Praying for the Western Kaqchikel People of Guatemala

Pray for the beauty of God’s Word to be experienced by this indigenous community

In Guatemala there are 25 official languages, of which 22 are indigenous languages. One of those is Western Kaqchikel.

The Western Kaqchikel community of 110,380 people lives in the highlands of Guatemala. These Mayan people predate the Spanish conquistadors. About 90 percent of the Western Kaqchikel people profess faith in Christ, but do not have access to Scripture. The New Testament was translated into Western Kaqchikel, but the translation used an outdated alphabet and needs revising. The Old Testament needs to be translated for the first time so the Western Kaqchikel community can understand God’s full story.

Bringing God’s Word to Life for Western Kaqchikel Communities

In Western Kaqchikel churches, most pastors and congregants read the Bible in Spanish. But they do not understand it. That is why the Bible must be updated and completed so the Western Kaqchikel people will be able to engage with Scripture and allow it to transform their lives.

The Bible Society of Guatemala plans to spend five years translating the Old Testament into Western Kaqchikel for the first time, and two years revising the New Testament. They also plan to distribute 5,000 full Bibles in 2025. Prior to publication, the Bible Society will publish portions of Scripture as they are finalized for churches to use in Bible study and evangelism efforts.

Additionally, in 2019, the Bible Society began plans to conduct a literacy program to promote Bible engagement among Western Kaqchikel communities. It will be implemented for children, youth, and adults in churches and schools.

Your prayers can bring the Bible to life to those who speak Western Kaqchikel. No longer will they have to pretend they understand the sermons preached in Spanish that they hear in church. They will be able to understand God’s love for them in the language they speak. Will you pray for this to be a reality?

Let’s Prayer Together

Father, we pray for your hand of favor and blessing on all those working to translate God’s Word for the Western Kaqchikel people. We pray that as your Word is translated and shared throughout Western Kaqchikel communities in Guatemala that it will bring hope, life, and purpose to every heart that reads it.

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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