churches and nations. We all have one main goal: to end Bible poverty in Mazatlan, Mexico, and beyond.

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A testimony

We once heard a story of a boy who had been asking his mom to buy him a Bible. His mom wouldn’t buy one because she didn’t want to spend the money, nor did she believe in God.

One day she told her son, “If you want a Bible, why don’t you ask your God to give you one?” So her son prayed. Little did she know that the next day one of our teams would knock on his door, a free Bible in hand.

The boy opened the door and received the gift he had been asking God for—his own Bible! He was immediately filled with joy and started yelling, “Mom! Mom! They gave me a Bible!” Isn’t God good? He loves responding to his children’s prayers.

What you can do to help

There are 4 main ways you can help us to End Bible Poverty Now.

First, you can volunteer your time and/or bring a team to distribute Bibles in Mazatlan for any amount of time (week, month, etc.)

Second, you can financially support our Bibles for Mexico ministry so that we can continue giving free Bibles to every home in our city. Make a donation here.

Third, you can raise awareness of the need for Bible translation and distribution, sharing with people in your church and community how they can get involved.

Lastly, you can pray that God would advance and multiply the resources needed to continue ensuring everyone has access to the word of God in their mother tongue. You can check out our Bibles for Mexico ministry on Instagram and Facebook (in Spanish only).

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Why you should consider volunteering

Many times we pray for the gospel to spread across the nations of the world, but sometimes we don’t realize that God’s master plan is to send out missionaries into the Great Commission. We believe in training, equipping, and sending out people called to carry the gospel message of salvation to the ends of the earth.

Maybe you’ve felt God calling you to missionary work. Have you ever considered that you could be the answer to your own prayer? Often we end up waiting for “someone else” to take action when in reality, we’re just as capable.

Will you be the one? Will you be that “someone” who takes initiative to help End Bible Poverty Now?

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Looking ahead

We’re not only set on handing out Bibles. We also want to create a hunger for God’s word (truth) in our community. That’s why we’ve begun reading the Bible aloud in public spaces such as parks and plazas, followed by an open discussion time with those listening about what the Bible says.

Our goal for 2021 is to be publicly read the Bible in 100 different locations around the city. We believe that by handing out Bibles and reading it out loud in public, we will initiate a hunger previously unknown throughout our city. Then, as this project grows, we can help other cities and nations do the same.

Conclusion

Our mission in YWAM is to Know God and Make God Known. There are many different ways we can advance this mission, but one of the first steps is making sure every human on the planet has access to the word of God in their own language.

We want every individual to have the chance to be saturated by God's truths. Bibles for Mexico is an important part of this process, and we’re privileged to be part of Ending Bible Poverty Now. Will you join us in making a difference?

Learn More about Bibles for Mexico

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