Pame Central of Mexico

Ten thousand Pame live in San Luis Potosi, a state of central Mexico. They call themselves Xiúi meaning “indigenous.” The Pame cultivate maize, beans, squash, and chili which constitute their main diet. However, the soil is poor and rocky and many Pame are migrant workers.

Pame traditional religious beliefs in spirits, witches, and gods have mixed with Catholicism brought by the Spaniards. Pame call the Sun and the Catholic God by the same name. Likewise, they call the Moon and the Virgin Mary by the same name.

They need the truth found in God’s Word. But is it worth the time and toil of translating the Bible for a relatively small people group? Someone thinks so! And that is the rest of the story.

In 1980, BBTI graduate Rex Cobb began working in Bible translation among the Zapotecs in Oaxaca, Mexico. The people of his remote Zapotec village were suspicious of Americans, and it became increasingly difficult to minister among them. Bro. Cobb began to pray for Mexican nationals to assume the work of reaching their own indigenous people. In 1987, Rex learned of a Bible institute in the mountains of Chihuahua, Mexico, which was beginning to train students to do just that. God had answered his prayer!

He moved to northern Mexico and for four years taught the skills he had learned at BBTI. The first class had thirty-five students. Bro. Rex later moved on to church planting, and as the years passed, he wondered if he had made the right decision to leave the work with the Zapotecs and invest his time in training Mexican missionaries. Recently the Lord confirmed that yes, it was the correct decision.

Last March, at a mission conference in Gainesville, Texas, Rex met Dr. Neftalí Santos MD, a Mexican missionary to the Pame people of the state of San Luis Potosi. Neftalí taught the Pame people to read and is directing them as they translate the Bible into Pame. Neftalí studied linguistics and Bible translation at the Instituto Bíblico Maranatha in the city of San Luis Potosí. His teacher? Jorge Rocha, one of the students in Rex’s first class at the Bible Institute in Chihuahua! What a joy to learn how God has used Dr. Jorge Rocha to challenge and train dozens of men in the work of missions. Wondrous are God’s doings in our eyes!

God has a plan to reach every tribe and nation with the Gospel. He thinks it is worth the time and toil to translate the Bible for a relatively small people group. Neftalí thinks it is worth it and so do we! We are grateful He lets us get involved and has even let us see some far-reaching effects of BBTI’s ministry.

Fall 2023