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Training Info:

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Graduation
__
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Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Info:

Workshops

Oral Schools:

__Audio Interviews
__OBS Results
__
Graduation
__
OBS Locations

Practitioner Audio

Certify Leaders

After A Workshop

Multiplication
Strategies



Preliminary Report from Fact-Finding Trip of STS Oral Bible Schools, (OBS)
Kenya and Philippines


Kenya

(Preliminary draft from fact-finding an outside team gathered in the field.)

In March 2010, our Kenyan leadership 007_Africa_Men_Retelling_Storystarted a pilot STS-OBS in Vihiga, Western Kenya, for 12 men. In August another STS-OBS started in Vihiga, this one for women.

Two others began at the same time in Embu, and near Mombassa and three more began in September and November.



The Team

The International Director of The God's Story Project, along with an independent representative from the Nazarene Church and two video/audio technicians traveled to Kenya to verify and document the results of STS-OBS.

The representative from the Nazarene Church has 13 years of missionary experience and 6 years of seminary training. He provided outside observation to maintain objectivity during the information gathering process. The video/audio technicians recorded all discussions for future verification and reference if needed. Translation was necessary.

[Notice on right column, in the box labeled "Videos," is a short DVD called. Africa Bush Fire. First hand you can hear African leaders and villagers share the impact of Simply The Story upon their lives and ministry effectiveness. Half you will see are STS-OBS students, many of whom are not-literate.]



Summary Observations

In four months the students in Vihiga all knew the content of 120 Bible stories.  Most stories ranged in length from 10 to 30 verses. Students were able to discuss the spiritual content of the stories in depth and could make many applications to their and others’ lives today. The mean average of stories they could tell without review was about 39. Their biblical accuracy during those retellings was 89%.

Stories were picked at random by the interviewer from the list the students had learned in STS-OBS.

From this random testing, it was determined that seven of the students probably did know all 120 stories well. The other five students knew an average of 47 stories each. The non-literates tested lowest. We observed that the non-literate could learn stories more quickly than the literate, but the lack of access to many recorded stories made the needed review of stories difficult for these students.


Description of People Interviewed

Students interviewed were a mixture of literate, functionally illiterate, and non-literate. They were men and women, single and married, some with children, and their ages ranged from 20’s to 60's. The students were a mixture of pastors, evangelists, and lay people. All interviewed had as wide range of length of time as believers.


Bible Passages, Accuracy and Depth

No two people in each group did the same Bible passage and a combination of Old and New Testament passages were shared. The stories people told from the Bible ranged from 80% to 100% accurate when told the first time without review.

Only a few of the told stories were less than 90% accurate, and none less than 80%.  When less than 100%, typically small details were left out, and on no occasion were details added. All the people knew the main parts of the Bible story they chose to tell.

After approximately five minutes of review on different stories, everyone’s accuracy of essential information ranged from 90-100%.  

It was very clear that people had spent their four months of school time learning Bible passages and they could easily share many passages without review.

Percentages are approximate due to translation, as at times the translator struggled to find the right English word, but clearly evidence showed strong knowledge of the Bible story.    

After telling the Bible story, we asked the people to share with us what they saw in the story. Every person was able to offer at least one Spiritual Observation, or more, that was based on the story and Biblically provable.


Interview Proceedings

Most discussions were generally conducted in groups of two to four people.

No one interviewed had prior knowledge of the questions we asked or knew that they would be telling a Bible passage for us.

All twenty-four students in Vihiga (twelve men and twelve women), as well as twelve students in Embu, were interviewed.

The women’s school in Vihiga, and the men’s school in Embu, had both been in session for two weeks. These students had learned 20 to 22 stories. They all experienced the random testing for verification and it was determined that they could retell any story with 90% or better accuracy.


Replication factor

Through interviews and meeting people, the documenting was able to see seven- generation replication of practitioners who could use of story and deeply discuss Bible stories with others. The documenting team saw fourth-generation instructors.


Testimonies of Spiritual Results of STS Oral Bible Schools

All of the students shared testimonies of results using Bible stories in evangelistic and discipleship situations. Many expressed gratefulness for having the STS training, and told how it has helped them to have depth and understanding of the Scriptures.  

The women’s school in Vihiga, Western Kenya, began after the women came to cook for the men. The ladies heard the stories and found them to be interesting. When the men practiced stories on the women, with spiritual observations and spiritual applications, the women announced, “We need this for ourselves.” It was the spiritual observations and applications that really caught their hearts.

