‘Douma’ Means Glory

Here’s the latest update from our team in the *Ewok (name changed for security reasons) language in Africa. If you haven’t seen our earlier updates, please check our previous blogs…

“Douma douma douma, a Zamba. Douma eh, douma eh, a Zamba.” “Our voices harmonize to send up these praises every morning. Glory, glory, glory to God. Glory oh, glory oh to God.” The word ‘douma’ is also used for really big trees. How big you may ask? Check out the picture below – that’s me in the bottom right!

StoryRunners - 'Douma' Means Glory
Darren, one of our team leaders, poses next to the humongous tree in Africa.

This week we confirmed the fact that *Ewok and *Etok (both names changed for security reasons), though generally mutually intelligible, are different enough languages that they warrant their own story sets. In light of this, we have been working very hard to get the stories recorded in both languages. Most of our current participants speak Etok, so the priority is to get whatever stories they tell translated into Ewok. If time allows we will also do the reverse​.

Mie and I had quite an eventful lunch. We stepped onto a road quickly when the yells of a child didn’t stop. She was sitting in a ditch clutching her lower right leg, with two young boys looking on. We would find out later that a run-in with a wheelbarrow​ had caused the injury, quite possibly a fracture or at least a deep bruise. After examining the knot forming and discovering that it wouldn’t bear her weight, we decided to help the girl back to her home. Someone suggested tossing her in the wheelbarrow, but Mie compassionately scooped her up in her arms and started walking, with a small crowd of locals following. 
StoryRunners - laundry day among the Ewoks in Africa
A glimpse of everyday life among the Ewoks in Africa – laundry day.

The girl said “here” in French when a small path appeared at the side of the road, and off into the jungle we trekked, weaving in and out of various plants and fallen trees. Midway through, Mie handed her over to me to carry. Finally we reached another dirt road that led to the girl’s home and called for her mother. 
Remembering the rarely-used cold compress that we packed in the medical kit, I ran back to get it. Theresa was there to find it for me when my search turned up void, so it was truly a team effort to take care of this girl. Upon returning to the girl’s home, I found Mie telling a story via a translator to the crowd that had gathered. We activated the compress, gave instructions for how long to keep it on, and recommended taking her to a doctor. Then we prayed for her and disappeared back into the jungle.

 

What a week it has been. Please pray for continued wisdom, strength, and discipline as we develop, record, and rerecord stories. And pray against the bugs – they don’t seem to understand that repellent means we don’t want them to bite us. Mie must be especially sweet, as she is covered in bites. We’re thankful that Theresa and I have been more or less restored to our healthy selves! Darren for the Ewoks

 

Thank you for your continued prayers. Our team among the Ewoks are almost getting ready to wrap things up. Please pray that the Ewok School of Storying participants will be faithful in proclaiming the gospel through our oral Bible stories. That they would be effective in using the stories in their personal ministry, Bible study groups, discipleship and hopefully church planting.

 

If you are new to StoryRunners and would like to know more about our oral Bible stories, please check our ‘Stories‘ section. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or would want to know more about this amazing oral Bible storying ministry and strategy among unreached people groups.

School of Storying in Africa continues to impact participants

Here’s the latest update from our Ewok team currently running a  School of Storying in the *Ewok (changed for security reasons) language.

Ma Soul! (Hi in the Ewok language)

“Wow, there is much wisdom in this. We go so deep in the Bible stories – even more than in Bible college!” *Matt (name changed for security reasons), one of our amazing participants, exclaimed during story development this week. This was in response to one of the trainers suggesting a rewording of a question to get better responses from the guests who would soon test the stories. It seemed trivial at the time to the trainer, but had a profound impact on how this man would view Bible storying as a way to dive deep into the riches of God’s Word. 

 *Matt testifies about how deep school of storying goes.

*Chuck (not real name), a participant/translator, intimated, “When I sing in French it is somehow not so deep. But when I sing in Ewok I feel it with my whole soul.” This is the reason why we focus on these particular languages, even though many people here can speak French or even English. Stories of Jesus in your heart language will touch your soul in ways other languages cannot.

