The Stamps materials are at www.contare.org. It is the most complete source of Spanish-
language materials on CBS.
Dr. Grant Lovejoy is the Oral Strategies Director for the IMB and can be contacted at
Grant’s IMB Phone: 804-219-1711
From: J.O.Terry [email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2006 1:33 PM
Subject: January Storying Newsletter-5
God’s Word Story by Story to Empower Every Person Oral or
Literate for Witness and Discipling Their Own
January, 2006 —for private circulation only— Vol 13 No 1
AFRICA—Marvin and I began our mission career working in Burkina Faso. In 1987, I gathered
the African women of our first church plant together for a Bible Study using my limited African
language of Jula. The ladies sat patiently through the study, then one woman raised her hand.
“We appreciate you coming here to teach us the Bible, but none of us can read. How can we be
good Christians if we can’t read the Bible for ourselves? We have talked among ourselves and
agreed that we will come one hour early if you will come an hour early to teach us to read.” At
that time, I had not yet heard of Chronological Bible Storying, nor did I know enough to
contradict her about the necessity of literacy in order to be a good Christian. I agreed to her
proposal and I met with the women and taught them to read.
Eighteen years later, with Marvin and I far removed from that first church plant, another team
has entered this time to work with the Baptist churches to reach Jula Ms. One of our personnel is
now training two African Christian women to story, and they have begun a group for Jula women
in their neighborhood. I cannot help but think what a difference there could have been in the lives
of these women as well as their M neighbors if in addition to teaching them to read I had also
taught them how to story.
I am beginning a journey that will take me before a gathering of the Women’s Missionary
Union of Nigeria. This gathering, initiated by them, is for the purpose of training Nigerian Baptist
women to use Chronological Bible Storying to reach the women of Nigeria. Can you imagine
what God can do with hundreds of African Christian women, learning the stories in his Word,
sharing those with their M neighbors, stories spreading from woman to woman, family to family,
village to village, country to country? (This meeting was Oct 21-23 as reported by LaNette
Thompson who serves with her husband Marvin as Field Strategy Leaders, West Africa)
ASIA—In our region, Steve Smith has developed an excellent Creation to Christ presentation that
can last from fifteen minutes to a few hours depending on
circumstances. He has taught that many places in Chinese.
CANADA—About five years ago I went up to a Naskapi Village in N. Quebec about 13 hours by
train from the St Laurence seaway. There an SIL translator had asked us to teach an audio course
to the Indians. They have recorded almost the entire NT. Four or five years ago the most
respected elder took the first set of CDs to the radio station and said to the announcers, “Each day
over lunch just put on one of these half hours and go to lunch”. This is a government owned
station but strictly Naskapi. For a number of years the people have been hearing a half hour of
scripture every day, for no one turns their radios off, ever.
The Naskapi Nation speaks a language that is classified as “Western Naskapi”. That means
that there is also an “Eastern Naskapi”, but the people who live in the East don’t go by the name
“Naskapi”, but rather “Mushuau Innu”. Our strategy has always been that the Naskapi Bible
translation project would somehow be used also by the Mushuau Innu, but have been unable to
proceed until now.
Recently, the Naskapi Nation hosted an “Elders Gathering” about five km out in the bush
from the community, with a large shaputuan (meeting tent) surrounded by traditional campsites,
with guests from many First Nations communities in Quebec and Labrador. The Natuashish
community was very well represented. I was able to visit at the camp and spend time speaking
with Mushuau Innu in their tents and to get a good feeling for how near their language is to
The camp was close enough to the Naskapi community that those who had brought their
portable radios could tune in to the Naskapi language radio station. Each day at noon, a Naskapi
scripture reading radio program is aired, with 30 minutes of Bible reading in the new translation.
This was a very big hit in the Natuashish camp, and this was reported to us back at the office. I
was able to provide our former chief and our co-translator with CD copies of these programs
which they brought to their Mushuau Innu cousins. They were very pleased to get them and we
are sure that they will be circulated back in the community since there is no Mushuau Innu radio
station. The really exciting thing is that the CD audio recordings of Naskapi scripture seem to be
understood very well by the Mushuau Innu, just as they are.
