We awoke Sunday night to the pounding rain on the tin roof. We thought of the participants (some of who were already traveling and many others who would travel to the workshop Monday morning). Rivers rise quickly making them impassable by car or the mud becomes too much to navigate by car or foot. Heavy rains made it difficult for half the participants to get to the workshop Monday morning. After waiting for flooded rivers to subside or digging trucks out of the mud, they safely arrived for the course.
With anticipation, we waited to hear their team reports of what happened when they carried the translated stories back to their communities after the last workshop. People were excited to hear stories in their own language and wanted to hear and learn more. Pastors and leaders gave feedback on words that were difficult to translate in each language. What do you say when there is no word for sheep or no context for an altar? Some asked if they too could come and receive the training. Techniques from OBS can be used with all audiences (in the home, in schools, Sunday School, church services, and so much more.)
As devotions are shared each morning using stories that will be translated throughout the workshop, the application questions cut to the heart of the matter. What did you learn about God? Which character did you most relate to? What change do you need to make in your life based on this story? Abraham and the Three Visitors (from Genesis 18 & 21) has been the focus for the last couple days and God Tests Abraham (from Genesis 22) will be the focus for Thursday and Friday. Many challenging questions have come from the discussions. Am I willing to entertain strangers and even give them the best of what I have? Am I willing to be part of God’s plan? Does my love for God exceed my love for everything else?
God’s Word is so rich in meaning. We long for that same depth to reach into not only the lives of participants, but their communities and each one who hears the stories. We look forward to what the next days will bring.
Story by Deb Smucker.