A new shift of ladies came to cook when the men came back for their second school session of two weeks. An argument ensued as the first set of ladies who cooked came back too!  The first and second sets of ladies, all refused to leave!  That hunger and desire to learn Bible birthed the school for women!



Results From STS-OBS Students, Kenya


“Discussing, helps us remember stories better.”

Non-Literates and Literates Learn Together

Each interviewer interacted with both educated and uneducated people. Interestingly, members of one group interviewed expressed the same sentiment.  They said, “After going through STS training, we discovered most of us didn’t know much, But now, everyone feels equal and we all want to learn together. Now those who can read are not elevating themselves. Now our pastor doesn’t elevate literacy [above spirituality.]”


Experiencing Depth in the Word

“I couldn’t pursue secular education so I went to Bible school for 3 yrs. After Bible school, I served with a pastor. Then I was assigned a congregation to lead. I served as assistant pastor for five years. Then I heard about STS Oral Bible School. I felt this would be good with oral learners who I pastor. First, it was a workshop then the STS-OBS. I liked the process of going deeper into the story. I went and shared at home and they were excited. What is even more exciting was at my church. They never experienced such depth in teaching in his congregation.”

“Since STS Bible I am coming to know Bible deeper.” Beatrice

Many expressed when in OBS class, that the words of the Bible touch their hearts deeper as if God is talking to them personally.

One man explained his favorite story. “John and Peter and the lame man at the Gate Beautiful. I like the faith and patience of the lame man to listen to Peter and John’s other options.”

Another woman likes blind Bartemaeus. “It encourages me that its ok to shout out, even when people tell me to be quiet, because God listens, because I’m not making noise to the people, I'm talking to God.”

A woman who is part of women’s corp (associations of women working together to save money and share revenue) shares stories with the ladies. “No women in the corp are saved yet. But they like the stories because it’s different. They see a difference in the depth of process. They say. ‘It’s very good.’”

“Really teaches us deep things. Our pastors just brush the surface.”


Changing Individuals, Families and Villages

“In my church, our pastor went to learn to be a teacher, so I took over church. I started doing STS, but my Bible school experience was very shallow. But using STS I didn’t need a lot of commentaries or books because I can follow the story. People get the depth of the story. It helps in my study and teaching and helps me to love and enjoy the word of God.
Joseph

One woman was involved in another program that works with orphans. I work together with a lady who teaches orphans and she told me about STS. STS changed me first and also my home. Initially, my husband did not want to hear about God and the Word. Now my husband has given me the freedom to come to STS-OBS. With assignments to take home, my husband is involved in reading and I go back and share with him.”

“STS, it helps me, when problem arises, to solve it in a humble and godly way, not publishing my problems to others.”

“Now STS is coming direct to us personally. Life is changed. Before, it was general. Now I’m trying to help others in community with what we've learned. We never used to have teachings in the community.”

One woman shared that she told stories to a drunkard husband and his wife. Now, in only a couple of weeks, they come to church and are being baptized.

“There’s a difference between salvation and after STS. Before I was a bit of a coward and now I feel I can share and even with children.”

“Now I talk to more people about the lord. People are really interested. I’ve been taking it to community and now it’s serious.”

“Now children want to go to church.”

“With my in-laws there’s a change because I’ve been touched by stories. When I’m trouble, I can lean on stories.”

“When I’m leaving to come to STS-OBS class, the children are excited.”

Three of the pastors’ wives shared, “Before STS, it was responsibility of our husbands to preach. Now we share responsibility. Now our husbands discuss the Bible stories at home, so that our whole family is responsible for learning together.”  

“Before our husbands prepared alone. Now together we prepare. We like it. It is bringing the family together.”

“Stories are bringing fellowship because neighbors come to hear stories and now they want to join the class.”

“I like the observations first, then applications. For many years pastors preached at us and tend to [act innocent themselves] so they don’t take responsibility on what’s being taught. From this [STS] the pastors took responsibility and they all benefit equally. They [pastors] see themselves in the story.”

“My husband is not a believer. I discuss with him and respect his authority. He let me participate. He likes the teaching and the stories but has not made decision.”

“Youth love it because they’re used to elders lecturing them. They don’t like that and don’t think they’re being listened to. Here they become active and get to discuss.”

Several women said, “When people in church, people are hiding in sin because no discussion or impact of message. Just surface, not touching people. It’s easy to use even without a lot of training, has results, people confess sin, make commit to take action on their sin, easy to prepare when going to do ministry.”


