Oral Story December 2019

Oral Story December 2019

Giving Thanks!

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.

Thanksgiving Pie

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.

God is Good

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.

Oral Story November 2019

Oral Story November 2019

Prison Ministry

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.

“We expect 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.

Interest in Israel

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 122:6

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 ministry connections.

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.

2020 Opportunies

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

Oral Story September 2019

Oral Story September 2019

Hungry & Thirsty

The farther 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 also preach.”
  • “These lessons will be able to change people’s lives.”

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.

Oral Story August 2019

Oral Story August 2019

Training Leaders International

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

Orality 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 congregations.

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.

Oral Story July 2019

Oral Story July 2019

Expanding Influence

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.”

Family Reunion

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

Oral Story June 2019

Oral Story June 2019

Thirsty

“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.