Saturday, October 15, 2016

We're ready

"So David gave the water to God, he poured the water out on the ground as an offering to God." 

We sit in a circle on benches in the shade of a tree retelling the story of David and his mighty men.  On the ground is a spiral of about thirty local objects which help us to remember the details.  We recount how David was longing just to taste the water from a well in his hometown, which was occupied by enemies.  We relate how three of his close friends (his nephews in fact) slipped quietly in and risked their lives to bring him some of this water.  And finally we tell the climax, of how David pours out the water to God, the only one who is worthy of it.  All of this we do without anyone opening a single Bible.  After retelling the story a few times, each of us can tell the whole story without leaving out any important details.

Here, under the tree, it is easy to imagine how God could use this purely oral method of retelling the stories of Scripture to bring his good news to a people that are still less than 2% Christian.  We have driven two days by car from Jos, and waded across a river and ridden motorcycles to get  here.  We sit with educated Nigerians who have given up well-paying jobs and families far away to be a consistent fragrance of Jesus in this place.  They speak of the power of storytelling, and love the memorability of the method of storytelling we are thinking of bringing.

In a blog post just before the trip titled Get Ready! I asked you to pray for God to speak to us and for unity.  We came away from the two language areas with a great peace in preparing to send a team to the first language, but felt it is not a good time for us to send a team to the second.  We felt a great unity in these decisions between myself, the Americans who came from the US just for this trip, and all the Nigerians who are daily involved.  Thank God for how he is directing all our hearts in the same way!

We also asked you to pray for Jesus to use this to prepare the way for his story to be told in these lands.  We talked nearly non-stop throughout the seven days of the journey, and sensed a great deal of peace in every detail we discussed.  We feel ready to invite four Americans to come and join us for three to four years in this special task.  They will learn the local language and work with local people to craft a series of stories to tell the Good news of Jesus to people who have probably never heard it before.  Sound exciting?  Please pray for God to prepare and send these people.  Might you be one of them?

[Post Script:  The story referenced at the beginning comes from 2 Sam 23.  However, we experienced the story the same way an oral-preferenced community would: without even opening a Bible.  You can listen to a recorded version of the story here: Elite Forces.]

2 comments:

  1. We did this same story at Total It Up! this summer in North Carolina! Only we used motions instead of objects to remember the whole story.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder if motions might make the story telling smoother and more natural... I think I will try that soon!

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