Oral Story June 2022

Oral Story June 2022

The Whole Body

“We will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.!  Ephesians 4:15-16

What does “the whole body” really mean? This refers to the whole body of which Christ is the head. We naturally think in terms that we can identify with. Christ is the head of our home, the head of our local church, or the head of our church body, but consider the whole body. The whole body of Christ has variety, color, and style with His Word at the center.

The ministry of the Orality Institute is dependent on the whole body. It depends on people from many locations and backgrounds to train their own people. It requires people from all types of situations to teach those who are also like they them. We have seen the effects of people training others from their same location or background: city classes for those who work in the city; a teacher holding a class for fellow teachers; rural farmers or housewives studying together; language specific classes, or a class at a fishing village.

People from each of those different backgrounds, locations, status, languages, and education are part of whole body. They all need to grow and build one another up so that they can become “the mature body of Him who is the head, that is Christ.” It can be a challenge for us to remember the full breadth, height, and depth of Christ’s body because we are only a narrow portion. But, if we are going to become a mature body we need each other. We need every part created by the Father, held together by the Word, and united in the Spirit.

The Clear Call

“How will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?” 1 Corinthians 14:8

We as a ministry are clarifying our notes and sounding a clear battle cry because we are seeing the Lord open astonishing doors of opportunity.

The recent trip to Malawi doubled our active ministry. Previously, we had been actively working in three countries with one ministry in each. Now there are four new ministries in Malawi that plan to train their people through the Orality Institute.

In addition to those new ministries, we received an invitation to introduce the training to the nine southern districts of the Mekane Yesus Lutheran Church in Ethiopia. The size of the ministry in Ethiopia could again double the ministry because of the sheer numbers of people that are a part of their church body.

Because of these two amazing opportunities and expansion, we need to blow the trumpet and get ready for battle. Currently, this ministry is being done by two part-time staff and we see the need for growth. Help us sound the call to get ready for the battle. This battle is the Lord’s! To help us spread this message, we have a new brochure that describes the ministry of the Orality Institute. It describes the name, oral training, our training method, the five steps, and the course content. There are answers to frequently asked questions and student testimonies. There are pictures of the ministry, the four levels of training are described, and the budget is laid out. This brochure is available in PDF format. It can be emailed, physically mailed clicked on below, or downloaded from our website. We are ready to bring God’s Word to every place that He provides.

Prayer and Praise May 2022

  • Praise the Lord for the 152 students in the training in Malawi.
    • We printed and handed out the Chichewa second book of the curriculum to all of them.
    • We had Tamrat from Ethiopia attend the training with the Prison Chaplains.
    • We had two men from Blantyre’s City Pentecostal Church attend the training at Iris.
    • We were able to establish 6 boards to oversee the training of each of these ministries.
    • There will be an Orality Institute Board of Malawi over the six zonal boards
    • The Ugandan’s that we brought to the training were warmly received and want to make plans to return for 2-3 months to help the classes and boards begin
    • The training was warmly received
  • Praise the Lord for the possibility of the Ugandan leaders returning to Malawi to oversee the work in Malawi!
  • Pray for the 2nd book that is being translated into Chichewa for Malawi.
  • Pray for those in Ukraine and for a peaceful resolution.
  • Pray for the finances to continue growing this ministry.
  • Pray for upcoming future trips this year…
Oral Story May 2022

Oral Story May 2022

Exceedingly Abundantly

“Now to him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all we could ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Ephesians 3:20-21

This trip to Malawi would have been very successful if we had trained 25 people in each of the four ministries of the Prison Fellowship Chaplains, Bread of Life churches, Word of Grace churches, and Iris Africa Bible School. However, the Lord doesn’t do things by our expectations very often.

Instead of 100, we had 152 students, instead of 4 ministries, there were six. The three Ugandans communicated in an African style. Michael Rokenbrodt brought the drama and the animation alive. The 150 printed books in Chechewa gave them a tool that they can use to begin classes. The six ministry boards become the structure that they need to oversee the students, the teachers, and the grades. The new Orality Institute Board of Malawi will be the unifying piece that will connect these various ministries. That is exceedingly abundantly beyond all we could ask or imagine.

