“…We could see the Holy Spirit working in her life all year…”
Every other Thursday night students from more than 10 different nations gather in one of the rooms of an old fraternity house for a story group, the oral equivalent of a Bible study. Maureen and Kevin, Cru® staff members at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), converted the room into an international cafe with a living room, full kitchen and study space.
Kevin and Maureen first heard about StoryRunners at the Cru summer mission team leader training in 2019. A StoryRunners staff member led a seminar on oral stories as an evangelism tool. After using the oral Bible stories all summer in a Middle Eastern country, they were hooked and vowed to take the stories back to their ministry with international students at UNH. Their ministry consists of students from many unreached nations including China, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Iran and Turkey.
“Our story groups are very interactive! We laugh a lot, and I think everyone really bonds over the stories. The tools we use to memorize the stories have become like inside jokes,” said Maureen.
In one school year, Maureen and Kevin covered oral Bible stories from Genesis to Acts. They saw many students make connections between the stories to form the overarching narrative of Scripture, but one student stands out.
June* is a junior from South Korea studying economics. Maureen picked her up from the airport and spent eight hours with her on her first day in the U.S. Quick witted and playful, yet diligent and curious, June had many questions about Jesus when she found out Maureen was a Christian, and she soon began to attend every story group.
“It’s amazing. Every week she would come, learn the stories and ask questions. The stories helped her see the big picture of the whole of Scripture,” Kevin recalled.
When June’s grandfather became very sick, she expressed concern about him never hearing about Jesus. Maureen was surprised to hear June talk this way because she had not yet professed faith in Christ.
“But we could see the Holy Spirit working in her life all year, teaching her and convicting her of sin,” said Maureen.
Not much later, on the way to the library after a Cru meeting, a student leader who volunteers with Kevin and Maureen helped lead June to Christ. June is now a student leader in their ministry at UNH and helps other international students discover Jesus.
When complicated concepts come up in the stories, June explains them to the other Korean students in their heart language. She also shares the gospel with her friends back home in South Korea!
Maureen and Kevin reflect on all they have witnessed God accomplish.
Kevin said, “We are so blessed by the oral Bible stories. To be able to use them as an integral part of our ministry has been huge. It has brought such joy to have this method of getting God’s Word into people’s minds. It’s been extremely powerful for us.”