Do you remember the first stories you heard about Jesus? The ones that made you realise that God was talking to you?
Stories are so powerful. Jesus used them to speak to the hearts of those listening to him. And today, stories still speak to people powerfully.
For H*, who is from a village in the Guera region of Chad, the stories of Jesus were life-changing. As a child, he lost his sight. He was allowed to attend a local Christian school to learn Braille, despite being from another religion, and it was here he first heard stories from the Bible.
‘The word of God needs to be in your heart and not just on a piece of paper.’
H came to faith in Jesus, and wanted his family to hear the gospel. Risking his own life, he returned to his village and began sharing his faith by telling Bible stories. Despite persecution, H persevered. People came to faith as they heard about Jesus. As H says: ‘The word of God needs to be in your heart and not just on a piece of paper.’ For that word to have its deepest impact, it needs to have been translated into the language that speaks best to a person’s heart.
Bible storytelling was vital for H, not just to hear and understand the gospel, but to share it as well.
For many cultures, such as in the Guera, Bible stories are the most effective form of evangelism. People love hearing them and often save them on phones for future listening. Storytelling becomes the primary and sometimes the only way to reach people – when in some areas just owning a Bible is illegal, or where the language hasn’t ever been formally studied and written down.
Stories speak to the heart. And so it’s crucial they are told in the ‘heart language’ of the listeners – the language that speaks to them best. Indeed, translating stories from the Bible is usually one of the very first stages in an effective translation process.
Together we can help to spread the kingdom of God through Bible stories.
Your prayers and financial gift will enable the vital work of Bible translation and oral storytelling to spread the good news of Jesus in two ways. First, by enabling more Bible translators to do the work of translating God’s word into languages that still don’t have the Bible. Second, by providing training for the next generation of Bible storytellers, so they can take the word of God to people who have not heard it yet in their own language.
Will you play a part in this exciting work today by giving a gift that will help H and others to tell the greatest story of all to people still waiting to hear?
*Name changed for security reasons