“Without a doubt, God speaks our language. God speaks in Quichua…!”
Pedro is a 12-year-old boy growing up in Ecuador. He is part of one of the oldest indigenous communities in South America: the Quichua.
Historically, the Quichua lived in the Ecuadorian Andes. But in recent years, many have migrated to cities, seeking economic opportunities. As a result, many Quichua children are now either bilingual, speaking both Quichua and Spanish, or they have given up on their heart language and speak only Spanish. Migration to the cities and a lack of education are slowly wiping out the Quichua language; approximately 80% of children who migrate to large cities lose their language, customs, and culture.
With this in mind, Biblica Ecuador and the Hurtado Foundation partnered to produce a bilingual Quichua-Spanish New Testament for children. This New Testament includes both languages parallel to each other, along with 64 pages of colorful illustrations.
This New Testament will allow and encourage children to not only learn to read in their original language, but also to discover the Good News of the Gospel in both Spanish and Quichua.
“[God] wants His people to use the Scriptures as a tool of education and discipleship in schools and colleges of the community,” notes Pably Guachilema, president of the evangelical pastors in the Quichua community. “Without a doubt, God speaks our language—God speaks in Quichua!”
In September of 2016, the presentation of the bilingual New Testament took place. Thousands of children eagerly received a copy of the New Testament in their own language. Suddenly, children felt that God thought their language and culture were important.
Pedro, who lives in the community of Tixan province of Chimborazo, and received a New Testament, told us: “Since I received this New Testament, I am reading it daily and learning together with my mother and brothers about the wonders that Jesus has done for me. I have even been able to share the New Testament with my friends from school. They like it very much – especially the drawings that this book has.”
Pastor Ignacio Mullo, representative of the Evangelical Missionary Union in the city of Quito, said, “The resource you have given us has arrived in response to our prayers. As an indigenous community, we have fought to preserve our language for our children and our grandchildren. This Quichua New Testament has encouraged our children to become interested in reading in Quichua, and there is nothing better than to be reading from the Word of God. From the depths of my heart, I want to say, ‘Dios les pague’ (may God repay you). Not only the present generations but also the future ones will use this material.”
Currently, schools are requesting bilingual New Testaments to add to their daily reading. This is a wonderful opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission of going to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Word of God.