This is the reason why we do what we do. On November 28, #GivingTuesday, millions around the world will celebrate the true spirit of giving. After the frenzy of Cyber Friday and Black Friday, #GivingTuesday is the antidote to overspending. With a gift of only $25, you too can help reach people like Jeyalal. Your gift will provide a local storyteller with an audio player containing StoryRunners’ 42 oral Bible stories from Creation to the Return of Christ.
To learn more about #GivingTuesday, please watch the video below.
Here’s a fresh update from our Team #alog in Manila, currently running a School of Storying there.
Hello everyone! Greetings from the hot, steamy tropics!
What an absolutely incredible week it’s been. I cannot imagine a trip better set up than this one. We had everything we needed – great translators, super helpful guests, a friendly back translator, and 27 OUTSTANDING participants. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been on a trip where we’ve had better participants. They are stoked to be a part of the training, totally on fire for sharing their faith, super quick learners, and just so much fun to be around. Everyone is always laughing and joking and telling stories!
Participants worship before starting a session.
On the first day when we were doing introductions, they kept going on and on about how they’re already planning on using the stories. Their answers spanned a broad spectrum of uses, and I know that over this past week, they’ve come up with even more.
Seeing them sharing the stories has been such a wonderful experience – and God is already blessing their efforts abundantly. In this past week, our participants shared stories with 227 people, and 115 of them prayed with our participants to accept Christ! We feel so humbled to be a part of what God is doing in this country!
A very enthusiastic group of participants indeed.
One quote I want to share that I think really gives you an idea of how these participants approach everything with eagerness and excitement. During our people check where we have non-Christians come listen to the stories and answer questions, one of the participants asked me, “Can we have a third round of this check? Can you bring another guest? This is so fascinating! They’re giving such interesting and useful responses!”
God is so good, guys!
– From the Team Leader of our trainers in Manila, Philippines running a School of Storying. We praise God for all these fruitful results. Please pray for the 115 people who have decided to give their lives to Christ after hearing our oral Bible stories. Please also continue to pray for everyone’s health, safety and commitment to telling His life-changing stories.
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.
Our 2017 Orlando School of Storying participants praying before going to a nearby mall to reach out to anyone who would be willing to hear His story.
EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD STORY. Jesus knew it. He didn’t engage in debates to convince people to believe in God. Instead, He told STORIES about people whose lives were changed-so they could listen and identify, without feeling confronted and condemned. He KNEW the power of a good story! And THIS is why the development of oral Bible stories is at the HEART of our School of Storying. But what does this process of story development actually look like?
In a workshop setting, via translators, a StoryRunners team coaches speakers of the local language as they develop the stories in their own language. Our goal is to always ensure that our stories are “BONA-fide“: Biblically Accurate, Orally reproducible, Naturally told and Appropriate to the culture.
For example, in Southeast Asia, on a SOS project in a language without a Bible, we discovered there are two possible words for “spirit”. After learning that we had wrongly used the word that refers to the spirit of a dead person, we knew we needed to use the other word for “spirit”. Ensuring we use the right words in the local language to convey the meaning of the Biblical text accurately can be a tedious process of discovery. But it’s a crucial step that we must always take!
It’s important that we keep our stories short enough to be easily learned and retold. Each Bible story is no more than two to three minutes long.
In local languages, there are often natural storytelling styles, including, for example, culturally appropriate ways to introduce stories and characters as well as the “pause” time for transitioning between stories-all of which make the story easier to retell. In the Anufo language in Togo, one SOS workshop participant always began his story by saying “My story flies and flies and lands on”, and he finished his introduction with the name of the main character. Part of the process of developing Bible stories includes finding those cultural nuances to ensure that the stories sound natural in that language.
APPROPRIATE TO THE CULTURE
Some words have special meaning in the culture. In the Fulfulde Borgu language, the word used for the oil that Samuel pours on David’s head when he anoints David as the king of Israel is the same word used to describe the special oil, derived from milk, used to anoint chiefs. The Fulfulde really connect with this detail in the story (not to mention that David was a shepherd, and they are nomadic people). The use of this word is a simple but powerful detail that can help people connect to the gospel through their culture.
Every SOS trainer will quickly tell you how exciting and rewarding it is to see local participants develop and tell these stories in their own language. Relationships grow as they see cultural barriers fall because of the bridges the Holy Spirit builds through His Word. It’s what makes saying goodbye at the end of each mission trip so difficult for both our trainers and the participants. But before any of this can happen, we must do the hard work of making sure the stories are “BONA-fide”. When they are, we can celebrate-because we know the stories that we leave with each group are going to be effective, powerful tools for evangelism and for growing communities of faith.