Growth in the Leadership and Church Body

I’m witnessing a growth in ministry, a growth in leadership, in the Word and
ability to lead. I lacked depth in Word. I couldn’t explain or share what is
in it. Now I see growth in the lives of those I teach. I was single when I started STS, now I’m married one month. I’m doing STS three months.”

“When using story in church, it’s equal for everyone, even children at 5 years as long as they can talk are contributing. It helps in my family. I am sharing with my mom who can’t read and is leader in church, now she is able to demonstrate leadership.”

“Church is no longer boring. Now they want to stay longer to discuss.”

“They’re [non-literates] more open and willing to be in Bible school. They’re more excited to come and learn. It’s a journey together. Now they’re going and retelling the stories to others. Before they just attended.”

“Before STS, there was no time to witness. Now we are practicing in church and our numbers growing.”


Simply The Story (STS)

Oral Bible School (OBS) Philippines


Superintendent's Three Month Observations
and
Graduates "Report Cards" at Six Months

[First three month of six. Students are low to non-literate Mountain people. Reports below are in the words of a person whose first language is not English.] 

We found the Oral Bible school is much more different to the oral that I did before.
Oral Bible school is more effective than the literacy like more in understanding of the word of God. The students that we have is more highly advanced in what learned compare to the literacy Bible school.

How different?

Literacy Bible school: Is much more in focusing on every word in the context  that we read. We do charting, and lots time doing it and the results are losing treasure in it and the scene or content of the story. We found out that’s the reason why the students growth in spiritual are very slow. Literacy system needs more materials like white board and nice facilities and also some marker, in other words the demand of financial matter are high.

Oral Bible school: More focusing in every scene of the story in finding a lot of treasures that are most important to us. The good things also in Oral style is that our students notify is of their hearts change and their understanding about the word of God is deeper compare to the literacy Bible school that we did last year. The class is not just for educated.

But even the non literates can get rich of this class. Right now I have 2 students are very slow in reading, but because of this style they able to learned and see as the others do also.


The teacher times are good compared to the teacher of the literacy that needs lots of preparations in materials compare to the oral style that only the story in the Bible. Before we use a lot of references from different theologians in order to convinced our students.

The truth of this we have 4-students right now who studied from XXX Bible school where I was teaching before. Reason they studied here in oral way is they are fruits of my previous teaching so they desire to study in our school.

Their testimony about how it different to the Bible school that they study in before is they said "right now the study of the Word not for the people but for us." And they said before they don’t really enjoy to study more the Word of God. But in oral way it become more real and the joy that they have in oral it gives them. They now spent more and more time to study the word of God.

They said the story in the Bible that they studied before they don’t expect that God has talking to them. They said they never see any body in the class of the students will cried because of the treasure in the story. They never see in the class before that the teacher touch by the students during the discussion, but in oral way most of the time.

This type of teaching is for every one, not like before is only for the educated person who can do a lot. They said is much more economy because no pens and notebooks and any paper to record in the class.

The students wanted to finish the 6-months. We do the prayer that God will provide food money for other 3-months more.

The teachers comments:  We are bless doing the oral way because the difference that we did before in literacy was we prepare most for the students. Only us. And sometimes we teach some topics that even we are not really sure only because many people believed so we teach, but biases is there. We teachers we change our hearts and our attitudes by the treasure that we found when we prepare the story. The treasure are so real and powerful.

Not like before. We so busy doing the wordings in the context and yet not seeing the treasure in it. This style will bring us down to humble our selves and only Jesus glorify.

Not us anymore. Praise the Lord!! E.B.



STS-OBS Negros, Philippines

Wrap-Up Report After Six Month School Term

 


The students the writer "E.B." referenced in the earlier paragraphs above as being at the three month milestone have now completed their six months’ term and graduated.

Five STS instructors (two from the Philippines, two from the US and one from Australia) attended the graduation. The nine students (out of the original twelve who started in this school) told a Bible story of their selection to the instructors. They also told a story that was selected at random by the visiting instructors from the list of Bible stories the superintendent said the students had learned.  

Besides telling the story, the students shared some of what they had discovered spiritually in the story and told how the six months of school had impacted them and their families.

The superintendent had told us at the three month mark that the students knew an average of 20 stories each. This number seemed very low to us considering how hard we knew the students had been working and how long the school days had been.

