Seeking Wisdom

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! Romans 11:33

This oral strategy continues to expand. Every month we get a detailed report of the training that is taking place in Pakistan. They are almost finished with the first year of study and are ready to translate the second book. We are careful about information that we publish because of the persecution that they face as Christians in a majority Muslim society. This month we asked for permission to share some of the testimonies from the 15 master trainers and their 141 students.

“I run a store for supplies of building construction work. I was talking to one of our venders who shared with me that they are Muslim and they are above all other nations and Allah loves them the most and all other nations will go to hell who do not embrace Islam. When he said that I asked him, Have you heard the story of Jonah, he said “No, but his name is written in the Quran”, Then I told him the story of Jonah, and told him how God cares for all the nations and does not want any of them to perish if they repent. He heard the story and did not reply. I noticed a small change in his life and, I could tell him the Biblical story because this training has helped me to identify the immediate need of the person and relate his need with the Biblical story.”“I work at a local home to recycle cotton. One of my colleagues shared how their son had left. Her husband was in trauma and could not forgive his son for leaving. I told her the story of the son who left his father but when he returned, his father forgave him. She went home and told the story to her husband. Her husband met my husband and asked him to tell the story. My husband told the story to him, and he confessed that he could not forgive his son. He invited us to his home to pray for his family. This time, we share the story of the King who forgave his servant’s debt. We told this story to show them the love of God. This is how we can share the gospel with our community.”

Finding Truth

You have heard… the word of the truth, the gospel,… indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. Colossians 1:5-7

We recently had our first call with Swapon from Bangladesh. His church leaders are seeking a practical way to be trained in God’s Word. This oral strategy seems like it could be the answer they are looking for. This first call was an introduction to one another and to our work. Swapon represents 26 churches. His response to our call was, “I and my family members and team members have been praying deeply that by the will of the Lord, we can be associated with IOI. I will gladly watch the videos and begin the translation of the curriculum.”

He immediately started translating the first book which led him to ask some important questions regarding the stories he was learning through the process. He wrote, “I am very lucky indeed to be translating this book. I can learn more about God’s Word while translating. Already my life has started to get stronger spiritually. I believe that in the future this curriculum will bring great blessings and change the lives of many in Bangladesh.”

Bangladesh is one of the countries that we have been asked to work with. Mozambique, D.R. Congo, and Tanzania are wanting training as well. It is critical that every training begins in a stable, measurable, and sustainable manner. Ensuring that those goals are met depends on the in-country leader, the seriousness of their intention, their measurable progress in the training, the costs involved, and the time available to invest in helping them.

The core of this oral strategy requires that the national workers take the responsibility for training their own people in their own language and culture. It is essential that the training is self-sufficient so that it can multiply without dependence on support from the outside. This is a new paradigm, for many it is challenging, but for all it is a transformative experience.