Thank you for partnering with us in taking these life-changing stories to those who have never heard them!
SUMMER MISSION TRIP | July 25 – August 3, 2017
NEW SCHOOL OF STORYING CLASSES | August 20-25, 2017 & March 11-16, 2018
WOULD YOU PARTNER WITH US?
StoryRunners partners with people like you who fund our School of Storying projects and our day-to-day operations. If you are encouraged about how God is using StoryRunners, ask Him if He wants YOU to become a monthly giving partner or to make a special gift.
You can make a difference for people who have never had God’s word in their own language. To give towards a specific School of Storying project, contact Pam Lilly.
Click here for your tax-deductible contribution.
Click StoryRunners March 2017 Newsletter to read the pdf (printed) copy.
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A Good Story in the Making
*Felix was running for his life. He had become the most wanted man in his community for drug dealing, and he knew the police would catch up with him soon. He found the perfect place to hide, where no one would ever think to look – a pastors’ prayer retreat! But as the providence of God would have it, Felix was befriended by a wise, compassionate pastor who led him to faith in Christ. Today, Felix is a changed man and a pastor himself.
When Al and Nancy (StoryRunners staff living in the Philippines), met Felix and invited him to participate in the Cebuano School of Storying two years ago, he eagerly tried Bible storying in his own congregation. “My people (in my church) no longer fall asleep since I started telling them stories,” he told Al, and soon Felix was learning how to lead storying trainings himself.
The following year, Felix (photo below) helped with an SOS among an unreached language group in another area of the Philippines. Of the 12 SOS participants, one was a secret follower of Jesus, and all represented a religion that has been hostile to Christianity for centuries. Yet they eagerly learned the Bible stories and were even happy to record them with our StoryRunners team. During the closing ceremony of the SOS, Felix confessed to the entire group why he had been hesitant to come to help with this language group. “Your people killed my grandfather, but I have forgiven you. I’m glad I came.” Suddenly one of the participants stood up and spoke. “And my grandfather was killed by YOUR people. But I forgive you, too!” The two men hugged each other and shed tears of healing as the rest of the group watched walls crumble and bridges being built between two warring cultures. “Now we know more about the Christians’ Bible than we do about our OWN book,” the other participants rejoiced. “We didn’t know what the Bible teaches about Jesus.” Some also shared, “You treated us like family!” They learned that summer that the weapons of Jesus’s followers are not guns, but the bullets of love in action through the power of the Spirit!
Please pray for the graduates of the two Schools of Storying held in the Philippines, along with many others whom Al and Nancy have trained in storying. Many of these are now networking with other believers in very closed southeast Asian countries, teaching them how to share the gospel orally through Bible stories!
*name changed for security reasons
I Forgive You
They live tucked away in a rugged mountain region where roads are merely mule tracks and footpaths that wind endlessly around the outer slopes of the Himalayas. Snowbound in their villages for up to four months a year, they must live entirely on what they’ve stored away before winter. Though there are nearly four million of them, only a handful of believers exist. Statistics show there are 0.0% Christians among them.
Yet weeks ago, that handful – twenty, to be exact – experienced their first School of Storying in the Iraash* language of South Asia. You can almost hear their excitement in the words of our StoryRunners team. Here are some of their narrations:
“They are constantly telling us how easy and practical using the stories in their communities will be. ‘Everyone wants to listen to a story,’ one told me. ‘We have stories in our culture, and everyone loves them. We even have religious stories from the local major religion. With this training, we can now have religious stories that tell the truth of Him. This will be so effective in our villages, especially with the older generation.’”
Another thing that they’ve really loved is how we make songs to go with our stories. When I announced that, you should have seen their faces light up. They got so excited! One participant was shocked. He said, “Before I became a believer, I would write songs all the time. But when I became a believer, I thought that part of my life was over. I never realized I could use those gifts and passions to glorify Him!”
During our people check phase of the storying process, a couple of the guests were impacted by the stories and were very eager listeners. One guest said, “I was so excited when you called me to come back this week! When I hear the stories, I feel so much peace. I want you to come to visit me in my house–I want you to come tell me how I can follow this Jesus! Please tell me more stories!”
Pray for these Iraash* believers as they begin story groups among their people. Thank you for your partnership that has made it possible to take His Story to them.
*changed for security reasons
“Tell Me More Stories!”