Through an investigative phone conversation, it was discovered that the superintendent had trained the students to memorize the stories. He had not yet clearly understood the style of remembering we teach in STS. (See the fun story of this episode of memorizing/remembering discovery). When this Filipino leader finally understood how much easier it is to do what we in STS call “remembering” a story, and that remembering did NOT compromise the integrity of the Word of God, he quickly taught that skill to the students.

Amazingly, the total number of stories learned by the students in the second three months of the school averaged one hundred and ten stories! YES, remembering is easier than memorizing. The total number of stories learned in the six months by the students ranged from 100 to 150 stories!

As well as the quantity of stories learned being impressive, the impact on the lives of the students, their families and their ministries also greatly encourages us to move forward as quickly as possible in establishing these Oral Bible Schools. (Ministry began during the six-month school term both locally on weekends and during a few visits back to the mountain area that these students call home.)

[As our dedicated and overwhelmed volunteer staff can transcribe the student reports, we plan to post them on this site. Below are some of the students’  “report cards.”]



Report on Graduating Filipino Student #1, “J”

Student Profile
“J,” along with another OBS graduate, “H,” alternate as pastors in a mountain church accessible by motor bike.

In six months of STS Oral Bible School training, J, a 50 year-old man, learned more than 100 stories and was able to tell the stories word for word! This man J, married with a family, although a functionally literate person, loved the assignments of learning these stories by listening. 

Student Story Selection
The favorite Bible story J selected to tell was The Brass Serpent.  He told the story with 100% accuracy.

Spiritual Observations
He explained how God brought fear of Himself into the lives of the Israelites as they were traveling on their way to the Promised Land. When the Israelites had become afraid of dying without food and water, they complained against God and Moses. God then sent snakes that bit the Israelites and then they were so afraid.

Random Story Selection
Next, Blind Bartimeus was selected as the random story for J to do.

So J began, "There was a blind man, named Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, who was begging at the side of the road.  Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by and shouted, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.’ Jesus stopped; and said, ‘What can I do for you?’

“ ‘I want to see.’  And at that moment he was healed.  And he praised the Lord and followed Jesus.”

Spiritual Observations
J continued, saying how he saw that the blind man sat and begged--he was so needy. But Bartimaeus had faith in Jesus that Jesus could make Bartimaeus well.

Student Testimony
As J pressed his hand to his heart, he poured out, “I can not express the joy inside my heart that I feel. I'm really joyful because of now I know how to study the word of God.”

"Because of what I learned here at the OBS, I have changed. I was prideful and now, because of what I've learned, I'm able to humble myself.  With the Godly character that I have now, I can teach my family, not like before."



STS-OBS School Superintendent's Observations

“When I first met J in the mountains, he was a drunkard who tried to stop me from church planting. Now because of J, the church in mountain is growing, even young people enjoying and praising the Lord. As result of J’s testimony, some of those young people are desiring to study or come to OBS.“



Report on Graduating Filipino Student #2, “H”


Student Profile
Two OBS graduates, “J” and "H" alternate as pastors in a mountain church accessible by motor bike.

H, a functionally literate 52 year-old man, is married with a family.

Student Story Selection
The Lost Axe Head, found in 2 Kings 6:1-7, is H's favorite Bible story. He told the story with 98% accuracy. Maybe missed that Elisha went with the students.

Spiritual Observations
[Most of this student’s observations were a repeat of the story content. At the end of his speech, he showed some awareness of the spiritual content of the story.]

The sons of the prophets had needs due to the living quarters being small.  Because of this circumstance, the sons of the prophets chose to ask of Elisha to go to the Jordan to get wood.

Elisha made a choice to go with the disciples. H saw the problem the disciples had of losing the axe head and that the axe head floating was a miracle.

This graduate also commented that the miracle would not have happened if the students had not involved Elisha in their project.

Random Story Selection
Zacchaeus was picked for H to do as his "surprise" story. He did a fairly thorough job of remembering the story. 

"Jesus went to Jericho," H started, "and He sees Zacchaeus, the tax collector.  Zacchaeus, desiring to see Jesus, but being very short, ran away from the crowd and climbed the sycamore tree.  When Jesus passed by, He looked to Zacchaeus, and said, 'Zacchaeus, come down, because I'm going to eat at your house.' Suddenly Zacchaeus came down and received Jesus with joy.

The people murmured, grumbling, ‘Why is that man eating with the sinner?’ And Jesus said, "Today is salvation come in this house. And the Son of Man came down to seek the lost. And this man is a descendant of Abraham."

Spiritual Observations
Even Zacchaeus, who is very rich, desired to see Jesus himself.

