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Wycliffe Translator Investigates STS


As a translator I always felt a bit hesitant regarding the freedom we have in storying [storytelling the Bible] and still being accurate."

[Marianne sent the following letter to her friends and supporters, and to our STS headquarters as well.]

Let me tell you about an exciting Story Telling workshop I have just attended this last week. I am sending a copy to all of you who are already interested in sharing the Word of God. I hope and pray that the Lord will spark a lot of interest in your hearts.

You want to know my opinion? Besides Bible translation this is one of the most powerful ways to give the Word to people in a way it will stick for ever even if the typhoon or hurricanes batter our lives and homes and destroy our Bibles.

In fact all Christians should learn this method and apply it in their own lives. If you want to know more about it go to www.SimplyTheStory.org or www.Gods-Story.org for info on the God’s Story video, testimonies, recording devices etc.)

I just finished the 5-day workshop with Simply The Story. Have you ever wondered why God was totally displeased when David insisted on counting the people of Israel?  Have you ever observed how Martha addressed Jesus when He was invited to eat at her house, she said “Lord” with the next sentence she accused him “Don’t you care?”

Let me tell you a little bit more about the exciting discoveries we made…

The 5-day Simply The Story Workshop was an intensive 8-hour practice for 2 days to train the future presenters. Then the next 3 days the 2-day people taught the new group being assisted by an experienced trainer.

The presentation of the strategy was done totally oral, (only listening) no notebooks, no computers, not even a ball pen in the beginning!

The STS team would present the story, and the method how to learn it and then we would divide into small groups and apply the method.

Part One: Learning the Story

  1. Hear the story either by being told by the presenter.
  2. Practicing: One volunteer would try to repeat the story
  3. Then the presenter would lead us step by step through the story again

Part Two: Discovering the Treasures

  1. Observations: the presenter led the group with specific questions along the path of the story to encourage us to discover any spiritual truths etc.
  2. Application: This part was the climax, very powerful. Everybody shared how they felt it applied in general and to them personally. I don’t know about the others, but the Lord just kept speaking to me through the stories all the time in almost dramatic ways.

My personal Evaluation of the Workshop is:

  • It is very concentrated with a lot of practice, which in the beginning was kind of challenging to my memory.
  • But after 2 days I finally came to the victorious realization “I can do it”, even though I can not memorize my own phone number.
  • So- if I can do it most everybody in this world can. Be it our tribal people in the Philippines or the 75% Americans who prefer to learn through sound and sight, especially the youth culture.

Practical: after the 5 days we kind of got the idea how to do it and now I can apply the method with confidence especially with more practice (I am just looking for some willing guinea pigs to practice on).

I tried the story of the prodigal son on a Korean UTA student who is here to study English. I told him 'listen to this story and then tell it back to me in your own words.' He did a great job.

Accuracy: as a translator I always felt a bit hesitant regarding the freedom we have in storying and still be accurate. This workshop gave me tremendous confidence, because our trainers repeatedly emphasized, 'Don’t add anything; don’t take anything away.'

They also demonstrated how to shorten a story and use it in every day witnessing situations which I felt was very powerful.

This workshop I felt was very complete and prepared the people to go and do it.

What I especially appreciated were the inspirational examples and testimonies from around the world. When they used this story approach church growth increased by almost 10 times in 6 months versus the traditional approach in 2 ½ years. You can learn more about these on their web page.

I wish every Christian would learn this method. Even if they never become missionaries, they will experience a tremendous spiritual growth and development and they will be inspired and encouraged to share their faith in a natural way by using the Word hidden in their 'heart pocket' as our trainer Dorothy would say.

It is so easy. Why did it take us so long to discover it? In fact I have decided to reduce some of my channel 11 “Bad News” watching [she was in USA few more months before going back to the work she and her husband do with tribals] and I am going to internalize/memorize more Good News with this method. Just imagine the change that would take place in the churches if everyone would do this.”

Also one thing I really felt impressed with is the attitude of giving, simplicity and sacrifice of the STS Simply The Story training team. The workshop price was so low compared to other workshops we have attended.

My plans for the next 2 months while we are still here in Dallas (we are going back to Philllippines in early December):

  • I would love to share this method with some of you who I know are very interested in sharing the Word with your friends, neighbors, coworker, your children and grand children, Sunday school class and last but not least you yourself will have the greatest benefit.
  • Let’s get together after church, or some evening or weekend for 1-2 hours. It is very simple, if you want to eat while we do it, ok.
  • But most of all I would like to show you how you too can memorize and internalize a Bible Story in 10 minutes, lead a discussion group without notes, power point, outlines and the usual pressure associated with it.
  • All you need is a mouth, a heart, a head and the Holy Spirit. I suppose most of you qualify.

Contact me by email or phone and we can make a schedule. 2-4 people will make already a good team
Hope to hear from you soon.
Blessings
Marianne


[We met Marianne at an International Orality Conference (ION). She kept coming by our table, probably to hear just one more encouraging story of how God was using His stories though STS to reach village people. She showed a lot of interest. But each time, when we tried to encourage her to attend our upcoming workshop (which would begin just after ION was completed) she would lower her head, back away  and say, “I can’t memorize. I tried learning storie; but I can’t do it."

We just kept encouraging her and saying, “We know. It’s hard to memorize, but you can remember. We will show you how to remember stories. After days of repeated coaxing each time Marianne would come by to see us, she very reluctantly decided to try one more time to learn how to tell Bible stories. 

Marianne’s letter above was sent to us in September and was not the end of the story; it was a marvelous beginning. Even before she returned to the Philippines, she arranged to send five of her tribal leaders to an October STS workshop in Manila, Philippines.

It just gets better. Those five have carried on and have taught the STS in-depth way to tell stories to yet others, hundreds in fact, in multiple languages and locations.  

Listen to Marianne’s unbelievable report recorded by Bryan Thompson on story4all. We are blessed to meet Marianne, such a person of vision. Last we heard, those ministering using STS in this whole region, due to one lady trying “one more time,” was over 400! That was only a year and a half after Marianne first took that step of faith.]