Oral Story February 2023

Oral Story February 2023

Words of Hope

“Since we have such a hope, we are very bold… And we all, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image.” 2 Corinthians 3:12,18

What would you need most if you were a Christian living amid persecution?

The request for training in Pakistan came as a surprise to the Orality Institute office. We had not pursued contacts in Pakistan, nor do we know anyone living there, but the Lord led Rayan (pseudonym) to find the Orality Institute online and to ask about our oral training.

Rayan has two master’s degrees in the Bible. He attended a Lutheran high school. His father was an evangelist. He was trained on how to use oral teaching in the Philippians. He has a group of master trainers who also speak English, and he has a network of Christian leaders spread throughout the country. He is the perfect leader for a new branch of ministry in Asia.

Rayan had a message for the Christians. “For centuries, wonderful faithful men and women of the Lord… have served a lot in these developing nations. I want to convey this message to my brothers and sisters, that the Lord now wants to use Asian people to go into the nations in Asia to be messengers of the gospel. He wants to use us to go and preach the gospel… and do it until our last breath. So, keep praying for us… I have many friends in the U.S. who are close to my heart and those are the people that helped me and guided me to do missions. I respect those people very much. Thank you.”

We had not previously planned to go to Pakistan, but Rayan and his friends are already translating the curriculum into Urdu and this is an open door that we must find a way to walk through. Please consider partnering with us.

 Words of Life

“It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure… [so that] you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of Life.” Philippians 2:13, 15

Have you considered that the Lord works in you and through you for His good pleasure?

When we had our team debrief session after the mission trips to Malawi and Ethiopia, we were encouraged from the stories of how God had been working in us and through us. Each person shared how the Lord had carried them in their weakness, caused students to respond, and allowed the work to expand. They were exhausted after a month of ministry and refreshed because it was for the Lord’s good pleasure.

Since that meeting, six new countries asked the Orality Institute for training. We have nine trainers who are ready to go but we need more funding to start these new fields. We would like to send two trainers to each of the following four countries this year.  Here is a rough break down of what it would take for this to be possible. The costs will vary, but it is an initial estimate.

Zambia              $3000               Two Malawian trainers

South Sudan     $3000               Two Ugandan trainers

Kenya               $3000               Two Ugandan trainers

Pakistan           $8000               Two U.S. trainers

Leadership        $3,000              additional per month

The Lord has provided the locations and the trainers. We believe that He will provide the funds for this expansion as well. He provided the means for two trips to Malawi to train leaders from four ministries. He provided for our introductory trip to Ethiopia. Prayerfully consider the role that you and your church could have towards this goal.

Oral Story December 2021

Oral Story December 2021

Behold, He Provides

You have seen the headlines: Omicron Found in Southern Africa, Travel Cut to 8 African Countries. Those headlines are frustrating to our mission effort, but they also serve as the catalyst for a new plan.

Is it possible to do training for people in Malawi over Zoom? If so, Prison Fellowship would be the place and they might have the internet speed and equipment needed. This picture is from our first Zoom test call to Prison Fellowship in Malawi and it worked very well! The room above is the same room that we held training for 25 chaplains in 2019.

If our travel is going to be limited, then we must find another way to reach across the distance to bring the Gospel. Rodrick is a very capable leader at the Prison Fellowship campus in Balaka, Malawi. When it is not used as a half-way house for inmates, it is a great place to host an Orality conference. We would be able to rent this space, provide food and lodging, and support the ministry of Prison Fellowship all at the same time. There are challenges to work through such as the reliability of the power or the fact that their day is our night, but this is a powerful first step toward expanding our training beyond the limitations of things that are outside of our control.

Next, we will be testing a call that connects the ministry team from Malawi, Uganda, Prescott, AZ, Minneapolis, MN, and Cross Lake, MN. May the Lord go before us as we bring God’s Word to the world! I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:22-23

Behold, He Came

Behold is a beautiful word.

It is simply to look, to take in, to be in awe over. There are many things that capture our attention, many things that we look at, and take in, but Jesus surpasses them all. Let us behold Him!

To behold Jesus is not like beholding anything else. It is to see who He is and what He has done. It is to marvel at God coming down, to the earth that He made, as a baby. It is to allow the wonder of this gift to sink in, to be invited in and to be welcomed.

That is what happens when Jesus is revealed and understood. It is the awareness of God speaking through His Word. Michael Rokenbrodt recently told a story about Jesus coming down from John 6. Michael said, “From what I could judge from the unanimous royal reverence of the group, it was as though the Lord’s Supper had very much descended from heaven among them.  Our arrival had brought shock and awe. I perceived they were even fearful.  Our discussion in John 6 and the other verses had unintentionally drug out the idol of alcohol into the light. We explained the forgiveness found in Jesus’ blood in the Last Supper, and how it could cleanse and restore a heart from the idol of alcoholism.”

Oh, may we all behold that Lamb that we also may be cleansed and restored. Yes, Lord, thank you for coming all the way down to us. Thank you for the freedom, the wonder, and the forgiveness we can find in you. “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:33-35