Even though Zacchaeus is short, he decided to run away from the crowd for the purpose that the crowds couldn't block Zacchaeus from seeing Jesus, because Zacchaeus desires to have salvation in his house.

Student Testimony
"When I came to OBS, I was so joyful because my life changed because the Lord was talking in my heart. All the vices that I had are gone.

"The learning that I have now, about how good God is in life, that pushed me to tell others about Him. I am really happy. I feel a close relationship with Jesus because of the school.  

"Because of the amazing things I learned even though I'm uneducated, I can learn to study the Bible. This gives me courage to tell family and community." The vices I got rid of are drinking, cigarettes and fighting.

STS-OBS School Superintendent's Observations
He was amazed at what he learned in OBS. What he felt here in OBS pushed him out to share more.  Even though people in his community were telling him he no longer fit in, he had courage to continue because he learned more about God. He stayed in OBS in spite of others mocking that he was too old to be studying in school.  



Report on Graduating Student #3, “RSD”


Student Profile
At 21 years old, RSD is unmarried and a preferred oral communicator.  

Student Story Selection
RSD told his favorite Bible story of the two blind men in Matthew 20:29-34,100% perfectly.

Spiritual Observations
RSD said that he saw that the character of the two blind men was that they kept on following Jesus. The two blind men showed their faith in Jesus when they shouted, "Son of David" and when they answered Jesus' question. Even though they couldn't see, they kept following after Jesus; even though nobody cared about their situation, they followed Jesus by hearing. Even Jesus didn't pay attention to them when they called “Son of David,” they still chose to follow Jesus to the house.

This graduate stated, “I see Jesus in the story, that He's really powerful. Jesus’ character is love and mercy to the two blind men, even though the two blind men have infirmities. But that did not bother Jesus. He still showed love and mercy, giving hope to the two blind men who had no hope. Jesus saw the heart of people when Jesus asked the question, and based on the fact that they believed they were healed.”

Random Story
The interviewer asked RSD to tell the story of Abram and Sarai's trip to Egypt and the lie. He was able to tell it nearly 100% accurately. (Genesis 12:10-20)

So, RSD told it this way. “There was a famine in land of Canaan. Abram planned to go to Egypt together with his wife Sarai.

“While traveling, Abram looked to his wife and said, ‘You are a very beautiful woman. When the Egyptians see your beauty, they will kill me.’ Abram said, ‘Please tell them you are my sister so they don't kill me because of you.’

“When they arrived in Egypt, the officials and princes in the palace saw Sarai's beauty, and Pharaoh took Sarai to be his wife.

“Pharaoh treated Abram well, giving him lambs, and oxen, and men servants and female servants.

“That night the Lord God sent a severe sickness to Pharaoh and his house. Pharaoh called Abram, ‘What have you done? You say she is your sister, but she's your wife. Because of that I almost committed sin.

“So get away from here--the land of Egypt.’ And Pharaoh sent an official to send Abram and Sarai and all his livestock out of Egypt.”

Spiritual Observations
RSD stated that Abram made the wrong decision because the famine was so bad. The result of his wrong decision was that he lied. 

God's character was seen. RSD said, “Even though Abram was not choosing to talk to Him, still God was with him because of God's promise to Abram. In spite of Abram's forgetting God's word, God still showed favor to Abram.

“The impact of the lie was that sickness came to Pharaoh's whole house.

“Sarai chose to listen to Abram even though he lied. I see Abram's character … that he doubted that God's promise would happen. He doubted because of the famine and because he was afraid Pharaoh would kill him.”  

Student Testimony
RSD described this way what OBS had done for him. “I learned to look at the story from the Bible in a way that I can see myself from the story like a mirror.

“The things I've learned changed my life and my heart and my mind. In fact, my faith in God is strengthened more and more. I found that my negative character slowly changed as I looked at the stories. 

“Through doing these stories, I understand more deeply about God.  

“Because of this kind of learning, it's pushing me to share with others what I've learned--I can't stop myself.  Because of this school, God allows me to share His stories in different places and going out to other places giving stories.

“This OBS is the first time in my life that I could teach children and even adults.

“My friends and relatives noticed big changes in my life, because all the vices I had before are gone.

“My family didn't want to send me to this school but they accept me now because they notice the big changes in my life.”

STS-OBS School Superintendent's Observations
“This young man applied and came to the school as the fruit of a youth conference I led using STS. He felt God led him to learn this system. At the time people called him a Christian but he wasn't a Christian. But at the youth seminar, he became a Christian.