Ken Jackson, SIL
CENTRAL AMERICA―The last week of September Keith and Penny Stamps led a
Bible Storying conference for missionaries working with the Miskito and
Mayagna Sumo people of Nicaragua and Honduras and later Alan Lyons and an
associate led a Bible Storying conference for leaders who work with the Chortí in
FRANCE—I met with the two men on my team today to try to figure out a plan to incorporate the
Camel method and fast-tracking. We essentially decided that when we meet new people, we
would decide based on the person or group whether or not to use the Camel. Essentially we will
do the fast track story. So if we do the Camel, we will move from that to the fast track story. We
don’t see doing the Camel alone. Many of our Ms are not well enough educated to use the Camel
method. We have already met some and felt that the Camel would have worked with them—both
men and women.
Then we looked at the Connections study which is on the 3e2a web site. We decided it is
highly geared to literates and not to Ms at all. So we looked at that to see how to adapt it for
follow-up to the fast track. They use four stories and then review with testimony. We decided
we would use the Creation/Fall, David, a man after God’s own heart, a sacrifice story and the
Jesus story and then review with testimony. We like many of the topics used for discipleship but
we will tell stories rather than do the teaching as done in the Connections study. We have other
issues not covered in that study but agreed that most of the topics there do need to be covered
with stories. We also considered women/men and may tell the story of Rahab with women and
David with men. We want to work on this and have it ready to teach to our summer team next
I want us move faster while looking to see what others are using to move faster with oral
HONDURAS—The distribution of audio cassettes was accomplished in Corquin as a second
wave of gospel saturation. Approximately 1200 tapes were given to households during the month
of August. These tapes contained key stories from the Old Testament presented in chronological
order beginning with the Creation. During the week of October 30 to November 6, around 400
New Testament CBS tapes were distributed in four villages in conjunction with a medical clinic.
Here in Honduras, vol 1, no 5, Nov 05
KENYA―During a very special week as we had invited two men from Kenya to help in teaching
and training many new believers in the Chronological Bible Storying method of evangelism and
Bible teaching. The teaching continued for ten days. The exciting thing is that young men and
women have came from many different areas of this region. Most of them are brand new
Christians and are excited about sharing their faith. Four of these had been won to the Lord by
one of the missionaries working here in Morogoro while she visits the hospitals. They have heard
the Bible stories in person and also listened to tapes of the Radio program “The Way of
Righteousness” and now want to share back in their villages. Many are from locations that are
very interior and most we would never reach, but God’s word will by way of these young men.
Ralph and Vivian Boyle (Southeast Africa)
LATIN AMERICA—Concerning T4T several of the teams in Latin America have developed
stories to use in place of the scripture reference.
LATIN AMERICA—Aukaners of Suriname can hear Bible stories four times a day over a radio
station installed to serve their people. The Aukan team has recorded stories of the life of
Abraham, Joseph, Daniel and David.
MOZAMBIQUE—Mozambique has had a terrible drought and Samaritan’s Purse is helping.
They came across a man who said he was a believer, but in his desire to help needy people he was
sacrificing chickens and goats, a mix of his old ways and what he knew of the gospel. Many
church goers don’t understand God’s plan of salvation. They cannot read the Bible and have no
one to teach them. To bridge this gap Samaritan’s Purse launched a program called
“chronological storytelling” that presents 52 Bible stories over the course of the year. The local
people enjoy stories and can memorize details almost instantly. Starting with the stories of
Creation, Noah, Abraham and Moses, listeners learn about the love of God, the problem of sin,
and about salvation through Jesus. Through this program a pastor named Romeu has become a
strong Christian . He’s among about 100 pastors and church leaders who have been trained in the
storytelling method and are now sharing it throughout Chigubo, riding bikes up to 80 miles to
reach some churches. “I thank Samaritan’s Purse for sending us a teacher to show us this truth,”
Romeu said. “Now I know that Jesus Christ is the only real sacrifice before God.”
WEST AFRICA—“He [Jerry] tried an experiment today which came from an idea in the storying
conference and from some feedback from the elder listeners. Jerry told the story (David’s sin) in
several short segments or “scenes” and asked the discovery questions in between to make sure the
people were following the story well, and the more immediate feedback helped straighten out
some misunderstanding of the plot as well helping people to understand some key ideas such as
the importance of acknowledging sin instead of trying to hide it. We even got some good
correction on a few terms which we hadn’t gotten when we told the story earlier. We may not do
this with every group but it seems to help with this one.”
