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I remember everything...

Posted by Connie Seale , in Orality 09 December 2019 · 0 views

This summer I returned to my country of service after a year-long home assignment in the States. After finding a new apartment and unpacking my things from storage, I began diving back into ministry. One of my ministry projects is developing a set of oral Bible stories in the local language. This project involves 6 local women who have different roles in developing the stories. As I got back together with them to see if they were still willing to help with the project, I was excited that all but one would be willing to continue (and I found another person who could fill that role, praise the Lord!).


Two of the ladies involved in the project are sisters in their early 20s. Right away, they told me that they remembered all of the previous 6 stories that we had worked on together. A bit surprised, I asked them to retell what they remembered. Working together, they proceeded to tell me in detail the story of creation, the fall, the Israelites in slavery, the 10 plagues, and Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt! They truly hadn't forgotten a thing even after a year of not working on the stories at all!


This was a huge encouragement to me on many levels. I love that they have internalized the Scriptures. It showed me the power of oral learning, which is strengthened in community. It gave me hope that these stories will be used powerfully by God throughout this country once the set is finished. One of the sisters said this was the best way to have Bible study and easier to understand than previous Bible studies she's attended. Praise the Lord!

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