I want to give you sincere thanks for
your partnership in this ministry.
The Orality Institute started two years
ago and the Lord has moved people like yourself to support this ongoing
training. Your partnership has made it possible to continue the spread of God’s
Word to new countries using an oral strategy. Here are the ministries that have
begun these past two years for which there is a good reason to thank the Lord.
I am thankful for Carlos and Loli who
lead the Christ for the World Bible School in Vicente Guerrero, Baja, Mexico.
They are using the oral training as a regular part of their school curriculum. Students
are taking their training to many parts of Mexico.
I am thankful for John Pabst and the Daniel
Lantigua family from the Dominican Republic. They hosted an introduction to
oral training and then started three study groups who continue going through
the lessons today.
I am thankful for Pastor Moses with
Word of Grace Churches in Malawi. He hosted a training in August and another
one in October for two different groups of 35 students in each of the sessions.
After the second training, Pastor Moses organized 9 groups that continue to
study the Bible using the oral training that they received.
I am thankful for Rodrick with Prison
Fellowship International in Malawi. He coordinated an oral training event for
prison chaplains from across the country. Those chaplains stated that this
training method is exactly what they need to be able to easily bring God’s Word
into the prisons of Malawi.
The Lord provided the funds to make five international trips this
year. Each trip costs between $2000 to $3000 depending on the airfare and the length
of the trip. These trips are “priceless” for helping leaders understand of the
Bible and enable them to teach others. The translation cost for this year included
$1000 for the first book of Swahili, $450 for the Orality Institute App
development, and $550 for printing costs.
It is amazing, even miraculous, to count the things that the Lord
has made possible this past year.
Deep impact of God’s Word on those in the training
Safety and good health while traveling
Ministry in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Malawi, and Uganda
Five oral training classes with 130 participants
Partnership with five ministries abroad and two in the US
Requests to come to new places
A new Android Phone App for the curriculum
Translation of the Romans
Curriculum into Spanish
Translation of Creation to
Christ into Swahili
Two translators for the Chichewa language of Malawi
A home Bible Study called Living
Faith from the curriculum
Philippians 4:19-20 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in
glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
On Orality Institute’s second trip to
Malawi, two new groups of people took part in the Oral Training Seminars. The
first training was hosted by Prison Fellowship International of Malawi. This
was their first training program for the chaplains, where 35 came together from
prisons all around the country.
transformation in the whole prison chaplain department,” said Steven
Chikolosa. “Inmates are regarded as
outcasts, people who don’t deserve good things, so we have found ourselves
blocking them from receiving salvation because of who they are. We realized
from this training that Jesus is on the other side waiting for them.”
Steven refers to the story about the little children who were brought to Jesus while the disciples hindered them. The chaplains were surprised to find themselves in the story and that the kingdom of God belonged to prisoners. The Lord used that story to set these leaders free from their own bondage. The second Oral Training Seminar was with Word of Grace Churches of Malawi. Six of these pastors and leaders were part of the first training in August, so they were small group leaders this time. The 34 from this training will be starting nine small groups to continue studying scripture orally.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem “May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” Ps
This month, AFLC Journey Missions is leading
their first trip to Israel and the Orality Institute board has encouraged Dr.
Olson to go for the educational value as well as a chance to introduce oral
training to the ministry Operation Mobilization which is working in Israel. These
oral stories will come alive in the land they took place. Pray for meaningful
Israel is a country often in the center of world
news because it is a center for Christianity, Judahism, and Islam. The
prophecies of scripture also put Jerusalem in the center of things that have
taken place and the things that are yet to come. We can watch the events of
history with anticipation of Jesus’ promise that He will come again and take us
to be with Himself.
Plans are being made to continue ministry this next year in Uganda,
Dominican Republic, the Baja of Mexico, and Malawi. We are hoping to begin
working in Tanzania as well and re-establish ministry in India. Let us know if
you have an interest in being a part of any of these ministries. The board also encourages designated support for these
international trips so that the regular budget can be maintained.
