There is a phrase that often circulates through Christian circles: You may be the only Bible someone will ever read. Yet while the message of Jesus can be lived out in the lives of Christians or shared through their words, YWAMers at the Patagonia center are striving to make sure this is not the case. They want to give the people in this violence-driven community the opportunity to read Jesus’ message first-hand for themselves.
The suburb of Puerto Madryn used to be known for its graffiti, drugs, and crime. Citizens were afraid to venture outside their houses and drug dealers had just as much control as the police. YWAM staff began to pray. They interceded for the area and began to work with the youth, starting football clubs and going door to door, asking the neighborhood what would draw them from their homes.
Slowly, the police began to notice lowered crime rates. A well-known drug dealer surrendered his life to Jesus and left the area to enroll in rehabilitation. And people ventured out onto the streets.
“Over the vacation, people from the neighborhood were saying that it was the first time in years that parents have been able to go out with their kids,” staff member Marina Neta said.
After building connections with their neighbors, YWAM Patagonia has launched Project 630. Their goal is to provide the community with 630 Bibles, one for every unit in the suburb. The staff want to share with the community the real, first-hand account of the message they have found so impacting in their own lives.
“We believe the Bibles will bring conviction to the people who receive them,” Marina said, “and will bring a deeper, heart-level transformation in their lives.”
The idea to offer Bibles was not an original one. It came from Loren Cunningham’s most recent book, “The Book That Transforms Nations,” the testimony of those who have had their lives transformed by the Word of God, as well as from discussions with the local Bible Society representative in Argentina. After seeing the power of the words found in the world’s most popular book, the staff grabbed their own angle on the concept and began to raise funds.
The members of the YWAM base in Patagonia may be the only Bible some of the Puerto Madryn community will ever see, but these YWAMers hope not.