Over the last year or two, during my infrequent visits to southern California, I began to notice a change in the ethnic mix of the men that gather early each morning in the parking lot of the Home Depot near our mission agency’s home office hoping to get work for the day. Typically the men had all been Mexicans, but I noticed newcomers that I suspected were Haitians.
Five years ago I tracked down the available Scripture resources in Haitian Creole and loaded them onto some “BibleBox” WiFi hotspot units for some Mexican believers reaching out among thousands of Haitians that ended up “stuck” in Tijuana, Mexico on their trek north. Now, for those with smartphones, directing Creole speakers to the Haitian Creole page* within the www.ScriptureEarth.org website seems to me to be the best option. They can have free access to 6 full-length Scripture movies**, the text of multiple translations of the New Testament, audio recordings of the NT in 3 different Creole translations, and a variety of audio recordings produced by the Global Recordings Network.
So on my trip to San Diego last week I made two early-morning visits to the Home Depot parking lot with a supply of Scripture Earth business cards in my pocket. I struck up brief conversations with Haitians, Mexicans, and even a Liberian, giving cards to most of them. Many of the Haitians speak very little or no English but, interestingly, DO speak some Spanish or Portuguese because they had lived for a time in Mexico or Brazil before making it to the US. The cell phone data connection at that location was too weak for me to show a clip of a video, but at least fast enough to play a tiny snippet of the audio of the Gospel of Mark with some.
I was particularly blessed to meet and talk with Jefferson. He was the best English speaker among the Haitians I met ― and a joyous brother in Christ! Years ago he was freed from the yoke of voodoo and became a child of God. In the aftermath of the tragic earthquake in Haiti in 2010, he partnered with Samaritan’s Purse and another organization. Join me in praying that Jefferson will be a bright, shining light for Jesus among the other Haitians living near him.
On my way north to get to California last week I had to pass through a permanent checkpoint of the Mexican Army (looking mainly for drugs). Usually I am just asked a question or two and can then continue on. This time I was asked to get out and open up the liftgate of my minivan.
The soldier asked me if I had shown movies in migrant farm worker camps years ago, and the answer was yes, as I was involved in showing open-air Christian movies in Spanish in 4-5 migrant camps on a weekly basis about 5 months of the year in the late ꞌ80s. I am surprised he recognized me after so many years (and additional pounds)! He mentioned that most of his family members are now attending evangelical churches but he is the lone hold-out. I told him he still has time! In our very brief conversation I determined he was a speaker of Zapotec of Mixtepec of Miahuatlán. I gave him a Scripture Earth business card and explained to him how to find his language on the site.
If you would like to share Bible resources with people you know or who God puts in your path who speak other languages, www.ScriptureEarth.org is a great place to start, as resources for thousands of languages of the world, even minority languages spoken only by some thousands of people or less, are available there.
** The Mark & Luke LUMO Gospel Films, The JESUS Film, Magdalena, The Story of Jesus for Children, and The Hope Video