“I have placed before you an open door that no
one can shut.” Revelation 3:8
people are away from access to the Bible, the greater their longing for it. Malawi ranks high in their appreciation of training in God’s Word. It
is one of the 5 poorest countries in the world where 80% of their population
has not finished 8th grade. They are an oral culture and they learn
quickly through oral stories and discussion. Here are some of the quotes that
the students shared after their three-day introduction to oral training.
“We have learned how to teach the
people and we will take this back to our prayer houses to teach them.”
“It will help me to teach those who are
not well educated. This teaching can catch the pictures of scripture. They will
not forget what they learn.”
“The Bible will now be in my heart. I
will be able to teach others how to take the Bible in to their hearts as well.”
“We are seeing and hearing and now we will
“These lessons will be able to change
August was Orality Institute’s first
time to reach Malawi with oral training. There were 37 students in the three
days of class. The next step is to help them startup their own ongoing
training. Their leader, Moses, wants to translate the curriculum into Chichewa
which would help them move in that direction. The challenge is, “How can we get
them to learn on their own?”
Partners in Malawi
The August trip to Malawi was in partnership with Training Leaders International. They were invited to train pastors from Christ Footprints in Africa and Pam Nersesian from Emmaus Lutheran Church. Pam also invited Orality Institute to train leaders in Malawi and the two trainings were intended to happen at the same time. However, the August trip demonstrated that the oral training would be an effective method for engaging the pastors and leaders with the Bible. The October trip will introduce two new groups to the training with the hope that these three groups could begin learning the stories of God’s Word together.
This trip will include training for 35 prison
chaplains and 35 pastors who are connected to Pastor Moses and the Word of Grace
Churches. There are many separate groups that want to be trained and the
challenge is getting all of these ministries and pastors to a place where they
can support one another as they learn from God’s Word together. The first step
is getting the curriculum translated into the Chichewa language. Moses has
committed himself to do that. The second step is getting the students to meet weekly
in study groups. The third step is making sure that there is a leader that is
encouraging them and keeping them accountable to training.
The two natural leaders are
Moses for the pastors, pictured on the left, and Rodrick for the prison
chaplains on the right. These men are already busy, but they have the
relationships and the respect to oversee the training. Pray that the training in
Malawi could become self-sufficient.
Training leaders internationally is what the Orality Institute does, but Training Leaders International is also the name of an organization that has asked for help from the Orality Institute. For the past ten years, TLI has been going to countries to train pastors and leaders. They developed a curriculum that is taught by the TLI staff who travel to each country three times a year.
Their training is good, it has been appreciated, and it builds relationships, but it is expensive, and it uses a traditional lecture style of instruction. The lecture style was not working well in Malawi because the pastors did not have good reading comprehension. Pastor Kevin has been requested to introduce the pastors in Malawi and TLI staff to oral training in August and then return in October to help the Malawi pastors begin studying through Genesis. The October trip will also include a stop in Tanzania to introduce some leaders to oral training.
He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. … For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:8-11
and Ambassador Institute
What is the difference? Why the change?
Ambassador Institute was the oral training developed through
the AFLC World Missions department for work in the AFLC mission fields. It represents
ten years of development with four books of curriculum. It continues to be used
as leadership training material in Uganda and India.
Orality Institute is the very same oral training in partnership
with other ministries and other countries. Since Orality Institute is separate
from AFLC World Missions it has freedom to:
partner with other ministries and other countries
focus on teaching pastors and leaders
be financially independent of AFLC World Missions
During this year, Orality Institute has been working alongside of the
AFLC Missionaries in Uganda, a Bible
School in the Baja of Mexico, a
ministry in the Dominican Republic,
and now Training Leaders International with their work in Malawi. Each of these contacts came through people in AFLC
The doors are wide open to train people in God’s Word. Leaders are
eager for this opportunity. The Orality Institute’s focus is teaching people
how to teach their own people. We can bring solid biblical instruction without
the burden of structures. We can reach people in many places because the on-going
training remains with the nationals in the country.
Marshal wrote, “I have been leading a Bible Story Club at the school. We use the oral strategy to work through a Bible passage. The nine students have had opportunities to teach in elementary schools and one of our students is using the stories to give a message for those who come to visit their children. There will be 400-500 people who will hear an oral story presented in this way. We are using this oral strategy to proclaim God’s Word.”