“The Jars of Oil story at the seminar impacted him. When he became aware that his family didn't want him to come to the OBS, I encouraged, him telling him that lots of young people are like him. If he listens to God's call, he'll impact more young people like him."



Report on Graduating Filipino Student #4, “MJH”


Student Profile
MJH is 22 years old. He graduated from a traditional Bible school and now is an STS Oral Bible School graduate as well. MJH is married and his wife “JLN” is also a new STS OBS graduate who is expecting their first baby any day.

[The reporter conversing with this graduate describes the discussion.] “I saw him do a story at the graduation ceremony. He really engaged me even though I couldn't understand the language. MJH knew his story well and the questions flowed easily. He had good responses and he listened with interest and responded with more questions. He included the whole audience in the questioning.

“When I spoke with MJH, he told me his story of choice, Daniel 6:13-27. He told it to me with 98 % accuracy. It may be that the difficulty he had speaking the second language of English made it less than absolutely perfect because MJH knew the story well!

“Next I asked MJH to tell the Zacchaeus story, which was a random story that I selected off of the list of 120 stories he was supposed to know. He was also 98% accurate in his telling. He left out that Zacchaeus was a short man and chief tax collector. Again, I think it was because of his struggle to tell it in English, because he knew those facts.

“He told me some of the spiritual observations and applications that he saw in this story.”

Spiritual Observations
"Zacchaeus was short man, but he did not let that hinder him in seeing Jesus. He wanted to see Jesus so much that he ran and climbed a tree. He didn't care that even the people that see him think he is crazy seeing a tax collector climbing a tree. He just did it.

"Now, in my personal life whenever I'm in a situation when I want to see or follow Jesus, I will not see the weakness. For example, even though I can't speak English well, that part of my life is not considered good. You see, in our Filipino culture, if you can not speak English, or speak it good, people see such a person as so low, and I could be ashamed. Now I will not let that stop me, because Jesus don't see that part; Jesus sees my heart.

"That's why God sent me to STS. I'm not ashamed with whatever God tells me to do like telling me, “You will be a pastor,” coz I have no educational background, but with God it doesn't matter. He sees my heart. In my weakness, He will provide the strength for me, not me provide the strength.

"Also I saw that Jesus wouldn't listen to what the people say, coz He know what they going to say. He departed himself from them and went with a sinner, He didn't depart Himself from Zacchaeus even though he was a sinner

"That application to me is that Jesus showed that example not to depart from the sinner, so I will not select who is a sinner or who is a rich man because the heart of Jesus was to share with the lost. That is why He came. Whenever I have the opportunity to share, I will, with the man on the street, even the lowest people in the Philippines. I need to share the love of Christ because that is the heart of Jesus.

"I notice that when I give a story I often have different observations than before, because I learn new things."



Report on Graduating Filipino Student #5, “JLN”


Student Profile
JLN is 25 years old and the wife of student #4, MJH.

Student Story Selection
[The reporter said that JLN chose to tell John 1:43-51 and it was 100% accurate, even in English!

Her observations were weak and mostly history.  But JLN said she was encouraged when Jesus said to Nathaniel that “you will see greater miracles than these,” and that the things Jesus said would happen.”

Spiritual Applications
JLN was looking back in her life and seeing the miracles Jesus had done and was encouraged to look for the other miracles Jesus had done. This is what she said.

"I am looking for the miracles Jesus will do in me. Now that the time is close that my baby is due, I am scared, but this verse encourages me. When I became pregnant, I had lots of problems, thyroid problems. We had financial problems coz we had to spend much money, more than a 1,000 to the Dr. for medicines and lab tests.

"I see miracles from God that He has taken care of me, and used people to provide the medicine and lab tests. I believe this is a miracle from God coz I don't know how or what but He took care. Also what Philip did, encouraged me."

Random Story
The reporter picked the Jars of Oil as a random story for JLN to tell. This is how JLN told it]

"A woman came to Elisha and told him that her husband died who is Elisha's disciple who was a prophet. And she told Elisha the person from whom her husband borrowed money came to her house and told her to pay the debt of her husband. And the widow told Elisha that instead of money, the creditor will just take her sons as payment of her husband’s debts.

"Elisha asked her what she had in her house and she said she didn't have anything in her house but only a little oil in a jar. Elisha instruct her to go back home and borrow many jars from her neighbors and go back home and close the door and start to pour the oil into the jars and so the woman followed what Elisha had instructed her and went back home and tell her sons to borrow jars from their neighbors.