 

StoryRunners - Chuck testifies of how deeply he is touched when he sings in his (#Ewok) language rather than in French.

Chuck testifies of how deeply he is touched when he sings in his (#Ewok) language rather than in French.

 

 We have all worked very hard on six new stories this week, and will continue to put the finishing touches on the 24 previous stories. Thank you for your steadfast intercession on our behalf to the Lord.

—-Ewok team—

 

Thank you for your continued prayer and support. Because of you people like *Matt and *Chuck are able to know God deeper and worship Him in their heart language. The Ewok team members are also gradually recovering from various illnesses.

School of Storying in Africa continues to impact participants

“GOD DOESN’T SPEAK OUR LANGUAGE”

StoryRunners logo - A good story in the making

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.

GOD DOESN'T SPEAK OUR LANGUAGE - StoryRunners

Recording songs in Ewondo.

He came to her with a simple request, but the implications would be huge. Hallie, leading our first School of Storying (SOS) in Cameroon just two months ago, tells the story:

“God told me to ask you something,” one of our translators told me. “For a long time, I’ve been bothered that we have no real worship songs in our language. When the missionaries came through our area, they taught us songs in French, and those are the songs we sing today. Our mentality is that God doesn’t speak our language. But I think we should be able to worship God in our own language, so I’ve translated some of the French songs. Would you record me singing them so that we can worship in our heart language?”

We crammed five people and a keyboard into our sweltering makeshift recording studio, a tiny 2×8 foot space. With sweat running down their faces, they raised their voices in praise to God in their heart language. I felt so privileged to be there to record. Eight songs later, the translator thanked me profusely. “You have no idea how appreciated these songs will be. They will change everything.”

GOD DOESN'T SPEAK OUR LANGUAGE - StoryRunners

Acting out the Pentecost story to help them remember.

I adore that my job is to give people the opportunity to realize that God speaks to them in their heart language – that they don’t have to have a fancy education to talk to God and learn about Him!

As the fifteen SOS participants diligently worked to develop Bible stories in the Ewondo language, we witnessed the impact the stories were having on their own lives, too.

“Listening to all these stories really touched me,” one man, Moses, explained. “The stories came alive-as if they affect us still today. I’ve been waiting 30 years for a training like this. Now, after just three weeks, I have all these stories. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.” Another participant, Luke, exclaimed, “When I listen to these stories, I’m really struck that I’m part of this spiritual legacy of prophets and kings, taking God’s rescue plan to the world.”

GOD DOESN'T SPEAK OUR LANGUAGE - StoryRunners

Retelling His story.

We have had an incredible ministry here! More than 1800 people heard stories over three weeks, and 308 story groups were started in this area. They plan on starting another 88 groups over the next three months, on top of continuing the groups they’ve already started!
Thank you for praying for Hallie and her SOS team in Cameroon! Your gifts and support are helping us take His stories to people who have never heard them.

-Hallie, from Team Ewondo

WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS SUMMER?
If you are 18-24 years old, join us for a fun-filled 10-days camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains as we reach out to other hikers by sharing
Bible stories to
spark spiritual conversations. Learn how to tell your story, how to listen to another person’s story, and how to tell God’s
story.

It’s from July 25 – August 3, 2017. Get more information and apply at: storyrunners.org/summer-projects.

 

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of our ministry around the world!

“GOD DOESN’T SPEAK  OUR LANGUAGE”

A Day in the Life of a StoryRunners Trainer

A Day in the Life of a StoryRunners Trainer - StoryRunners

We had been driving for an hour when our driver stopped by the side of the dirt road next to a carpenter’s shop. “Why are we stopping?” I asked our translator. “Are we not going to the church our friend planted using stories?” “Yes we are,” the translator replied. “But we can’t go any farther in the car because we will get stuck.” So we piled out of the Range Rover and hopped onto the backs of motorcycles. I clung to my driver as we drove off along a narrow, foot-wide dirt path.