An encouraging aspect of the Orality Institute training and curriculum is to see people catching the idea and the vision for using an oral strategy to teach God’s Word. One example of this is Marshal and Tara Nessa. They moved to Uganda to work with Amazima school, whose founder is Katie Davis Majors best known by her book “Kisses from Katie”.
Mark Wise, an Equip missionary in Uganda, has been using the oral stories to do evangelism in a rural village.
Mark wrote, “One of the witchdoctor’s sons accepted Jesus today!!! He was under such conviction with tears in his eyes. I asked if anyone wanted to accept Christ after such a strong gospel Bible study. He came and knelt down in front of me and we prayed.”
Summer time is when families gather to catch up on one another’s lives; to encourage one another and to stay connected since life can be very busy. Summer is also when the family of God gets together for that reuniting of lives, spiritual encouragement, and prayer.
At the AFLC Annual Conference, we were encouraged by Michael Rokenbrodt, an oral teacher in Uganda, as he brought a message from the oral curriculum. He shared the Word of God in a vivid way and gave a clear testimony of God’s work in Tracy Omara’s life in Uganda.
People coming together for training in God’s Word, spiritual encouragement, and prayer is what the Lord does through the work of the Orality Institute. We need the family of God, we need one another. That is how we grow in our faith, how we learn God’s Word, and how we stand against the division that Satan would bring into our lives.
The Orality Institute is a family from multiple countries, languages, and cultures who see their need for God’s Word in their lives. One day, we will have a large family gathering in heaven with all of those who are seeking Jesus and growing in Him, from every tribe, language, people and nation.“[Jesus], you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1
The Nile River begins in Jinja, Uganda with 1.5 million cubic feet of water per minute. It flows 1,295 miles to the Mediterranean Sea through the arid African country-side.
When I travel, I meet people from multiple countries who are thirsting for The Living Water and The Bread of Life. They want to hear, understand, and be taught the Word of God. The classes continue to multiply in Uganda as it has for the past 10 years. Their pursuit of training is challenging and convicting.
The oral content is now being used as a regular part of the school curriculum at Cristo Por Su Mundo Bible School in the Baja of Mexico. They use the oral stories as a part of their outreach to the poor villages around the school.
The Share the Word oral training was enthusiastically received by churches in the Dominican Republic this past May. This conact came through John Papst who is a member of Peace Lutheran Church, Canal Winchester, OH. He is introducing scriptural training into the Village Mountain Mission. Those who were part of the training in May have decided to start 3 classes. In each of these countries, there is a thirst for knowing Jesus and understanding His Word.
This October we will introduce the oral training to Malawi and Tanzania. These contacts come through AFLC contacts and they are longing for training in God’s Word.
Free and Living Congregations
Training people in God’s Word is an essential part of the Great Commission mandate, but training is not an end in itself. The goal for transformed believers is to be a part of a living fellowship, a community of like-minded followers of Jesus, the body of Christ. The church is made up of people who have been changed by God’s Word. They have a relationship with the Lord, and they are growing in their walk with Jesus.
The fourth book in the Share the Word series, Free and Living Congregations, is specifically for these members of God’s Kingdom who are trying to understand the church with a careful search of the scriptures. The first section focuses on the believer. God’s Word is the tool that teaches us who God is, how we worship Him, how to pray, and how we receive His grace through baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
The second section addresses the church. Scriptures are full of descriptions of the church’s foundation, identity, gifting, purpose, and mission. We naturally add things to our worship services that connect with our style and culture, but it is important to review the scriptural foundations about this precious institution, the church, as opposed to what it has become. The Bible emphasizes the need for unity, discipleship, discipline, and the mission of the church.
The third section is for the leader. The shepherd of God’s flock is one who has heard God’s call to serve His people. It is a high calling and a high standard. The leader is the first to care for and serve others. The leader’s character is on display because it is the evidence of God’s work in their own life. The Word is the salve to heal people’s wounds with God’s promises and it is the hammer to break their hard hearts with its law.