STS - Worldwide:
STS - Worldwide:
STS - Worldwide:
STS - Worldwide:
STS - Worldwide:
STS - Worldwide:
We have only just begun to plant STS in
Central and South America
Simply the Story (STS) STS has a good start in Latin America with qualified STS multipliers in Belize, Colombia and Guatemala.
We have planted STS in Dominican Republic, Honduras, Peru and Panama.
In 2010, we led our first workshop in Brazil, which we hope was the first of many there.
Our instructing teams are in great need of trained STS instructors who speak Spanish.
In 2011 we hope through workshops to plant STS more deeply in Argentina, Honduras and Mexico.
We send instructors when countries host teams and gather people for workshops, and as the Lord supplies the funds to travel.
“I am glad to contact you, and tell you the wonderful blessing that was to help in a workshop in Satarem Brasil. There we had a two-day training for 9 Assistant Instructors, so they would be prepared to help train more that 35 brothers from Wednesday to Friday. It was a huge blessing!
“Many brothers and sister were blessed as they received this tools for they ministry, some of them, work with (Riveriños) people who live near the Amazon river, and also with indigenas.
“They told us that this method would be of great Impact in their ministry.
A man told me, ‘I have more that 25 years doing ministry, and if I would know it before, my ministry would be of more impact. From now on I will us it, in my reaching for indigenas.’
“Thanks so much for teach me this great tool! Also, for send us the portuguess materials. We distributed it there among our brothers, and the people there.”
Stalin Soto, Instructor from Dominican Republic
Team Visits Colombia
An STS team gathered from USA, Dominican Republic and Colombia flew to Bogotá to lead a workshop in a rural location a few hours out of the city.
The team reported, “The Colombia workshop was truly a blessing: 28 Colombian nationals all committed to working with Colombian indigenous tribes. They all loved it! We also visited the Bible institute run by Crisalinco (the folks who run the training center where the workshop was held) where all the students are indigenous.
The five newly trained Colombians told stories there on Thursday night to the students. The institute leadership listening were ‘impressed with the method.’”
Six months after the training, some workers in Colombia who had partnered on a language version of God’s Story sent us their newsletter.
They wrote asking for prayer for … “For God’s protection over the
Colombian missions team and what He accomplished through them during their stay in the 4 villages.”
They reported that “the Bible storying method helped people to understand God’s Word and His plan of salvation, that an entire family became believers, and that many have asked for more teaching.”
“We are so thankful for the 8 dedicated Crisalinco missionaries who gave of themselves to go and serve where we as expatriats have not been able to travel since 1995.
“Pray for the opportunities that God has given us to use and model the Bible storying as well, such as being able share the story of Daniel with a group of children and adults in a Ticuna village near Leticia this past May.”
We don’t refer to STS as “storying” as the two styles of using story are about 50% different in content. We wanted to know if the “storying” the worker referenced was STS, and to see if the visiting missionaries were the Colombians our team had previously trained. Wow! We were thrilled when we verified that the “storying” method they talked about was STS!
Guatemala: “Is Not Boring”
After a workshop, students at a Bible school gave their view of STS.
- “To study thoroughly”
- “God's word is not boring”
- “a lot more than I knew before”
- “how to tell a story in Spanish and in my dialect”
- [The Bible school's professor said this last student comment has been his prayer]....“I learned how to use the story first in application to my life."
Panama: Tribals Can’t Do Critical Thinking … We Were Told!
The training took place in a jungle. See Workshops Non-literates for full story
Peru: “Nature Isn’t God”
"A short time ago we gave some of the MegaVoices to animistic Mapuches in the Andes that we thought might use them for evangelism.
At first I told them the story of Nathan the Prophet that you had in your story telling materials, and suggested that they use these stories to "confront" the non-believers.
“One man was a new believer that had never been discipled, because he lives so far away and there is no church where he lives. My pastor friend, Daniel, had shown him the Jesus film and he and his wife prayed to receive Jesus.
“But, after listening to God’s Story in Mapudungun for a month he said, "Now I understand that God is the God of nature, and that nature isn’t god." And he began to play the GS for others in his community, including the Chief who has been quite anti-Christianity.” [God’s Story is a storytelling overview of the Bible, so once again we see that the stories of God speak to the deepest needs and misconceptions of mankind.
