DO YOU BELIEVE?
Our vision is to help people in 500 unreached language groups become followers of Christ in a growing community of faith by the year 2025.
“I have never ever heard this story before,” said translator Nadine* during StoryRunners’ Elkanlen* School of Storying (SOS) workshop in West Africa earlier this spring.
As a native Elkanlen speaker and a follower of her people’s majority religion, Nadine was exactly the kind of person the StoryRunners SOS team needed to test how well the Bible stories would be understood by other Elkanlen-speaking people who also follow the majority religion. As a ﬂuent English speaker, Nadine was a critical and integral part of the fnal process of checking for accuracy and comprehension. She worked long hours alongside SOS team members Joey and Allen, listening over and over again to the Bible stories.
Joey reﬂected on his experience with Nadine:
Although hearing the Bible stories is important, a key component of non-believers from this religion coming to faith is experiencing the welcome from followers in Jesus. First, they realize that Christians do not fit in their pre-conceived notions. Then, the stories in their own language and the Spirit work together to bring their hearts to saving faith, and they often make decisions to follow Jesus.
During her time working with us, Nadine grew more positive towards following Jesus instead of following her way. She joined some of the worship times with our believing participants, and one day we heard her singing a song she had learned during worship to her seven-month old daughter to get her to sleep.
Not long after that, Allen and I were quite encouraged by a conversation he and Nadine had.
Allen: “Do you believe these stories?”
Nadine: “Oh, I believe ALL of the stories!”
Allen: “And do you think it was an accident that you came here to work with us?”
Nadine: “Oh no, God has called me here! When I come here to work on the stories, I feel a joy that is from God.”
As you can imagine, we were praying fervently for Nadine to choose to follow Jesus instead of the way of her people. During our last week together, afer our entire group listened very closely to the 24 stories we developed together, Nadine and two of her friends (non-believing participants in the workshop)
decided to follow His way!
Rejoice with the entire StoryRunners team that Nadine and her friends now know the joy that comes only from the Lord! Thank you for your partnership with us, so that many more of Nadine’s people can come to know Christ.
Each School of Storying (SOS) training is unique. In some locations, developing Bible stories is easy, but telling stories in community evangelism is difficult or impossible. In other places, telling the stories is easy but developing them is a huge challenge. In the April Tagalog training in the Philippines, everything synced.
From the team leader: The Tagalog participants were so sharp and they picked up the training so quickly, resulting in excellent, natural, Biblically accurate stories. They were also on fire for God so they excelled in using the stories also.
One of the highlights was sharing stories with high school and college age basketball players whom we met through an ongoing outreach of a local church. Of the 19 guys who heard stories, 11 players prayed to receive Christ!
These stories will spread quickly because the SOS participants are from islands and provinces throughout the country, and they plan to tell stories to co-workers and to unreached tribal groups during evangelistic community outreaches and various ministry opportunities.
Not only will many people hear these Bible stories and trust Christ in the months to come, but developing the Tagalog Bible story set will foster opportunities for StoryRunners to schedule SOS trainings to develop stories in the languages of the more than 30 Unreached People Groups in the Philippines.
“I LOVE THAT WE IMMEDIATELY APPLY WHAT WE LEARN BY TELLING THE BIBLE STORIES IN EVANGELISM.” JADA*
“SHARING STORIES WHILE I’M WITH PEOPLE FROM THE TRAINING GIVES ME THE CONFIDENCE TO SHARE JESUS ON MY OWN WHEN I GET HOME.” DARWIN
PRAISE & PRAYER
In the Philippines, in just two weeks 360 people heard Bible stories and 190 indicated decisions to follow Christ. Praise God!
PRAYER: WE COVET YOUR PRAYERS. PLEASE PRAY:
1) For the church with the basketball ministry to help the 11 new believers to grow in their new relationship with Jesus.
2) For the SOS team in Central Africa to stay healthy and the SOS participants to share stories boldly in spite of community opposition.
3) For the 25 college students participating in the StoryRunners Rocky Mountain Summer Mission to raise their support by July 1.
How well are we communicating our message to you?
Last month, StoryRunners director Mark Steinbach sent an invitation to everyone on our newsletter list inviting them to participate in an online survey. We learned that:
1) Over 70% of you understand clearly that StoryRunners is translating Bible passages into stories to take the gospel to unreached groups living in oral cultures.
2) 87% of you enjoy reading about how lives are changed through hearing the gospel in stories. Thank you for participating. If you would like to add any further comments you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Names have been changed and faces have been blurred for security reasons.
Check May 2017 StoryRunners Newsletter to read it in pdf.
DO YOU BELIEVE?