He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed . . .
– Luke 4:18
Born in a village located in the barren Bolivian highlands, Juan has lived a difficult life. As a child, his mother would vent her anger and frustration by hitting him, and his father was an alcoholic. When his parents separated while he was still very young, his mother left him with his grandparents and disappeared.
With nothing and no one to believe in, Juan says, “When I was six years old . . . I became a practicing atheist.” He began to act out toward his grandparents and found himself drawn to alcohol then bound by it at the age at 32 . . . just like his father. He admits, “I began to lose my family, my friends, my self-confidence – everything – because I began to steal.”
During that time, workers from the Bible Society brought Proclaimers to Juan’s village, but he tried not to pay much attention. He would hear them playing as he passed the local church and would stand at the door to listen for a moment, and then walk on because he didn’t believe God existed. After several months, Juan noticed something he hadn’t before. The Proclaimers were speaking Chipaya, his heart language. One night, he heard something spoken so clearly that it seemed to be speaking directly to him: Jesus Christ came to destroy everything that Satan had done.
Juan lingered at the door and asked the pastor where he could find the words that had spoken so clearly to him. The pastor took a Chipaya New Testament and showed him 1 John 3:8. Juan found it hard to believe that God would speak directly to him and that He could change a life as full of darkness and trouble as his. After that, Juan tried to go on with his life, but every time he heard the Proclaimer playing, something made his body tremble.
The pastor noticed this, too, and the next time Juan walked past, the pastor invited Juan to repent. Juan said, “I remember falling on my knees and crying like a child, receiving God’s Love in my life.”
Now the former atheist wants his life to be an example to others. He says, “I have told the people they need to listen to this machine because God is speaking to us in our language, and He is speaking very plainly so we can learn about Him.”
Hearing the Word of God in his heart language broke the chains in Juan’s life and set him free forever.
We are thankful for churches like Lakewood United Methodist Church (Houston, TX), First Baptist Church (Cordele, GA), Redeemer Lutheran Church (Claremore, OK), Shiloh Advent Christian Church (Monroe, NC), Wellington Church of the Nazarene (Wellington, KS), and many other congregations who are setting the captives free through Audio Bibles in Chipaya and heart languages of people around the world!
Image: An Audio Bible listening group in Bolivia.