Oral Story April 2024

Oral Story April 2024

From the Board

Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe…praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:43-47

Awe struck is an accurate phrase to describe what it’s like to serve on the Board of Directors of International Orality Institute. One of the joys of serving on the board is to see the Lord at work. His blessing upon this ministry is to hear reports of and seeing precious souls being saved and that disciples are being made as Jesus directs His church in Matthew 28:18-20.

The Lord has never failed to provide for Orality Institute whether in temporal matters or with people of the same heart. He does so through you as supporters of IOI and in those He leads to join our work.

Most recently He has guided Orality Institute board members to call former AFLC missionary Nate Jore to join us in this work. While on furlough from Uganda, Nate and Rhoda sensed a change in ministry focus leading them to resign from AFLC World Missions. IOI extended a call to Nate to join us. 

His work will be primarily here in America, where many churches have asked him to assist them to develop their efforts of evangelism and discipleship, and training up church leaders. This ministry will be defined more clearly as Nate begins. We have called him to expand the work of building up Christ’s church through the making of disciples alongside the church in America. His call will begin August 1st.

Thank you for your support. We thank the Lord for how He provides for our ministry through faithful disciples such as you. He gives us peace and assurance through your faithful support.Because of Calvary, The Orality Institute Board: Greg Johnson, Marshall Nessa, Jim Rasmussen, Mark Antal, Nathan Monseth, Peter Ward

From the Jores

Dear friends & family,

We know many of you pray for us, and we’re so very grateful. How prayer impacts the heart and movement of God is a mysterious thing, but we believe He is attentive to His children, and it’s a comfort knowing that there are people talking to Him about us.

There has been much change for our family over these past 10 months in the States. We came back to the U.S. sensing there was a shift coming for our family and that God was perhaps redirecting us, but not knowing what that redirection might look like. We asked Him to help us to hold everything with open hands and to have the courage to step into whatever He asked of us.

In the past several months, a few doors have opened to our family that we‘ve discerned are ours to step through. One of those doors was an invitation to join International Orality Institute, an organization dear to our heart that is based here in Minneapolis and works internationally to provide Bible training through storying. Their vision for reproducible discipleship mirrors the vision that Nate has had in the discipleship he’s been privileged to be involved with in Uganda, and there’s not much that gets him more excited.

Orality Institute follows Jesus’ example of using storying and a question-and-answer teaching style as the primary mode of instruction. The invitation that Nate accepted from International Orality Institute (IOI) is primarily a Stateside teaching and equipping position, with the opportunity to travel occasionally to Uganda and to encourage the brothers there. We will finish our service with AFLC World Missions at the end of July, and Nate will begin his new position with International Orality Institute the 1st of August (his birthday!). We’re so grateful for our time spent serving under AFLC World Missions and for the support, leadership, and encouragement they gave to us during our 17 years in Uganda. For those who have supported us financially and would like to continue to do so, we will give information in a future update about transferring support to IOI. We will receive support through AFLC World Missions until the end of July.

Oral Story March 2024

Oral Story March 2024

Set Apart

“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Acts 13:2-3

Set apart is a great description of what the Orality Institute is about. It means that students set apart time to study God’s Word, the leaders dedicate two years to teach them, and the style of education is set apart from traditional methods.

This picture is one of the new Ugandan churches that have been started through the Ambassador Institute’s ministry. This is one of five new house churches, and it is held at Mama Rose’s business. It has taken years for the oral students to see the need to start their own churches, but it seems that this simple house church model is beginning to spark interest in Uganda. The leadership is divided among the members, and they worship in a simple and personal way. The Word of God, prayer, and worship is the heart of their gatherings.

Paul Kneeland’s trip to Uganda is to encourage the ministry and give the leaders some practical training. Paul’s two-week trip has very little time for rest. He will be participating in two of the five graduations, four zonal leaders’ meetings, and two meetings with the Ugandan international missionaries. The training has grown so quickly that we need to add some structure to the vision and passion. We have multiple places requesting training and six potential missionaries. This trip gives Paul a chance to introduce clear expectations and qualifications for those that represent the Orality Institute when they travel to other countries. He will be introducing budgeting and structural topics so that classes can start in a strong and stable manner. We need to be strategic with the use of our finances and make sure that when we begin a new location or country, they will be trained well.