"And so they did it and afterward they went inside to their house and closed the door and poured oil into the jars until all the jars were full and the mother said give me more jars and her sons told her we don't have empty jars left.

"After that, the woman went back to Elisha and asked, ‘What shall we do with the oil?’ and Elisha said ‘Sell it and the money use to pay the debt of your husband and the other you can use for your living, use for you and your sons."

The reporter asked, “Did you say the oil stopped flowing?”

JLN said, “I forgot. Yeah, when the jars are already full the oil stopped.”

Spiritual Observations
"The woman, when the problem came to her, she went to Elisha. She knew where to go. She chose to go to Elisha, the servant of God.

"How God provides for her what she needs at that time. I mean it's not late. At the time when she asks Elijah, God provides, amazing way. It's impossible to happen but not for God.

"Also, what Elisha did for the woman, he just asked the widow what was in her house. Elisha could have helped her with money, but he didn't do it. He just let the woman trust God. He instructed her on what she should do so she would discover for herself on what God can do in that situation."

Spiritual Applications
"For me the application is the problem of the hurry. The person who her husband borrowed money is already come and asking for the payment, but the woman knew where to go. For me when I put myself in her situation maybe I go to some lender, but she didn't do it. She chose to go for advice and help to a man of God. It encouraged me I should know where to go in my problem, my situation.

"Also how God provides her money she needs. In every difficulty, every need, I just need to trust God to do miracles in amazing ways, in ways I don't expect to happen. It is an encouragement to trust God in every situation.

"Also if someone will come to me and ask for help I will be able to help her, but we need to be wise. Sometimes our heart is saying, I want to help her help myself, but this story encourages me to be wise, to help that person to trust the Lord. We need to point that person to Jesus."

Effect of STS in a Marriage and Ministry
[Both of the Philippine Oral Bible School graduates, #5 JLN and graduate #4 her husband MJH, shared many examples of how they are using STS.]

JLN:
“Before we decided to study in this school, we heard STS from a workshop seminar and we joined.”

MJH:
“First it helped our marriage. Before we learned that only the husband knows how to hear from God. But we learned that is not true. Even my wife sees greater things than me. Also, before going to sleep we share the stories and one time we are sleeping and my eyes can't stop what I see in the story, the observation, and I am crying.

“The basis of our marriage is in the Word of God. When we have tension of any kind we share the stories.

JLN:
“We had Bible study at our house and we used some written programs.  When we learned STS, we switched it. Before STS, the people were so silent and just listening, mentally absent. In STS the people were so interested in the story and it helps them to bring new people.

MJH:
“Also, our Bible study starts at 7:30 and there is a Filipino TV drama that is on at that time. So I was always struggling, because people want to watch the drama first. I look at the watch and they not so interested that they acknowledge that it is 7:30, and it is time to start the Bible Study and they moan, ‘Ohhhh, we have to start.’ But since STS, they turn off the TV and are excited to start. We don't have to tell them.

“One thing, I see that they spend more time in the Bible. One way I encourage them to ask them to learn the story before the Bible study. With other material they are not interested to study for themselves, but with STS they are challenged and are ready to volunteer to tell the story. And they say it accurately.

“They have own personal study. For example, an old person will ask their granddaughter to read the story to them. Three more people came to the study that some class members invited. ME - What do you think makes the people so interested amd come prepared?

MJH:
“It's not me that's always talking. They can share what is on their heart. In the story we have here, for example, a man can find what is the observation in the story, and it becomes a comfort to him coz someone cares.

[Reporter asked. “Do they stay with the story with what they are sharing or just anything that's in their heart?”]

MJH:
“No, they stay with the story. Sometimes with their sharing, we have the opportunity to fix it. But sometimes it is said well coz they are so spiritually good. In STS, they share the root problem and we ask, “But what is in the word of God?”

“For example, one of the members of the church had a problem with immorality. She engaged to a boy in Australia, but she has another Filipino boyfriend. The Australian gave the girl money and she and the Filipino boyfriend spent it. The Filipino boyfriend just agreed with her in doing this.

“During STS in our Bible study we are in Joseph's life where Potifar's wife comes to him and Joseph says, ‘No! Your husband has entrusted all things to me, but not you! We came to the STS application that if your husband was not around and there comes another boy are you faithful to your husband? That woman was engaged but was not faithful to him. She didn't say that in the crowd, but she told later to my wife and myself.