Tamrat Tadele, from the Ethiopian Mekane Yesus church body was able to attend at the last minute. He wanted to see if this would be useful for his seminary and Bible School in Hawasa, Ethiopia. He said, “Now I realize that you can’t understand it until you see it. He has already extended an invitation to Michael, and two of the Ugandan teachers to train their 100 students as well as introduce the training to the nine districts of the Lutheran churches in southern Ethiopia. That is exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we could ask or imagine.

Evidence of Grace

“The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” Acts 11:21-23

What does grace look like? Barnabas saw it when he reached Antioch, and we saw it when we reached Malawi. We saw a deep hunger for the Word of God, an excitement for memorizing it, and creativity with how they might share it.

One week after the training, Brian Kondowe, the head of the prison chaplains in Malawi, told me that he had already started a class in his church and had started teaching his family following the same method we use in class. Chris from the Bread of Life churches found a new love for the Psalms because of the lesson on “God the Father” from Psalm 103. Jaz from the Iris Africa Bible College goes out every weekend leading evangelism events. He started using this oral teaching method the day after the training was finished. Isaac leads a youth ministry. He was unable to attend the training but he wanted to learn how he could use this method, so he asked Sam to teach him. Sam leads a kids club on Thursday afternoons with between 700-800 children from his village.

The grace of God is seen when 75 rural pastors come for training Tuesday through Friday, then ask if our team would teach on Saturday also. Then they attended a four-hour worship service on Sunday and waited for another seminar on Tuesday, every night they were sleeping on a cement floor. God’s grace is seen when he allows us, simple people, the privilege of being a part of this great work He is doing in the lives of these His people.

Prayer and Praise April 2022

  • Pray for the training in April – May.
  • Praise the Lord for Grace Bible Churches, Bread of Life Churches, Prison Fellowship of Malawi, and Iris Africa Bible School. All four are interested and waiting for training.
  • Praise the Lord for the possibility of the Ugandan leaders overseeing the work in Malawi!
  • Pray for the 2nd book that is being translated into Chichewa for Malawi.
  • Pray for those in Ukraine and for a peaceful resolution.
  • Pray for the finances to continue growing this ministry.
  • Pray for upcoming future trips this year…
Oral Story April 2022

Oral Story April 2022

Dependent on the Lord

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”  And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”” Luke 1:37-38

Have you ever thought, “I am in over my head?” I find myself in that situation every time I go to another country to teach God’s Word in a language that I don’t speak to a culture that I don’t understand. This trip to Malawi has multiplied my feeling of dependence on the Lord. Thank you for praying for this ministry and this large open door before us.

This trip will be the largest endeavor that we have ever organized. We will be preparing four separate ministries to train their own people at the same time. Two trainings will be happening during the first week and two additional ones the second week.  There will be four teachers arriving from Uganda, two will oversee one class, and the other two a simultaneous class. The second week, two new ministries will be trained. Each of these classes will have 25 students who will be trained to lead a class of their own. At the end of the two weeks, there will be potentially 100 leaders prepared to lead their own two-year discipleship class!

The goal in all our training is to teach nationals to oversee the training of their own people. The Holy Spirit makes it possible to entrust this oral strategy of education of God’s Word. We are excited to see the Orality leaders from Uganda being used as missionaries to those in Malawi and we are excited that the first book of our Orality Institute curriculum has been printed for these new students in their language.

This multi-layered training has been paid for through the Hike and Bike fundraiser and generous doners. Keep us in prayer for this ministry opportunity.

Dependent on Prayer

April 18th – Leave for Malawi

April 19th – Arrive in Lilongwe and drive to Hippo Lodge (32 hours later)

April 20th – Two classes begin at Prison Fellowship International in Balaka

25 Prison Chaplains under Rodrick

25 Bread of Life pastors under Pastor Watson

April 23rd – First two classes end

April 24th – Worship with Watson

April 25th – Three of us will travel to Bangula in southern Malawi

April 26th – Two classes begin

25 Grace Bible pastors in Bimbi under Pastor Moses

25 Iris Africa Bible Students

April 29th – Classes finish

April 30th – Return to Hippo Lodge

May 1st – Worship with Moses

May 2nd – Discuss the plan forward

May 3rd – Rest

May 4th – Start the return trip to Lilongwe

May 5th – Leave Malawi

May 6th – Return Home (34 hours later)