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.

Oral Story December 2023

Oral Story December 2023

Great Need

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house.  Romans 16:3-5

Meet Dr. Victor Lonu, the most recent friend of the Orality Institute. Victor is from Bunia in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). Victor received his master’s and PhD in Biblical Studies through the African Theological Seminary in Kenya. Since that time, he has been developing training manuals for pastors in rural Africa.

Victor is the most recent person to contact the Orality Institute asking for us for training in an oral strategy of education. He would like to bring biblical training to his home area near Bunia, but traditional written education is not going to be effective for them. He was introduced to oral instruction some years ago through one of Pastor Kevin’s early mentors, and he remembers those lessons today. He wants to share that living instruction with those in his home area.

Northeast DR Congo has been ravaged by violence for many years. The people in the villages have fled to the city of Bunia for safety, but that also means leaving their farms and homes. Victor has a network of pastors in that area and through that network the hope of the gospel has a chance to spread into an otherwise dangerous area. This year the Orality Institute has received inquiries and invitations to work in Pakistan, Nigeria, South Sudan, Northern India, and now DR Congo. These are dangerous locations for U.S. citizens to be working, yet by God’s grace, we have been able to encourage and motivate these leaders in their spheres of influence. We praise the Lord for our partnership with people who can share the Word of God in these places where there is such a great need.

 Great Gift

Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of The Name. Therefore, we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth. 1 John 1:5-8

The Word of God is the greatest gift that we can give to people. Mama Nissi, who is one of our missionaries, just returned to Uganda after spending five months visiting her children in England. This was intended to be a personal trip paid for by her children. She was insistent that it was an opportunity to start a new class in England. She found that everyone was overly busy, several working two jobs just to cover their life expenses. During her time, she was able to find five people from different parts of London who were willing to study and could do so over Zoom. So, now this 70+ year old woman will be teaching her new students, using a computer,  … from Uganda.

Meanwhile our Zambia team will be leaving Uganda on December 8th and returning on the 24th. The team includes Bishop, Sharif and Tracy in the picture. Ernest will be meeting them in Malawi when they land on the 8th, then they will travel by bus across the border. Their purpose will be to help Ernest, from Northern Malawi, start a new class. Ernest has been a part of several orality training courses. Now he will become the overseer of the class of teachers in Zambia. Our team will help him be successful with this new class. Please pray for them as they bring the priceless gift of God’s Word to people who need to hear and understand how much God loves them. They need to experience the transformation that happens when they are immersed in His Word. These dear friends will go “out for the sake of The Name.”

Oral Story November 2023

Oral Story November 2023

Bearing Fruit

 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing.  Colossians 1:3-6

Everything in nature reproduces when it becomes mature. We see it in the animal and the plant kingdoms. We are also seeing spiritual reproduction within the Orality Institute.

Those that were trained in Malawi have started many more classes to the extent that we just printed 100 more teacher’s manuals which have been distributed to those who will be leading classes. Ernest is one of the teachers in Malawi and he has been pleading for support so that he can bring this training to his friends in neighboring Zambia.

In Pakistan, 15 master trainers each have their own class with a total of 137 students between them. The church that we trained in South Sudan received an introductory course and immediately started three classes in their church. The training zones in Uganda continue to expand. The above picture is a Teacher’s Workshop from one of the nine zones. In January, we will celebrate the first graduation in the Dominican Republic. They have studied for two years and now these students can start their own classes.

This oral strategy is expanding within the United States through the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations. The Free Lutheran Schools have held classes for the seminary, and it has been included within a Bible college class. It is being used as an evangelism and discipleship tool in four churches. A man in one congregation plans to reach out to Veterans, another is planning on using it in his Taekwondo gym.

All of this is evidence of the work of God and the fruit of the Spirit through the Word of God.

Giving Thanks

But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.  Psalm 79:13

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can increase our happiness, improve our physical health, give us better mental well-being, higher self-esteem, and greater life satisfaction. Giving thanks is also a celebration of all that the Lord has given us and His promise to provide in the future as well.

We are grateful for the privilege of being ambassadors of Christ among so many people groups. It is an honor to be trusted by people from so many countries, languages, and strata of society. In these last few months, we have printed books in Malawi, and translated curriculum into Hindi, Luganda, and Urdu. This week we received a new invitation to bring training to another people group in another part of the world.

We praise the Lord for the enthusiastic response people have toward the study and memory of God’s Word. We see the transformation of individuals, marriages, families, and communities as they apply His Word to their lives. Pastor Paul Kigosi, from South Sudan, said the training helped his marriage.

We are grateful for your partnership in this ministry which makes it possible to share God’s Word around the world. This ministry began in January of 2018 and it has continued for seven years on the support of faithful friends who believe that it is possible reach people around the world with this unique style of education. We praise the Lord for your generosity toward the 2023 Hike and Bike. We raised $14,277 above our regular monthly pledges. That will sustain our monthly budget and allow us the ability to expand into new areas.

Oral Story September 2023

Oral Story September 2023

Awareness

 “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.”

2 Corinthians 8:1-2

Understanding what is happening is the first step to action and we want you to know what is going on in the Orality Institute because this ministry continues to expand all over the world. The people are finding this oral strategy of instruction to be an easy and practical tool for their students. They can quickly learn how to use it to teach others. Those who have been taught become teachers, the disciples are making more disciples.

In this one year:

  • There were 6 graduations in Uganda
  • Two training sessions in Malawi with five different ministries
  • Training of 65 missiology students in Ethiopia
  • An introduction to orality in South Sudan, they started two classes
  • Pakistan has a master trainer class and 15 regular classes
  • Online training for Northern India with a plan to reach the unreached
  • Completion of two years of study in the Dominican Republic
  • Interest in training in Nigeria, Zambia, and in England
  • Bible students from the Baja of Mexico did oral teaching in Oaxaca

Our Ugandan instructors have traveled to four countries bringing God’s Word to people who are excited to learn and begin their own classes. Pastor Kevin has been coaching a group from Pakistan and a student from Northern India using Zoom. We now have the first book translated into Urdu and a plan to get it translated into Hindi. Pastor Andrew Olson is coordinating the translation of the Romans curriculum into Lusoga.

Supply

 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.

2 Corinthians 9:11-12

We are sincerely grateful for your support over these past five years of ministry. It is humbling to consider the full expanse of what the Lord has been doing through this one organization. To consider that He has been moving mountains, opening doors, and providing people that share the desire to see God’s Word brought to new places.

The Lord moves each of us in different ways and at different times. He enables some to teach in various countries, others to support monthly, others annually, and some are the prayer support that keeps this ministry running. Our prayer is that you would be blessed as you participate in the way that Lord supplies you and that you would be encouraged as you hear the reports from all our ministry partners.

If the Lord is prompting you to financially support this ministry, you can give by check to the address below or online at the Orality Institute website, www.oralityinstitute.org. If He is prompting you to pray, please use this as a prayer reminder for yourself and your church. If He is prompting you to teach, we would love to talk further with you. We are a simple organization with a simple mission from 2 Timothy 2:2 which says, “Entrust to reliable men who will be qualified to teach others.” By God’s grace, that is happening. Leaders are growing in biblical training, and it is changing lives around the world. God’s commission is also that simple, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20