A Day in the Life of a StoryRunners Trainer - StoryRunners

We drove past endless corn fields and pineapple fields. Tall grasses brushed against my skirt as we rode on under the African sun for half an hour without seeing a single hut. I was already beginning to wonder how anyone had even found this village in the first place, when suddenly, a hut loomed in front of us. And then another and another. We entered the village and drove straight towards the center. As we approached, I heard loud voices singing. Turning at the corner, we finally saw the church—a makeshift one. It was basically an open-air meeting place with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves supported by wooden planks. The place was literally spilling over with people. Every single one of them was dancing, singing and praising God at the top of their lungs.

A Day in the Life of a StoryRunners Trainer - StoryRunners

The church was planted by one of the trainees who attended our School of Storying (an oral Bible strategy) conducted in this unreached people group. Our trainee turned trainer had come here faithfully doing oral Bible storying, and so many people had accepted Christ. It felt like the church had sprung up almost overnight and had grown to over 150 people. I quickly joined in the singing and interacted with as many people as I can. It was a glorious day spent with this unreached people group in Africa. What a day it was.

 

And that’s just another day in the life of a StoryRunners trainer. Please pray for this particular church plant in this unreached people group in Africa. That the members would continue to thrive and glorify God. That they will continue to grow in their faith and multiply.

A Day in the Life of a StoryRunners Trainer

She Said Yes!

StoryRunners - Africa - School of StoryingServing as a translator for the Aja (Benin) School of Storying, Dodji sensed God’s invitation. “But how could someone like me ever become a servant of God?” Young, single and inexperienced, he couldn’t see it. But God could.

Coached by Parfait Mitchai, Dodji began his missionary training by sharing the gospel on a nearby campus using oral Bible stories as one of his strategies. But Parfait wasn’t finished recruiting.

One day Dodji learned that a young lady would be joining the campus ministry and be trained, with Dodji, in how to lead future SOS’s in West Africa. “I was sitting there with Parfait when she came in,” Dodji recalls. “We were like brother and sister… people started asking if we were twins!”

As Dodji and Doriane began working together as trainers for the Fulfulde SOS, our American trainers could see that God was up to something. “They think alike, their personalities are so similar,” Hallie remembers. “They even have the same sense of humor!” Mie, a StoryRunners intern, agreed. So, as might be expected, Hallie and Mie put their matchmaking skills to work. It didn’t take much convincing.

“It was when the SOS ended in May of 2015 that I realized it,” Dodji recounts. “I knew she was the one God had prepared for me, and I knew she would be my wife!” Dodji didn’t waste a minute. Without one date, Dodji told her what he knew from God. “Will you be my wife?” he asked her. “I thought you might ask,” Doriane replied to him. “And I had already decided to say YES.”

After a year of preparing and getting to know one another, Dodji and Doriane were married last May in a beautiful ceremony that several of our StoryRunners’ staff were able to attend.Dodji Doriane

“Now that we are married, we want to continue working with StoryRunners as full-time trainers and missionaries.  We are ready to go anywhere and everywhere God wants us to go!”

Dodji and Doriane will be dynamic and strategic in the work of nationalizing StoryRunners’ Schools of Storying in the entire region of West Africa. Together, they have already begun training many local believers and will be leading SOS’s for many unreached languages in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She Said Yes!

“The Lord gave me a voice…”

StoryRunners - "The Lord gave me a voice..." - School of Storying

“I hardly opened my mouth to talk to anyone,” Corine* confessed.  “Before coming to the School of Storying, I was quiet and reserved, and never knew how to talk to people about God.”  But learning to tell stories has been life-changing for her!  “It is like the Lord gave me a voice and filled my mouth with the words,” she says.  “I can tell these stories boldly and with confidence.”  Even her family and friends remarked about the difference, and Corine even found herself chosen to share a story at a nearby radio station!

name changed for her security reasons

“The Lord gave me a voice…”