Monday, April 23, 2012

Africans Learn Best Through Storytelling

One of the biggest hurdles to training Christian leaders here in Zambia is getting the bible into their heart language, but a lot of times, that isn't enough.  Many, many Tonga speaking Zambians cannot read and write their own language, much less English.  There have been efforts to combat this, (i.e. having people come and teach English as a second language, or teaching Tonga's how to read and write their own language) but if you want to make an immediate and lasting impact, these two options are not viable.

While we were back in the States, we attended a training in Orlando, Fl called Storyrunners.  The premise of the course is to learn 20+ chronological stories which walk individuals from creation, to the Fall of Man, to God's promise for redeption through a savior, to Jesus' birth, ministry, crucifixion, death and ressurection.  The goal is to train individuals to tell these stories to other individuals who will in turn do the same.

So, in theory, if we can translate these stories and then begin to teach them in Tonga, our community's heart language, they will have at least a portion of the bible memorized.  And that is how African's have always learned.  The older generation sit the younger generation down and tell them stories and parables of ages past.  So, why not use their style of learning to help the Tonga's better learn the bible?

So far we've translated 7 of the 22 stories and are continuing to work on the rest of them.  Please pray for those involved in the translation.  Pray that the material would remain as accurate as possible through the translation and that the material would be used to change the lives of many here in Chikankata!

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