You may already be doing this, but I would suggest that when dividing a story into scenes
such as this, that after the last scene is finished and all the discussion is over and there are no
more truths to bring out, that you tell the story again - but this time as one whole story. This will
reinforce the earlier truths that have been brought out as well as tie the scenes together so that the
last thing they remember will be the entire story. I think they need this kind of closure. It will also
help keep them from including any aspects of the discussion in their memory of the story. I can
imagine them sitting back and saying, “Aha!” because now they will see how the whole thing fits
together. I think dividing the story into scenes or “mini-stories” is a good way to work with older
people. You can also try telling the whole story once. Dividing it into scenes and asking the
questions, then retelling the whole thing again. Jerry & Carroll Robertson
No, I am not advocating the use of drugs to produce good stories. Recently one of our
key storyers in Latin America wrote to ask about Bible Storying among people who have a
practice of using a hallucinogenic plant to induce visions in their worship. The hallucinogen
mentioned above is yagé or ayahuasca in some countries. The only thing I had in my files was a
brief case study shared some years ago about Tarahumaras who used the peyote plant. Following
is a portion of that report:
Tarahumara peyote cult lends example—One cultural example we used helped many to see
how necessary a Savior is. Amongst the Tarahumara there are those who possess the peyote
plant. The peyote plant “spirits” are said to be an aid to them if they treat them well with
offerings, etc. Few have the peyote plant because the spirits are very powerful and feared. One
who has peyote is said to have been “grabbed” or “caught” by the peyote spirits.
When someone dies who has possessed peyote (or better...has been possessed by the peyote
spirits) he is held captive by them and will be forced to dance continually until he turns to dust.
There is nothing they can do to free themselves from the peyote spirits.
Only the “work” of another can free you—But, according to their beliefs, one can be set
free through the work of another on their behalf. Through a special all night ceremony certain
medicine men can perform the ceremony needed and set you free. The ceremony includes the
killing of an animal in sacrifice to appease the peyote spirits.
With this in mind we shared with them that because of sin we have all been “grabbed” by
Satan. And just like those who have had peyote cannot free themselves, neither can we free
ourselves from Satan, nor escape the punishment to come for our disobedience to God.
Then we explained that Jesus is the One who did the work on our behalf to free us from
Satan and sin (see John 8:34-36 for Jesus’ teaching upon this).
Tony Finch, “Cabórachi Update”, Aug 26, 1995.
AURAL IS NOT ALWAYS ORAL!
One of the commonly mistaken notions for sharing among oral communicators is that is
something written can be read to them or recorded and played for them, they will understand it
since it is “oral.” Not really. Most things that are written, and especially those that teach with a
number of points or a progressive argument may not be “oral” at all even though they are
certainly aural. There are several considerations that make this so.
First may be a matter of vocabulary that is unfamiliar to oral listeners as well as words that
have no frame of reference or meaning such as many place names in Bible stories. Proper names,
too, can be a problem even if verbalized for the oral learners.
Second is the matter of organization of the content. There is a typical Western logical
organization that grows out of outlining when preparing written materials. Yet many oral
learners may prefer to listen to narratives that somehow carry these thoughts or ideas. In one
Asian country where I lived the typical argument was what we call proof texting where isolated
scripture references are cited that “prove” the point. In some South Asian countries reasoning
may be more circular in organization by having a central truth that is somehow circled in
presentation without having specific points as such. And for most of these people the simpler the
better, and simple with repetition as well as being embedded in narrative is even better.
I will admit the many organizations like Language Recordings Inc and World Cassette
Outreach have had good success with recorded Scripture in which the written is simply made
aural. The possibility of being able to reply or repeat the recordings is certainly helpful. This
should continue as it does make Scripture accessible to nonliterates as well as sight impaired.
But for greatest comprehension and internalizing of biblical truth and application to
personal lives, it is often more effective to really “oralize” that which is written so that it is
presented orally in a way that is entertaining (attention grabbing and holding) and understandable
(in a manner most receptive) and memorable, often following local sharing patterns.
