A Year In Review
Throughout our newsletters in 2019, we’ve covered what Spoken would consider “the basics” of why and how we do our ministry. We’ve broken down what it means to be an Oral Learner, and the literacy barrier that often exists when delivering Truth to the far corners of the world. Contextualization was then discussed, showing how vital it is to deliver messages in a context and manner that each community will be most receptive to hearing. After presenting the importance of holistic, contextualized Truth, we shared about the trusted local leaders who distribute Truth in story, song, and drama format to Oral Communities, sometimes using technology as an aid. If you missed any of this information, you can catch up at spoken.org/connect!
Can Read Some
Literate but orally preferenced
A barrier that is easy to overcome with appropriate communication strategies.
Literacy should not be a requirement to receive life-saving Truth.
The Importance of Contextualization
Our method: Contextualize the information while retaining accuracy to place (something, such as a word or activity) in a context, the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs: ENVIRONMENT, SETTING
Spoken addresses needs from the Gospel to disease prevention, clean water management to proper livestock care.
Stories, Songs, and Dramas
Using stories, songs, and dramas is our biggest tool among oral peoples. We adopt the local communities’ style of learning and deliver the Word of God in the same style.
Trusted Local Leaders
We train and equip local leaders who are:
- Trusted in the community.
- Know the local context and needs.
- Christian believer with the desire to share Biblical Truth.
Audio devices are an effective tool in multiplying truth despite the limited number of local leaders.
Our ministry goal is to utilize the knowledge above to create effective programs so that all may hear Truth in a manner that can open eyes and hearts to what the Lord has to offer:
TRUTH received with open hearts leads to transformed people and communities!
Stories play an important role in all of our lives, whether you’re literate or an oral learner. We have all experienced influential stories from our families, teachers, leaders, and coworkers. Stories have power.
Visit here to hear a story told by Dr. Ray Neu, Spoken’s Director of Orality Coaching.
This is a great example of how a Bible story would be shared in the field. Groups listen to the leader, then tell the story to the person next to them, which helps internalize the message. The group then discusses and answers questions about the meaning and application of the Truth they’ve just been a part of.
Dr. Ray Neu
Stories of Transformation
Disciples Making Disciples: Myanmar
Dr. Ray Neu, Spoken’s Director of Orality Coaching, trained Benjamin in Oral Storytelling Methods in order to share holistic Truth. Benjamin has since trained these additional small group leaders who will go out to start their own small groups, or incorporate it into their existing groups. This is second and third generation training: a true example of disciples making disciples in order to reach more with Truth!
Power of Orality: Northern Ghana
Through oral storytelling methods, this group of Muslims was exposed to Christianity for the first time. Even though they had not previously had access to Truth, the stories were able to help open their eyes and hearts. After experiencing the Bible firsthand, in their heart language, they came to Christ and accepted Him as their one true Savior and were recently baptized!
Making Everlasting Life with Christ: Nigeria
Mama Chundung lives in Nigeria and is an oral learner. Through a listening group, she has a good relationship with Pastor Moses who is a local leader partnered with Spoken. Each time she listens to a story, she shares it with her household. One day she heard the story about Jesus’ parting words with His disciples saying “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also”.
Mama never knew that there is life after death with Jesus. She had always thought that after death one will go and be with their ancestors. If you live a good life on earth, you will live with the good ancestors after death, but if you live a bad life, you will live with the bad ancestors after death. The above story prompted Mama to share with her husband who has been sick and had lived what would be considered a bad life. He received Christ Jesus and a few months later he died. One thing that resonates with Mama and truly gladdens her heart is that her husband knew Christ Jesus before he died. Mama has the assurance that her husband has gone to be with the Lord. Mama also testified that she has heard so many stories in her language and these stories remain so much alive in her heart and she needs to listen to more!
“He is the one who has healed me from all that I did in witchcraft. I have no more pain. My body isn’t twisted anymore. And I can now stand and teach others how to follow Jesus.”
This testimony comes from a woman who previously practiced witchcraft but found Jesus through the stories she heard in a small discussion group. She is now a small group leader. What a wonderful transformation story of her deliverance from witchcraft, her newfound belief in Christ, and her willingness to be a disciple to others!
“Some persecutors, who in the past have targeted believers by beating them up and threatening them, have asked to join listening groups so they can learn. They are amazed at the way the people of South Sudan have responded in love and want to learn more about Christianity.”
Praise God that the Christians of South Sudan are living in the image of God and causing non-believer’s hearts to be softened!
How will you respond?
Now you know about the need, the method, and the transformation that can take place, but how do you become part of delivering Truth around the world?
Prayer. We ask that you pray for:
- the Lord to provide for Spoken financially and through fruitful partnerships
- effective local leaders to feel a calling towards helping Oral Leaners
- our programs: that the Biblical and community development content created would be effective and meaningful
- hearts to be open and receptive to hearing Truth and transforming for God’s glory!
Financial Support. There are many ways that your dollars can help provide for our ministry:
$35 – Provides a MegaVoice player and MicroSD card to a local leader in the field
$100 – Supports the needs of an Indigenous Leader’s ministry for one month
$1000 – Equips 10 leaders with Program Technology needed to effectively reach surrounding communities
Ultimately, we want to help our friends and followers experience what it means to be a part of sharing God and His many life-saving messages with those in need. YOU are an important and vital part of spreading God’s name to the ends of the earth and there is truly no greater gift YOU can provide someone, much less an entire community, than the opportunity to know and accept Jesus into their lives.
How will you choose to be a part of this story today?