[Reporter asked, “So what did she do about it?”]

MJR:
“He admitted it, and she made changes. She told the Australian, and is now married to the Filipino. Before that we don't know what she did, but after the STS, she told me and I was shocked coz I didn't know of it.

“If you are a pastor and use STS, there is less pressure for example if your member is struggling sinning. You don't need to force him to tell the truth. You tell a story, and the story itself will tell him and he will discover it.

JLN:
“I have less pressure in sharing the gospel. My family is not of the Christian faith, and before I would open the Bible with them and they would just debate me. But with STS, I shared Mary and Martha with them and they listened and answered the questions. Sometimes if they were trapped in their answers they would change the topic.

[Reporter asked, “Did they get anything out of the stories you told?]

JLN:
“I don't see results yet, but now I can just share the gospel from the story and there’s no debating, we just discuss, ‘what is the story about?’”

MJH:
“STS is a stepping stone for me, people will listen now. It is a great experience when I learned STS. Sometimes I tell the story to my sister and have my sister retell and do the observations.

"Also in evangelism, even a person I didn't know, they pour out their situation, testimony, even when we do not know them well yet. They do in response to the story.

JLN “It is helpful in reaching out to the literate and non literate. Some in our Bible study can’t read coz of eye problem, or can't read at all, so they listen to someone. My husband is planning to be a church planter and STS will help us a lot. We will simply tell the story and make friends, sharing the stories.”

[Reporter asked, “I was curious about when you were telling of your unsaved friends who were listening to the stories. Do they recognize God’s character in the stories, what He's really like?"]

MJH:
“Yes. Sometimes. But usually they look at the attitude of the people in the story.

“When in a restaurant and a stranger is eating alongside at same place we say one to another, ‘Tell a story to me,’ and of course others listen.”



Report on Graduating Filipino Student #6, “JHN”


Student Profile
JHN, 17 and unmarried, is functionally literate, reading on a primary 5 level, comparable to 12 year old reader. He is slow in understanding a paragraph.

Student Story Selection
JHN selected as his favorite story Cain and Abel, Genesis 4:1-16 and told it with 100% correctness, not as a memorized story, word for word, but with precise content remembered.

Spiritual Observations
"Cain was so desperate (upset) when his offering was not accepted by God. Cain was given an opportunity to make a choice to ask God and brother what to do.  We know this because God asked Cain why he was angry so he could bring the right sacrifice. God is always giving Cain a chance.

Random Story Selection
JHN was not able to do the Centurion story or the Paul's Shipwreck story. He couldn't remember them. But he was able to tell the Acts 3:1-10 story of the man at the Gate Beautiful with 90% correctness.

"One day, at 3 o clock in the afternoon, John and Peter went to the Temple to pray.  When they were ready to go inside the temple, there was a lame man on the side, and the lame man begged of John and Peter.  While begging, Peter said to the beggar, "Look at me, I have nothing, but the only thing I can give you is the name Jesus of Nazareth.”

"The lame man stood and his knees were strengthened, and he followed Peter. After that he was jumping and praising the Lord. The people were amazed when they saw him. This is the lame man in their path and now he's healed."

Spiritual Observations
"The lame man believed what Peter said to him at the time. When Peter gave the Name of Jesus to him, in that moment the man stood. Peter's character in the story shows in his mercy showed to the lame man.

"The crowd was amazed. I felt the impact on the crowd of their being amazed showed that they saw that it was a big miracle that took place right in front of them." (The interviewer asked, “What does this tell you about miracles they normally have?”  JHN responded, “Not normal.”

Student Testimony
"The first time I've learned a story, it changed my life.

"The most important thing from Bible school that I learned was how to adjust myself and I see clearly how I am. Because of what I have learned, it is not only changing me but also my family. This is because when I share with my family what I have learned, it changes them.

"From many stories, I now know how to stand firm to face trials and difficulties in my life. Because of what I learned, I am joyful to see the changes and goodness in my life. I have learned from Bible school that only God and His Word can change people when they understand what God says.

"In my old life, life was about having money and attempting to do vices even though I was young. When I came to OBS and learned about God, my motivation and vision changed."

"The moment my father was killed, I thought my life was useless. Jesus Christ gave me peace in my heart, when I clearly understood about Jesus Christ.

"Even though I wanted to quit OBS because of the study involved, God gave me guidance through a story and taught me.  Now, though I am young, I've learned while here and I believe God wants to use me."