Pass On What You Have Learned

On July 31, five of our Tagalog SOS participants are heading to Cambodia!

Cambodia is usually known for its predominately Buddhist and highly unreached Khmer people group. The country depends greatly on international aid, and education is extremely hard to come by due to Cambodia’s traumatic history. In fact, most of the population relies on NGO and mission-run schools for their basic education.

This presents an opportunity that our participants decided to seize. Partnering with three ministry-run schools in two different cities, these five teachers will use oral Bible stories to conduct English camps with over 500 children. They also hope to have opportunity to teach the full-time teachers how to continue to use stories after they have gone, and how to transition from the stories to a clear gospel presentation.

Please pray for these 5 Filipino participants and their mission trip in Cambodia. Pray for safety and open doors for them, that many children would accept Christ through the stories, and that their work there would lead to further opportunities for StoryRunners to work in Cambodia.

God’s Timing

You might remember our trainer Dodji, of the Aja people group in Benin, who we met during our Aja SOS in fall of 2013. During the month of April, he traveled back to his home villages and held two storytelling trainings. There, he was able to train and equip a bunch of other people from 16 different area churches. During the trainings, these 61 people started 68 new story groups, and shared the gospel with 596 people.

Dodji has continued to follow up with these trainees. He told us, “One of the men, Jean-Paul, went to a village and started a story group there. In just three weeks, his group grew to 32 people and 26 people in his group have become believers! Another woman has started a group in another village, and in the same amount of time has seen it grow to 60 regular attendees!

“I was very discouraged when the Aja SOS finished,” Dodji continued. “It looked like my people were rejecting the stories [because there was no immediate movement]. But now I realized that it was just not God’s timing yet. Now, it’s like I hear a voice inside me saying, ‘Don’t ever again think that no one is using the stories you are helping make. God is using His stories to do exactly what He wants among people groups. What you have to do is just go, make good stories, train storytellers, and God will use them according to His will.”

Sadder and Sadder

African Man Moved to Tears After Hearing Passion Story - StoryRunners

“Stop! What’s that?” Our non-Christian translator, *Edward, held up his hand. His face was pale, as we sat under the mango tree outside our training room translating stories from the Passion Week. We all listened. We heard one of our trainers calling one of our participants, but to our translator, he heard, “He is dead! He is dead!” God was clearly touching this man’s heart. We continued working through the stories. After each story, he’d say, “Wow, these stories are getting sadder and sadder! Last week in the stories, Jesus was doing miracles and healing people, and everything was happy. But now they are so sad.”

Edward is a very kind and gentle, smiling person, but we noticed that he was unusually somber today. It was very apparent to us that the stories were affecting him. Edward was beginning to see Jesus in a different light from what he was used to. Before this School of Storying he viewed Jesus as the ‘Christian God’. But he did not know or understand who Jesus really was. We continued playing the stories for him, sentence by sentence. We noticed that with every sentence, he was pondering the real meaning and weight of what was being said, rather than just translating them. When we got to the crucifixion story, he listened to the line, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” At that point, tears began to fall down his face. He started shaking his head.

“Jesus was at the point of desperation,” he whispered. “I understand.” He excused himself and went away for a few minutes, washing his face and composing himself. But he was still shaken when he returned. When we reached Jesus’ resurrection, the tears flowed again, and once again, he had to excuse himself for a few minutes. At the end of our translation session, he told us, “In the beginning I didn’t realize where this was going. But now I realize it is about Jesus’ life. And beyond all this he rose from the dead and went to heaven promising his Spirit to his followers. When people hear these stories, they should believe, because Jesus proved over and over again that He is the Son of God.”

*Name changed and face has been blurred for security reasons.