Established

Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brothers send you greetings.
1 Corinthians 16:19-20

One of the greatest blessings of a ministry that spans years is watching the Lord transform lives. Alex and Mary were both graduates from the oral ministry in Uganda. Mary became a teacher and taught her class through their graduation while she worked in the Ambassador Institute office. Alex was a budding pastor, and he was mentored by Pastor Brent Raan and Michael Rokenbrodt as he started a church outside of Jinja.

Shortly before their engagement party Alex was in a severe motorcycle accident. At first, he was expected to die, then after finding a hospital that would treat him, they expected that he may have permanent spinal or head injuries. The Lord healed him in some miraculous ways. When they were married a month later Alex was able to walk and stand on his own. Their wedding was a celebration for the whole ministry family in Uganda.

Now Alex is the pastor of Gideon church. He grew in his preaching through his oral training. Alex and Mary have led their congregation in spiritual growth, and they have seen people set free from various forms of spiritual bondage through Jesus. They have also faced severe spiritual opposition. Strong winds blew down their church, one of their leaders was killed by a falling brick, and Alex was mugged when he was delivering money. Yet, they continue to faithfully proclaim the hope in Jesus and teach oral classes.   Their daughter Rohi, which means The Lord is my Shepherd, just turned three. She has been in the center of the missionary meetings from the day she was born and travels with her parents to the graduation events as a special guest of honor. The Orality Institute truly is an international family.

Oral Story February 2024

Oral Story February 2024

Celebrating God’s Word

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16

We just held the first graduation of Orality Institute students in the Dominican Republic. They studied 84 stories of the curriculum for two years and memorized 2200 verses of the Bible. That is an accomplishment worth celebrating! These 21 students have an overview of the Bible and a foundation that includes doctrine, character, and ministry. Those lessons are hidden in their hearts, and they can easily be passed on to others.

Their teacher, Daniel Lantigua, and his wife Rosa were learning the lessons alongside of the students ranging in age from 10 to 70. The Word of God that is hidden in their hearts cannot be taken away from them. It becomes a part of how they view the world and how they live their lives. Daniel is expecting to oversee the startup of 5-7 new classes. As well as the expansion of oral training in the Dominican Republic.

Daniel and Rosa are applying the Word that they have studied into practice as they train children in a Haitian immigrant village. Daniel became excited about the possibilities of how this could be used among these unruly youth. The youth were so affected by the training that they began to talk about God in their classroom. Their teacher was so amazed at the change in her students that she went to observe these classes for herself. The parents also noticed a change in their own kids, and they began attending classes to learn the stories. News of this transformation began spreading among the community and among the pastors because those students had seemed so difficult to deal with. God’s Word Changes lives!

Celebrating God’s Work

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word. 2 Timothy 4:1

Our team of two brought an introduction of the Orality Institute training to Tanzania this month. They were scheduled to train a group of students in Bukoba, on the western shore of Lake Victoria. When they returned, we found out that their Tanzanian guide, Peter Shalom, had brought them to 5 cities to introduce his leaders to this new strategy of studying God’s Word!

In every town that they visited, the people were so enthusiastic to learn that they pleaded with Mufumbiro and Musasizi to stay and let them invite others to come and see how God’s Word could come alive for them. We have recommended that Peter attend a class in Uganda to learn the curriculum. If he could learn the stories then he could be the teacher for his Tanzanian students. Pray for Peter and the resources to reach these cities.

Marshal Nessa has joined the Orality Institute Board. Marshal participated in an IOI training in the Baja of Mexico in September of 2018. After that, he and his family moved to Uganda, where they worked with Amazima Ministries and school and practiced sharing God’s Word orally with the students. Marshall brings with him the experience of serving as a pastor in the U.S. as well as his international missions background. He has seen firsthand the powerful effect of this oral strategy, and we are glad to add him to our visionary board which includes: Greg Johnson, Peter Ward, James Rasmussen, Mark Antal, and Nathan Monseth. The Lord continues to expand this ministry around the world along with renewed interest and opportunities here in the U.S.. Pray for us as we try to discern God’s Will and watch for His open doors.

Oral Story January 2024

Oral Story January 2024

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.