Evangelism to illiterate people pt 1

Over the next week, I will be putting up a series of articles to describe different ideas on how to reach out to unlettered people. I will be writing about some different ideas and how they have worked with a minority group that I am working with in the Middle East, that are more than 99% illiterate.

Today, I want to start off by talk about the idea of “storying”.

When, I first started doing evangelism among the Turkmen, I assumed that I could just speak in Arabic and read the Bible in Arabic as I would to normal Arabs. This thought didn’t quite work out as I thought it would.

The first thing I quickly discovered was that they were not able to understand things in written Arabic. Although, some of the families were able to speak in Arabic, they were not able to understand deep concepts in the Arabic language.

After a couple of years I was able to speak Turkmen in addition to Arabic. I thought, now surely they will understand…

However, I found out that also just simply preaching “sermons” inside the homes was not going anywhere. I found often that they were not really retaining the information. This started a journey on effective ways that could be done to reach out to the Turkmen.

Some time later I came across this website: Global Recording Network

On their website they have a nice slideshow that you can purchase and use them in homes. When using their slideshows I noticed people were actually listening. About this time, a large influx of Syrian refugees came in, and I got busy. It was amazing to see homes sometimes fill with men eager to hear me speak. They were interested and they would earnestly thank me for sharing.

bible story images

That is not to say that all homes are going to really receive and repent, but people were finally beginning to understand.

I kept looking and eventually found Open Bible Stories

Their website offers many different bible stories. I found that I was able to find specific topics that I wanted to speak on, very easily. They even provided a script to use for easy use in presentations.

After their website I found out that there was another that you could get even more images from, though they were scriptless. SweetPublishing has a large easy to navigate list of stories. You simply navigate through it as you would a Bible.

In the past months I have paid a lot of money to buy professional sets of different Bible Stories, in the end these “Open” sources are very much better. I simply choose a story, put them on USB, and get them printed to cardstalk for use in homes.

When I enter a home, I am greeted, given tea, and then asked if I have something new to share. The families are excited to hear each week. It is a neat thing, to be able to give direct Gospel messages in a way that is fun, uncompromising, and interesting for the hearers.

Another good resource to look into is the Story For All podcast They have a frequent podcast that might give you some ideas…

What are you thoughts? Post below.

Previous parts in the series:

Using stories to share the Gospel to illiterate people

Using Audio Bibles

Teaching them to read

Discipling the illiterate: no shortcuts

Using Media


Evangelism to illiterate people pt 1
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