You Can Make a Difference with the Unreached!
Three of the unique unreached people group opportunities shared with us by our active partners in the field are the Digo (in Kenya and Tanzania), the Koya (in South India) and the Waray Waray (in the Philippines).
Digo (in Kenya and Tanzania)
The Mijikenda Digo are an East African tribe who live along the coastal strip of Kenya and Tanzania. Nearly all Digo are Muslim. Less than 4% are followers of Christ. Islam is more widely accepted among the Digo than among any of the other Mijikenda tribes. Nevertheless, ties with traditional practices, such as animism and ancestor worship, still have more influence on the Digo community than does Islam. The work to train up local storytellers is progressing well. Though it started in Kenya, it is moving into Tanzania.
Koya (in South India)
SIU Partner testimony:
“We have to walk several kilometers on the mountain pathways to reach the “Koya Tribals” – Telugu speaking Tribals. Missionaries must travel for several days to reach these villages and traditionally have been unable to make much progress in reaching this people group with the Gospel. Some churches are established in these remote areas in their own traditional way. Here and there some ethnic leaders are willing to undertake storytelling training and reach them with the Gospel. We wish to offer our SIU training to these leaders along with the missionaries.
Certainly, they shall be able to carry the Gospel in a very effective way. I traveled these areas and found there is a great prospect and receptivity for the storytelling method. We wish to conduct training and equip the leaders to carry the Gospel.
Most Koya are basically of Hindu origin, but due to their peculiar habits and customs, they are not very content with this religion, and they are open to alternatives. When we go with the Gospel, they are so happy and willing to embrace Christianity. If we systematically plan the programs, eventually we can create movement among the Koya. Since they are a very informal community they are very much accustomed to stories, dramas, and dances. The trainings from Scriptures In Use will fit very well into this community as we reach them with Bible stories. Many of them are not literate and an oral way of taking the Gospel will work well.”
Waray Waray (in the Philippines)
SIU Partner Testimony:
“Personally, I want to do a significant time in empowering the Waray Waray because of their status in Christianity because, after 20 years they are still considered just partially reached. There are a few big Evangelical churches, but they are focused on the 20% of class A population of the Waray Waray. Small churches are struggling to survive, not because of the difficulty of sharing the Gospel, but because they don’t have a tool that can bring the Church to where God intended them to be (to multiply). Most of the grassroots church planters don’t have any formal seminary training and the Bridges tool is so fitting and so reproducible for them.
The initial trainings with them showed encouraging results. One church that was three years old was being attended by only seven people. After a leader attended a Bridges training in 2019, the small congregation is now enjoying 80-100 worshippers every Sunday and half of the congregation has been trained with Bridges. They now also have second generation leaders!
Another significant story is about two young people who are working in the area where communist guerillas are present. Before Bridges training they were being monitored by the group on what they were teaching. If they are seen to have a Bible during their gathering, they are being forbidden to gather together. After the workers attended a Bridges training in April and learned about oral engagement with Scripture, the communist guerillas now allow them to gather without being monitored, because Bibles aren’t seen during their gatherings.”
Using the SIU Bridges approach, our proven partners and their networks of believers use word for word Bible storytelling as they get to know a new community, seeking a person of peace who can open doors, providing access to share more stories of Scripture with the community. This pattern has been repeated in many new areas around the world and our partners have seen miracles happen as the Holy Spirit opens people’s hearts to receive the Good News. This can lead to an organic movement of people within the people group passing the stories and the Good News on to others, exponentially growing to become an “engaged and reached people group.” The miraculous result in the local community: many new storytelling fellowships, new Oral Bible churches/house churches, new believers, new disciples, and more people trained, equipped and inspired to see the advance of the Gospel and growth of God’s Kingdom in areas never reached before.
Training Event Cost
Our Bridges training events held in pioneering areas at a local or regional level are often between $2,000 and $2,500 USD per training, depending on the number of people attending, the specific country and city of the training, and the number of trainers who are traveling. Typical class size ranges from 20 to 40 people, depending on the specific training and the partner ministries being trained. On average, we typically see at least 3-6 of the Bridges training participants become passionate about using the Bridges Oral Arts approach and they soon become Master Trainers and Orality Champions in their own communities and regions beyond.
WILL YOU JOIN US IN THIS EFFORT?
Will you join us in this effort to train leaders who have unique opportunity to share the Gospel among these unreached people groups? Any donation amount to help fund these Bridges training events would be greatly appreciated.
Finishing the Great Commission!
There are 7,415 unreached people groups representing approximately 43% of the earth’s people still to reach (according to the joshuaproject.net), with approx. 90% of these remaining people groups living in oral cultures. SIU and others working in the “Orality Movement” are strategically positioned to see the task of the Great Commission finished within our lifetime!
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