The intense competition among cell phone companies in Mexico is leading to some great bargains these days. And I suspect that this will increase even more the viability of “Scriptures in use” strategies involving smartphones among the speakers of the native languages of Mexico where coverage is available.
For example, for just 50 pesos (less than US$3) ―equivalent to about 3 hours of field work here in BC― one can activate an option with TelCel that includes unlimited text messages and free calls to landlines and other mobile phones of any company in Mexico plus free calls to the US and Canada, for 15 days. But not only that, it includes unlimited use of Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp, plus 50MB of other online bandwidth use. (Note, if the free services take you to an external link, accessing them will draw from the 50MB). They have five other options good for 30 days for 100, 150, 200, 300 and 500 pesos respectively, with the bandwidth increasing and getting cheaper per MB. All it takes is having enough balance on your pre-paid account for the desired plan and sending a text message to activate it. You can renew it manually as you want, or set it up for automatic renewal.
It wouldn’t surprise me that bargains like these will prompt a lot more people to make the shift from “dumb” phones to smartphones. It’s time to get creative using these favored apps for getting the Word out in one way or another. And as more invest in smartphones the viability of offline options like pre-loaded microSD cards and the placement of BibleBox units will also increase, even in areas without coverage, as many will gets phones to use for calling and internet access when in town, and as media players when out in the remote areas. And all the free calling, of course, gives more opportunity for mutual encouragement, sharing of prayer needs, evangelism, discipleship, etc.
Some ideas for next moves:
- graphics with vernacular Scripture verses
- links to Scripture Earth
- short Bible story videos
- language-specific NT apps made with Scripture App Builder
- recordings of brief Bible passages or stories using WhatsApp
- links to the Jesus film or individual segments
- links to segments of the Luke video (on Scripture Earth’s YouTube channel, for some languages)