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"Have Story, Will Travel"

Posted by Connie Seale , in Orality, Asia 31 October 2019 · 0 views

As told by an IW to Asia


“Why did you come to __________ ?” That is a question that the driver asks when I take an “Uber”-like form of transportation in our city. In the past, I used to answer something like “God has called us here. God loves the people in this country and he has called us to love them too.” I felt, and still feel, that that is a solid answer, but for the past year or so, after engaging more with “Bible Storying”, I have found a different approach.
Now I answer the question with 2 questions: “May I tell you a story?” and then, “Is it okay if the story touches on spiritual things?” So far everyone who has asked me about why I am here has also answered yes to those two questions. Once I have their permission to tell a story, I begin with my story; how God called my husband and I to move to the other side of the world. In that story, God used the story of the rich young man from Mark 10:17-22 to speak clearly to my husband, who then shared it with me, about leaving “all” behind to follow Jesus. So, in telling “my” story, I also tell the Bible story of the rich young man.
Just a few weeks ago was my most recent opportunity to share with a driver, a driver from the majority religion in our country. “That is amazing,” he said. “Usually Western people make decisions with logic, but your husband and you made a decision based on a feeling, like Eastern people.” He was astounded that a Western person would be influenced in that way from the Scriptures. Maybe to him it wasn’t “logical” that we would leave all behind and come to this country because we “felt” God speaking to us through a Bible story. Yet that is the power of the True Story and my hope is that that driver will think again and again about the story, and that he would realize that Jesus is calling him to leave all and follow him.

New to the Orality Blog?

An oral learner is:


Someone whose most effective communication and learning format, style, or method is in accordance with oral formats, as contrasted to literate formats.
Someone who prefers to learn or process information by oral rather than written means. (These are literate people whose preferred communication style is oral rather than literate, even though they can read.)
Someone who cannot read or write (this represents about 5% of the world's population).

Did you know?


There are an estimated 4.35 billion people who are oral learners. This includes 3 billion adults, 900 million very young children, and 450 million children between the ages of eight and fifteen; all of these have basic or below basic literacy skills. They are oral learners because of their limited literacy skills.
The vast majority of missions work has been done for a literate audience. Unfortunately the vast majority of the true audience is therefore not able to connect with the Gospel.
Oral cultures are very relational - they share their lives with one another.
Most oral cultures will communicate with one another in narratives, dialogues and dramas, proverbs, songs, chants, and poetry. When asked what he thought about a new village school headmaster, a Central African replied "Let's watch how he dances".

Partnering Projects

Onestory (OS)

Simply the Story (STS)  

Storying Training for Trainers (ST4T)  

ION  International Orality Network