MEXICO: Reaching Tribal Villagers

Source: Christian Aid Mission, April 20, 2017

In an area of southern Mexico that for centuries has shielded itself from all foreign influence, including the Spanish conquest, a tribal villager who decided to follow Jesus quickly met with hostility from family and friends.

The animist villagers in southern Oaxaca State reproached Reynaldo for abandoning the cosmology of his ancestors—a worldview in which trees, rocks, and other elements of nature were imbued with volatile spirits.

“In many cases I didn’t even know why I was doing the animist rituals, except ‘to not anger the spirits,’ and a life full of doing that never fulfilled me,” he said before being baptized recently. “Now I’ve decided to follow the Lord whatever the cost.”

“These are people that have resisted Western influence for 500 years—to reach them, it takes an average of seven to 10 years,” said [Mariano, an indigenous missionary]. “You have to give your life to the work, and eventually you’ll be accepted by the community, and they’ll give you some land to work and a place in their society.”

Oaxaca is said to be the most ethnically diverse entity in the world; in one 36-square mile area of the state, more than 200 languages and dialects are spoken. Half of the indigenous language-speaking people in Oaxaca do not speak Spanish.

» Read full story.

» Readers, have you heard that another ministry that serves among tribal peoples has just changed its name? New Tribes Mission is now Ethnos360.

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