Progression of the story line must be very clear, uncluttered, and mentally visual since the
listener can’t go back to rehear what was not clear the first time.
I can’t end without mentioning the impact of the visual as well. Oral listeners like to see
and watch their teachers. Gestures that depict and suggest story details, body movement and
position are important as are any visual aids like pictures, objects or drama and dance which
portray visually the story narrative. Where the visual is not possible then the aural must visualize
the story for the oral learner. JOT
CBS TRAINING AT SWBTS
Next scheduled CBS training at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is May 15-19. This
session is being offered for academic credit as well as non-credit. For information regarding
schedule or content: firstname.lastname@example.org. For cost & accommodation: RCampbell@swbts.edu.
For academic credit: DSanchez@swbts.edu.
THE LAST STORY
The Man Who Never Heard the Name of Jesus
“I had just come home from the market, getting ready to help prepare lunch, when I heard a
knock on my gate. I went to answer it and was met by a old beggar man, clothed in rags and
holding out an dirty empty dish, pleading with me to give him any of the leftovers that might be
laying around. Since we hadn’t prepared our food yet, I had nothing to place in the dish, but he
again entreated me for some uncooked rice or millet seeds that he could eat.
“I had never seen this man before, so I called my guard, Tombakoy, over to see if he
knew where the man had come from and if he had family in this area. Tombakoy said he had
seen the man, and his family didn’t live in this village, so I walked into my house to get the man
some rice. While I was gone, Tombakoy asked the man, ‘Have you ever heard of Abraham?’
The old man replied after some thought, ‘Has he ever come to my village?’ With a smile,
Tombakoy said no, and continued to ask him the same of Moses, David, or Daniel. The man
again said no. Surprised by this (for most Ms know of these men at least), he inquired, ‘Have you
ever heard of the one who came to the earth?’ Once again, the beggar shook his head no. With
eagerness, Tombakoy led the man into our compound, seated him down, rushed in the house and
grabbed a picture book that goes through some of the stories in the Gospels.
“At the same time, I came back with the rice, not knowing what was taking place. No
sooner had I handed the man some rice when Tombakoy swept by me, set across from the man
and began to tell him of the man they called Jesus. He explained the great miracles he
had performed while on the earth, his perfection, and his divinity. He came to the last picture —
Christ dying on the cross. He looked into the man’s eyes and said, ‘He died for you and for me.
He has taken away our sins.’
“I had walked back into the house and was watching the scene from my screen door,
praying the Spirit would give Tombakoy the words to say and would soften the heart of the
beggar. When they reached the story of the crucifixion, the old man began wiping the streaming
tears from his cheeks. I thought to myself, ‘surely the man isn’t crying!!! They NEVER cry!!!’
But as I looked closer, the man’s eyes had such hope in them, yet full of sorrow. He said, ‘This is
sooo pleasing to my heart! This is sooo pleasing to my heart!’ Tombakoy bowed his head and
began praying with the man. After the prayer was finished, they both got up and walked to the
gate, the man slowly shaking his head the whole way, bewildered by what he had just heard.
“My heart was bursting with joy and anxiety to know the details of what happened, so I
sneaked out into the yard, waiting for Tombakoy to return with the news. As he walked towards
me, I piped up, ‘Well...... What happened???’ He walked past me, not saying a word, sat down in
the chair, and hid his face in his hands, crying softly. After a few seconds of silence, he quietly
said, ‘He had NEVER heard the name of Jesus Christ. NEVER! He is 60 years old and has
NEVER heard the name of Jesus!!!’
“That day, I was humbled. A man came to my door, seeking food. I saw his dirty boll,
torn clothes, and frail body and rushed off to bring him a temporal relief – a handful of rice...
However, Tombakoy saw past what I saw. He saw the darkness in the man’s eyes, a hopeless
soul, a deep longing for salvation, and immediately gave him the eternal relief – The Bread of
Life!!!...’He is 60 years old and has NEVER heard the name of Jesus!’ Those words will ring in
my ears for a very long time!
“ ‘Then Peter said, Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of
Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. Taking him by the hand, he helped him up, and instantly the
man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went
with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.’” (Acts 3:6-8) Faith,
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