The fifth Oral Bible Storytelling workshop for the Wewak cluster of languages finished the beginning of July. The participants worked hard over the course of the five workshops to learn nearly twenty Bible stories to tell in their communities. Some have struggled to learn the stories well, so we watched with grateful hearts as they experienced a breakthrough during the last course and were able to get a better grasp on telling and remembering the stories.
At the end of each course, participants are encouraged to go and share their stories in a variety of venues. This exercise has met with mixed results. Some have gone back and tried to share at their churches, but because of specific ways that things are done, the doors haven’t opened for that. For some, this has resulted in stories not being told much. For others, they have been challenged to find other options. One young man shared how he told a story on one of the local transport vehicles that took him home from the course. Others are able to tell the stories in a variety of school settings. This has brought much enthusiasm from the kids. Still others have been able to share it in wider denominational gatherings or multi denomination meetings within a community. Pray that they will continue to find ways to share the things they have learned.
As this was course five, graduation was coming quickly. Excitement grew as the day approached. Could they go to town and buy a new pair of shoes or pants for the ceremony? How many people could they invite to come? The chairs were neatly aligned, flowers were picked and arranged from the bounty that surround the guest house, speeches were prepared, and guests were invited. It was a special time to recognize what the participants have learned and to see how they have grown over the course of the workshops. After stories and testimonies were shared, speeches made, certificates given, one of the pastors commissioned them to carry God’s Word back and use it in their communities. The day ended with yummy food shared by all who were present.