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God's Story Surprise!

Posted by Connie Seale , in Orality, Europe 08 April 2020 · 0 views

*As told by an IW to Spain


The day I walked through the door, I didn’t know what to expect. I had heard of these places before—these safe houses, these women, this hard and difficult work.


I was expecting to meet broken women. I was expecting to see sadness and pain on their faces.


But, I didn’t expect this.


I had received a phone call from a stranger the week before.


“We heard you speak Arabic. We just rescued a woman from North Africa off the streets. She doesn’t speak Spanish, and we can’t understand her story. Could you come and help us?”


I walked through the door that day prayerfully, with fear and trembling.


When I entered the dining room, I saw her. There were women from all over the world in that room, but I recognized North Africa all over this woman. Her face, her hair, her skin, her gestures, her smile.


I knew her country. I recognized her country. I loved her country.


I walked over to her and greeted her in Arabic.


Her face lit up when she heard her heart language.


“You speak Arabic? You speak our language? ” she exclaimed with a beaming smile.


“Yes, I do, “ I replied. “I used to live in your country.”


I sat down next to her, and we were quickly served lunch.


Her neck and her ears were adorned with jewelry—crosses.


It was surprising. I didn’t expect this.


“Tell me the story about your crosses. What do they mean?” I asked her.


Her next words took me back to her little village in North Africa when she was just a little girl.


“I watched a movie on TV. It was about the man, Jesus. I loved him the first time I saw Him.


I ran to gather all the other little girls in my village. We sat in my living room together watching the movie . . . until my parents walked in and chased us all out. They told us to stop watching the movie.


I hadn’t thought about that movie until I arrived in Spain. When I came to this safe house. These Christians take care of me. They feed me. They give me clothes. They give me a place to live. They love me.”


After all these years . . . I thought to myself.


Wow! What an incredible story!


I pulled up an app on my phone with some oral Bible stories in Arabic. I pulled her aside and let her listen to one of them.


She smiled as she listened.


She didn’t have a phone, so I sent the story file to the director of the safe house to give to her.


Now, she could listen to more stories about Jesus—freely. No one could stop her. No one could silence them. No one could turn them off.


Several months later, I invited her to a baptism. It was the celebration of a woman from her country who had decided to follow Jesus.


When this precious woman from the safe house heard this lady’s testimony, she knew that she, too, wanted to follow this man, Jesus. It was the same man she had heard about on that TV screen back in her living room in North Africa when she was a little girl.


Now, decades later, God had brought her all the way to Europe to be rescued and loved by His children.


God’s sovereignty and mysterious plan never ceases to amaze me!


That day, when I walked through the door of that safe house, God had prepared a story surprise!


Often, I hope and pray that I will have an open door to tell women His stories. That day, God surprised me, and this women told me His story—His amazing story of salvation.

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