This Month’s Spotlight Update: Scripture Accessibility
The pastors of Togo had attended a Bible story songwriting workshop led by missionary Tom Ferguson. They saw the value of the songs in outreach and church planting. Soon, they were working with Tom to organize a workshop to train their church members. Teams created songs and dramas to go along with the Bible stories they were using. These teams were then sent to two villages to try out their new Bible story dramas. The reception they received in the villages was extremely encouraging. One participant said that when they first stopped singing and dancing, some people wanted to leave because they thought they were going to start preaching. When they found out the team was going to do a drama, they stayed.
The participants were so encouraged by the results they organized mini-workshops around their association so the other churches could benefit from what they learned. Some of the churches started teams that presented Bible story music dramas as a way of outreach. Within four months after the introduction of God’s Word in a way that matched their culture, ten new Bible studies and worship gatherings were established. In two of the villages, the chiefs previously had not permitted any Christian witness or activity at all. The creativity of these believers opened doors for God’s Word to be heard.
Jeff and Barbara Singerman
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jeff and Barbara Singerman help believers connect Scripture with obedience. They tell these stories of those who have listened and believed:
- Paulin, a young man who attended Bible storying training, was convicted by God that he hadn’t been obedient to go back to gang members to share Christ with them. He went. Because of his obedience, there are now 19 baptized former gang members.
- Ruth, a 16-year-old high school student, rode packed van taxis and walked a long distance to visit Barbara after having attended the Bible storying seminar hosted by her church. She came for counsel concerning one of five of her classmates that she’d won to Christ.
- Pastors confessed, “I’ve not been serious about God’s Word. That stops here.” Another said, “I’ve held anger against my sister-in-law for five years and have not spoken to her. Tonight, I will go to her.” And, “I’d decided to stop ministering for Christ, but I commit myself to His work in a new beginning.”
Repentance leads to revival. Pray for a restoration back to the truths of God’s Word!
Steve Evans recounted how God’s story can make a way for the message to go where it has previously been rejected.
“One member of the Pomo language team working with our Oral Bible Story project in northern Congo shared about a village they were visiting that is very difficult to reach,” he said. “There was no church, no pastor, no witness there.”
The chief refused to allow any Christian work to take place in her area. She denied this team, as well, until she heard the Bible stories they wanted to share. She then welcomed them with open arms and asked the entire village to come and listen. She allowed a storying group to be formed, and she started attending herself. The story of the bleeding woman touched her greatly. She and other villagers permitted a church to be organized there. People came to the Lord and were discipled through stories from God’s Word. They now meet and worship together.
Pray for all the Bibleless peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo—literally hundreds of them. Pray that as missionary and national colleagues develop and carry out long-term, multi-language Oral Bible Storying projects, various people groups would encounter God’s Word in such ways that their lives would be transformed through God’s Son, Jesus. Pray for the formation of storying groups among these peoples that would develop into healthy, reproducing New Testament churches. Pray for the mentoring and training of disciples and leaders among these peoples.
Tom Ferguson, Jeff and Barbara Singerman, Steve Evans, and other personnel addressing Scripture accessibility around the world are featured in the February 2021 Missions Mosaic This Month’s Spotlight article. To subscribe to this monthly missions lifestyle magazine, visit wmustore.com.
Written by Danette High is thankful to have access to God’s Word and hopes to never take that for granted.