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Stories from a Southeast Asian country

When times get tough, hearing God’s Word enables believers to keep going. Here are a few accounts of how Bible stories have been a source of strength and comfort, and the lengths the crafters will go to in order to continue the work.

Strength and encouragement from Bible stories

Crafting stories as a team

The Oma* team started crafting Bible stories in March 2020, but since then, their work has been interrupted again and again by Covid-19 and by unrest. The Oma crafters have been forced to flee many times, and for a period, the project team (in the city) lost touch with them.

One of the crafters had to relocate to another town. During this time, she gave birth to a child, and her house back home was burned to the ground. She shared that during this incredibly difficult season, she drew encouragement and strength from the Bible stories she had been crafting. And she is continuing to work on the project as much as she is able.

Another two women have joined the crafting team in the Oma area. They also help the many internally displaced refugees, and have been sharing the Bible stories to encourage them. These women shared that they themselves learned much through these Bible stories during difficult times, and so they use them to minister to the refugees as well.

Joy in the midst of unrest

The Genera* people group does not have any known Christians, yet there is a group of them who are crafting Bible stories in their own language! In November, one of the crafters fell sick with Covid-19. This crafter shared a computer with another for studying Bible passages and making notes. They continued to carry the computer back and forth between their homes, each time disinfecting the computer to the best of their ability before each trip.

Crafting of oral Bible stories in this language continues. The crafters share that when they discuss a topic and discover something new about a story, it brings them joy unlike what they had ever hoped for. One of the story crafters shared that she feels she is living a meaningful life working on the project. In these past six months, this team has completed 5 stories from the New Testament, and they are now excitedly working on 6 more.

In their own language

Overview of village area

The Yam* people group is a small ethnic group who live in the tall mountains. One of the Yam facilitators was invited to preach in a village church and gave this account:

As in most village churches, there aren’t enough teachers so the children join the adults in the worship service. But since sermons aren’t designed for children, the children get bored and they just want to play. When I got up to give the message, the children were playing noisily.

I decided to tell a Bible story in their own language instead of reading a passage out of the Bible (which isn’t in their language). I chose to tell the story of Jesus healing Bartimaeus of his blindness (Mark 10:46-52). While telling the story, the room went quiet. The children were all completely fascinated by the story and listening intently. So were the adults.

After the service, some of the people told me, “Teacher, it’s wonderful hearing the stories of the Bible in our own language. It’s so rich. It makes me more interested in the Bible and I really want to hear more stories. These stories even make me actually interested in church. In future, please tell us more of these stories in our own language!”

That day, I saw the impact of hearing the stories of the Bible in your own language. It helps children and adults to better understand God’s Word. It also strengthens their worship and their faith in God.

Searching for mobile phone signal
In search of a mobile phone signal

Two WRK* story crafters have had to flee their homes. One moved into the forested mountains where there is no electricity. He uses solar panels to charge a battery to run his devices. To find a place where he can use his phone to contact the team, he has to hike up one mountain and down the next until he can find a place where he can get a mobile phone signal. And even then, the signal isn’t reliable. If the wind is blowing, for example, the service might vanish. He then has to keep hiking, searching for another place where he can make a phone call. He often takes pictures of the different places he has to go to work.

Another crafter is now living in his parent’s village where the phone and electric towers have been destroyed. He also has to go outside the village to hunt for a mobile phone signal. Praise God that these two men have persevered working for the Lord despite these difficulties. They are actively serving the WRK community, and still crafting oral Bible stories as they are able.


* For security reasons, pseudonyms are used for the names of people groups.

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