A New Creation
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Our missionaries to Zambia returned from a two-week trip where they introduced oral training to a new group of leaders near the border with Malawi. There were 15 students that attended the training and they covered much of the first term including the first set of oral exams. The follow-up for this group will be under the supervision of Ernest Chigawa from Malawi. He oversees the training in Kansungu, in northern Malawi, and now will add this group in Zambia to his oversight.
The pastor of the church testified that this training changed their lives. “The whole team is now able to teach and preach the real stories in the Bible.” He said that they didn’t even know some of these stories and now they could tell them from their heart. “From now on our teaching will be different because God has lifted us up through this program.”
Two of the students were not able to read or write. When they took their oral exam on the 33 verses that cover the story of Noah, they both scored 100% on remembering the details of the story. They outperformed their literate classmates. Eric joined the class at the end of the first week. He was one of the leaders in his church but had been preaching without knowing the real meaning of the Word of God. After two days of oral training, he immediately started using it to teach his people. Lydia is planning to use this training as she goes out into the villages to share the Word of God. Betty was reluctant to come and study but after joining realized a significant change. She is now able to explain God’s story to people. During their training, the team led the manager of their guest house and her daughter to faith in Christ. On their way home, they led the hotel manager to faith in Christ.
All Things New
“Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5
Peter Shalom is the newest contact for the Orality Institute. He would like to train his leaders in both Bukoba in western Tanzania and in Dar Es Salam in eastern Tanzania. Although we have had several contacts from people in Tanzania and tried to introduce the training, Peter is the first person to request training enthusiastically and persistently. We are expecting to send him a team of two people for two weeks this January.
The opportunities before us are amazing, the fruit is obvious, and we wait on the Lord to show us how to meet these needs.
- Victor from Kenya is waiting for training so that he can introduce the oral strategy to his people in Congo. He needs support to be trained.
- Peter wants to train 15 people in a remote area of northern India every month and needs to cover the expenses for those trips.
- In Pakistan, Rayan is training his 15 master trainers every month.
- We would like to send a follow up team to South Sudan this year.
- We will be going to the Dominican Republic this month for their first graduation of 23 students after two years of study.
In addition to everything that is taking place around the world, there is a growing interest in oral training in the U.S. There is an oral class taking place with Living Stone Chinese Fellowship. Living Stone is a Chinese church plant that reaches out to the Chinese students that come to study at the University of Minnesota. Pastor Holmes Zhao and the men from his church meet every Tuesday to orally study God’s Word. Hosanna Free Lutheran in St. James, MN and St. Ansgar’s Lutheran in Salinas, CA have had oral training seminars so that they can reach their communities with a simple evangelism and discipleship tool.