Shared Kingdom Vision
The mission of Scriptures In Use is to equip indigenous leaders and partner organizations worldwide to communicate the Scriptures using Oral Bible Strategies among unreached people groups. In fulfilling this mission, we have focused most of our efforts overseas. In 2017, we launched a new initiative to make the same training available to those from oral cultures who have relocated to the United States. As we launched this effort, we found a growing number of cross-cultural workers here in the States who wanted to learn how to effectively communicate the Gospel among oral communities. Through the years, many opportunities have arisen for SIU to come alongside ministries and sending organizations to equip those preparing for cross-cultural ministry among oral communities. There is always more demand than we can meet. God used an existing friendship and shared Kingdom vision to create a new partnership between Scriptures In Use and TRAIN International (TRAIN) to help meet this need.
What started off as a conversation between friends grew into several collaborative training events. These shared training events led to the development of a formal partnership and the launching of TELL under TRAIN.
New Partnership for Kingdom Impact
TRAIN International is a ministry focused on equipping people in cross-cultural ministry and helping them stay effective. Through this partnership, we assisted TRAIN in the creation of TELL, which is a training opportunity specifically designed to equip those without an oral culture background to reach and engage oral culture communities. SIU’s Bridges curriculum forms the backbone of the TELL training. We are so excited to see SIU’s years of experience and learning used to encourage and empower cross-cultural workers as they prepare to do the work God has called them to.
We worked alongside men and women from TRAIN for two years to facilitate multiple TELL events. During these events we had the privilege of watching, both those new to ministry and those who have served for a long time, encounter unexpected truths about oral culture. In every training at least one participant has had an “aha moment” as they reflected on previous experiences in an oral setting and gained new insight and understanding into the heart and meaning behind the situation.
Participants find value in storytelling, both in their personal lives and in their ministry work or ministry preparation. One participant said, “This form of memorization is a different form of worship. Instead of me digging deep in the story, the story digs deep in me.” The power of memorizing and sitting in a story is a frequent takeaway.
Collaboration and the Body of Christ
We are excited to see what kingdom fruit the combination of TRAIN International’s cross-cultural ministry expertise and Scriptures In Use’s Orality and Storytelling expertise will produce. We thank the Lord for this collaborative effort. It has been a true pleasure to develop TELL with the TRAIN team and we look forward with great anticipation to what God will do as we continue to work together.
This collaborative effort embodies the ways of the kingdom, as the Lord values unity and diversity in the Body of Christ as stated in 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (NIV)
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Engage in the Word of God through Story
We will share and promote upcoming TELL training events as they become available. If you are not already involved with SIU Bridges training, I highly encourage you to consider attending one of these events, whether online or eventually in person. I am confident you will be encouraged and equipped as you engage in the Word of God through story.