Peru: A Scary Bible Story Turns Real
“On our family mission trip to Peru, towards the end of the morning of our third day of STS training in Ollanta, in the Peruvian Amazon. We were training 37 pastors, evangelists and leaders who gathered for the training from up to 5 days canoe journey away.
“As I was teaching up front, we heard a loud cry go up from three houses down. "Rene has fallen, Rene has fallen!"
“Within moments the room was empty and I was left wondering what we were going to do about a guy who had fallen through a floor onto disgusting, sewage-covered ground more than 6 feet below. We were 36 hours boat ride from the nearest hospital and there was no airstrip nor radio to call in help quicker.
“Rene had fallen hard and his ankles were in such a mess he could not bear his own weight and he had felt the top part of his spine shudder and felt intense pain in his neck. He could neither walk, nor sit nor lie down. As I made my way slowly over to the gathered group noisily praying round Rene, I felt the Lord said to me, "Tell the Eutychus story!" (This is the story in Acts 20 of the man who fell 3 stories to his death when Paul was preaching one night.)
“Our middle daughter had adopted that story (of the 16 stories we as a family had prepared for this outreach), so I asked her to tell it in Spanish, which she did immediately.
“After a good telling I asked a couple of questions referring to parts of the story. We saw that Paul was focused and un-fussed by the disruption and distraction of the young man Eutychus falling out a window. We also saw in the story that although, the man's life "was in him" he did not come in among the rest until hours later when Paul had spent the rest of the night talking with the disciples and then departed!
“I asked everyone to pray, hooking our faith in the story (His Word) and we went off to lunch, leaving Rene in the capable hands of two or three friends.
“Two hours after praying for him and when we were back in the workshop training, Rene walked in unaided and alone, with a big smile on his face, and was received back with loud shouts and whoops of praise as all the STS students saw the hand of God had been at work. It was easy to discuss later the next day the ways we can use stories in our lives - even in the most traumatic of life's situations!”
Stories from the Dominican Republic
Mona Hook and Betsy Mabry
All conversations while in DR took place with a translator.
Housewives of Houston
Several ladies came to one STS workshop. These wives traveled with their church on a short term mission trip to Dominican. They decided to branch out and try using the new storytelling skills they gained in the workshop. As a result of the success they experienced on this trip, the church scheduled a workshop for their mission’s dept. They wanted to have everyone learn STS so that on their annual STM trip to Dominican they could lead a workshop for the Dominican believers! This report below chronicles what they experienced that prompted their church to design this STM trip workshop plan.
Storytelling worked very well in the Vacation Bible School for children second grade and older. It was also a fabulous tool for door to door visitation.
VBS Story: The Haitians
On the first day of VBS we told the story of Zacchaeus, so they had that as a foundational story.
On the second day of VBS we told the story of the man who gave the banquet in Luke 14:16-24. The story turned out to be very specific to this community. We were surrounded by rice fields which were being planted during the weeks we were there. There were many yoke of oxen that were employed to churn up the muddy land. So buying a land and oxen were very applicable to this culture.
In the 8 year old group we discussed the kind of people that the host invited after his initial invitation was refused. When we asked, “what kind of people did the host invite?” They replied, “The poor, the lame.” One girl replied, “The Haitians.” The Haitians are the lowest of the low in Dominican culture, so this little one grasped the profound nature of the host’s invitation.
In this group we asked children who wanted to accept the invitation of salvation. Many of them raised their hands. We prayed with them but there were too many to talk with individually, so we just trust God for the actual salvations from this group.
We told the story to all ages, but the most exciting response came from the oldest group who were 10-14 years old. They clearly saw the significance of refusing an invitation to a big dinner since their food is slightly above subsistence level.
They acknowledged that the excuses were flimsy, as they realized that to buy land or oxen you would have seen the land or oxen beforehand and inspected them closely. The children figured out that the banquet was a picture of heaven, and the host was God sending his servant son to extend the invitation. They correctly determined that the invitation was salvation.
Lastly, during application, we turned the question to whether any of them had accepted the invitation. Many said they had. When they put their hands down, we asked if there were any who wanted to accept the invitation of salvation, a few raised their hands. We asked the rest to leave and those who wanted to talk more about salvation to stay. When the room cleared there were at least 15 who stayed to talk and receive salvation. It was so exciting.
