Faith Starts with Stories

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FOCUS ON: ORAL STORYTELLING


As night falls over our village, I can no longer see the movements of my neighbors—men making tea, women hauling water, kids rolling tires past thatch-roofed huts. Yet despite the darkness, I sit on my porch in anticipation. Like Nicodemus seeking Jesus under the cover of night, Solo, the one believer in our village, comes for house church on Sunday evenings.

Although the setting of the house church is simple—just a wooden bench on the dark porch—our fellowship is sweet. Solo and I talk about what God is teaching us, share requests and pray for each other, and take communion together. 

House church with Solo is a first fruit of our ministry here. It springs from the spiritual transformation that happened as he interacted with God’s Word. When I first came here my teammate and I, along with another African friend, crafted 22 Bible stories in the Moko language. The stories were short so that those who heard them could easily remember and tell them to others. Together they told the story of God’s creative and redemptive work, beginning in Genesis and ending with Christ.

When we had finished crafting the stories in Moko, we needed someone to translate them back into English so that they could be checked for accuracy. We had no idea where we would find someone with sufficient fluency in English. So we prayed. And God provided Solo. As he heard the stories, he decided that he wanted to follow Jesus.

Solo’s story is a beautiful illustration of the importance of storytelling in reaching Bibleless people groups. Oral Bible stories are an ideal starting point in places where written Scripture is not yet available. They also overcome the barrier of illiteracy, granting access to God’s redemptive message to those who cannot read. Because they begin with the Old Testament, they also act as a bridge to neighbors of a different faith. Much like a mouth-watering appetizer, oral Bible stories are creating a hunger within people for more Scripture—the Bread of Life.

You Can Pray:

  •  for direction in producing each part of an oral Bible story series

  •  for impact on each person who prepares and hears these stories

  •  for barriers to be overcome so that many will embrace Scripture

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