He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter . . . said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
– John 21:17
Where the shadow of the ancient Incan Empire falls across the South American countries of Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia, the descendants of the Inca and the peoples they conquered speak one of many different dialects of the Quechua language. Nearly 10 million people speak the language they call Runa Simi, or the people’s language. Though Quechua is recognized as an official language of these nations, the perception is that it is the language of the poor and uneducated, and those who speak it are often the victims of social discrimination. Additionally, Quechua remains largely an oral or spoken language because there is a lack of written material available.
Faith Comes By Hearing has one purpose: to make God’s Word available everywhere for everyone. The best way to do this is to take God’s Word to people in their heart language. A simple testimony we received from a partner working in Peru among people who speak Quechua Huamalies Dos de Mayo illustrates why Audio Bibles in the languages of each people group is the best way to feed the Lord’s sheep around the world:
A pastor who helped translate the Bible into Quechua brought a sheep into the middle of a stadium in front of several hundred fellow pastors. He repeatedly tempted the sheep by holding a few leaves of alfalfa in front of it. Just as the animal began to nibble, the pastor quickly pulled the food away, allowing it just a brief taste of what it craved.
He explained, “This is what we pastors do when we teach God’s Word in Spanish. We tempt people with a brief ‘taste’ but don’t ‘feed’ them because they can’t really understand it.”
He then took a huge bundle of alfalfa and laid it in front of the sheep who immediately began to devour the food. With a smile the pastor said, “This is what we do when we give people God’s Word in Quechua. They feed on it and are nourished and satisfied, yet still have more for another day.”
What a simple and beautiful piece of wisdom! Help us bring this wisdom and eternal nourishment to many more language communities around the world.
We are thankful for churches like Westview Baptist Church (Hawkinsville, GA), Trinity Family Life Center (Pickerington, OH), Ranchvale Baptist Church (Clovis, NM), Grace Chapel (Willcox, AZ), True Vine Church (Goldsby, OK), and many other congregations who provide food for God’s sheep through Audio Bibles in Quechua and the heart languages of people around the world.