Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
– Matthew 5:3
Julio’s life was difficult from the beginning. Born in a rural area of Bolivia, he never knew his father and after his mother died, he was left an orphan. Some relatives promised to take care of him, but Julio’s hopes for a family were dashed when they treated him like an animal instead – chaining him up with their pigs. Fortunately, Julio was discovered and sent to live with another family. This began several years of being passed from one home to another. The more he was shifted around, the more unwanted and unattached Julio felt. His short life was filled with mistreatment and abuse, while inwardly Julio ached for a family that would love and care for him.
Julio’s heart was full of unforgiveness. His voice carried a note of disdain and a smile was rare. The anger and hatred toward his adopted family was so strong that he didn’t think he could believe or trust anyone, but something inside of him still believed that God could heal his heart and mind.
A local pastor heard about Julio’s situation and gave him a Proclaimer that the church was using. It was in his heart language, Northern Bolivian Quechua, and Julio began to listen immediately. After six hours, Julio, who was only 12 years old, began to confront his fears and to show signs – extraordinary signs – of changes to his behavior. The hard heart and coldness disappeared, and Julio’s permanent scowl was gone.
A week after receiving the Proclaimer, Julio shared how Jesus had set him free. The words that radically impacted him came from Matthew chapter 5: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Hearing the Gospel in his heart language helped Julio find a place where he is loved unconditionally, where he belongs, and the family he always longed for.
We are thankful for the partnership of churches like First Baptist Church Eula (Clyde, TX), Delmar Wesleyan Church (Delmar, MD), Powersville Christian Church (Brooksville, KY), First Assembly of God (West Monroe, LA), Faith Bible Church (Little Genesse, NY), and many more whose support of Audio Bibles is transforming lives like Julio’s around the world.
Image: Julio attentively listening to the Proclaimer that changed his life.