It is hard to believe that the Yabru cluster of languages recently completed their last Oral Bible Storytelling (OBS) workshop. The group began their first workshop in June 2014 and finished the fifth one in November 2015. The participants have worked diligently to learn the stories during each workshop. This course focused on the stories of The Golden Calf, Moses’ Death, and Elijah and the Prophets of Baal. Two of the stories were lengthy and challenging, but the teams gave their best efforts. Graduation was held November 10th with twenty-two participants eagerly ready to receive their certificates. Because of the remoteness of the area, it was difficult for families to come and witness the event, but there were some that were able to participate with the group. Now that the OBS chapter has finished for these language groups, we look forward to seeing how the next chapter will unfold for them.
This time we shortened the OBS course because of the need to combine it with another training which we call SAAT (Survey, Awareness, and Assessment Training). The attendees were new, but also included a few of the OBS course participants. This training was designed to help those who came, understand the vitality of their heart language – is it really strong yet and being used by everyone in the village? Is it only being used by adults? Is it only spoken by the older generation? Is the trade language the dominant language of communication? Through some participatory activities, people can see for themselves the answers to these questions. Then they take the activities back to the village and walk through the same process with the rest of the people in the village. Some of the language groups only have a couple villages, so doing this will not be time consuming. However, one of the language groups has over a dozen villages and will take much longer. So, the next step in the process will not happen until early 2016 to give everyone ample time to complete their work.