Door to door visitation story #1: Mind Had Been Opened
The first time Betsy did a story with people at their homes she told the story of Zacchaeus. There was a woman named Escolatica, a neighboring teenage girl named Darlain, and several children listening. Escolatica had a headache and looked very drained. She had been lying down. We told her we would come back, but she insisted we stay.
Our time went very well as we introduced the idea of story telling by asking them if they wanted to hear what the children had heard in Bible school. The woman was open to listening, so I told the story in a 40 minute format.
At the end during the application, I asked if she understood what salvation was. She was not sure. So, we went through the plan of salvation, and she prayed to receive Christ. Immediately she began smiling, and the entire countenance of her face changed. She stated that her “mind had been opened” in a new way. She also said that her headache was gone. It was a really exciting moment.
Door to door visitation story #2: Did Not Want to Be Bothered
Mona visited a house adjacent to our construction site. The weather was threatening thunderstorms. There were men from our team working on the wall immediately to the side of this home. Mona and others knocked on the door; the woman in the house answered, and in the background her husband was watching TV. (This home is very very small.) When we asked if we could visit, the man turned around in his chair indicating that he did not want to be bothered. So, the woman invited us to sit on the porch and brought out chairs for the team.
Mona asked if she had heard the VBS stories from her children. The wind had picked up, and the rain was driving down onto the porch. So, the woman said that they would have to go into the house. We brought all the chairs in and sat down. The husband turned off the TV and sat removed from the group.
As Mona started the Zacchaeus story, the man was barely listening. As the story progressed, he started inching his chair forward until he was in the circle. Finally, he sat with his elbows on the table leaning forward, actively listening.
During the lead through the man started answering before his wife, even though she was very involved and excited about the story.
At the application, when Mona asked them to define salvation, the wife’s answer indicated that she was depending on her works for salvation. Mona and the group clarified that salvation is by grace through faith alone.
Then she asked the woman if she wanted salvation to come to this house today. The woman flew out of her chair and stood up proclaiming, “Yes, I want salvation!” The husband stood up immediately as well saying that he wanted the group to pray with him. So, together they both prayed to trust Christ as their Savior. Throughout the time we could see a hardness in the man’s face, but by the time he prayed he was soft and glowing. You could just see the joy there.
On a final note, twenty feet away the construction men had no rain which would have delayed their work. One of the men had prayed for a bubble over their site. However, the rain was needed to drive the story telling into the house so that the man of the house would be saved!!!! God can direct the weather in very specific ways.
We had intended to show “God’s Story” on the Thursday night we were there. This couple came to the show. Unfortunately the rain was so intense that we had to forego the event. God’s timing is perfect… we just don’t know what that is.
Door to Door visitation story #3:
Betsy went to a home of woman named Juana. It was said that her husband, Cli, was very ill in the hospital, and so we went to pray with her. There were four women present, and a younger man stayed for the initial story telling time. Betsy told the story of The Bent Woman, Luke 13:10-17.
Immediately after the first telling of the story, one of the women very indignantly asked, “Why are 7th day Adventist so crazy about The Sabbath?” Betsy told her to hold that thought until later. We continued through a 40 minute story telling process.
When we got to application Betsy asked the woman to repeat her question. She said, “If I fell in a ditch on a Saturday, they would leave me to die.” (Sabbath and Saturday are the same word in Spanish so I actually don’t know which word she was meaning. I used a translator, but I also understood most of what the people are saying.)
Well, because I didn’t want to get bogged down in a heavy discussion, I asked her which person in the story most clearly represented her 7th Day Adventist acquaintance. She replied, “The ruler of the synagogue.” I asked her, “What were his main concerns, the laws of men or the well being of others?” She replied, “The laws of men.” I reminded her to recall this story the next time she had an altercation with these people. She sat back in thought and was satisfied.
This was an answer from God for Betsy as this cut right to the heart of the matter without getting into a lengthy dialogue about a subject that Betsy didn’t have a handle on.
After the story was finished we talked about salvation, and it was clear that these women were believers. We had a wonderful time of prayer for their needs and specifically for Cli’s health. I don’t know what his status is, but he is in the Lord’s hands. It was a great time together.
Other Door to Door Comments: Seeds Planted
I (Betsy) had another occasion to tell the banquet story, without any visible changes or dramatic testimony to tell. What I did notice is that men are very willing to listen to stories whereas before when using only a tract they would wander off. Seeds are being planted, and the Lord is over the harvest.