FrontLines

Winter 2016

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Back to FrontLines: Winter 2016

Comforted by Story

  • December 23, 2015

Early in life, Kristina lost two of her three children during childbirth. The emotional pain devastated her, but she was also very physically wounded. In the attempts to save the children and repair her ravaged body, Kristina underwent four agonizing surgeries. The trauma from these events lingered in her life for many years. Later on, however, she was introduced to Christianity. And though the hurts from her life persisted, after a time, she placed her faith in Christ and began to follow him.

Woman

Soon after that, she and 29 other participants from seven languages were given the opportunity to attend an Oral Bible Storytelling (OBS) workshop in Wewak, Papua New Guinea. The courses at the workshop — divided into four modules that took place throughout the year — were designed to teach Papua New Guineans how to memorize and retell Scripture in a way that’s familiar in their culture where storytelling is an art.

After the first module, Kristina returned home and shared the Bible stories she had learned, but her husband was extremely unsupportive. He wouldn’t let her share the stories publicly or attend the next training session. Kristina was disappointed, but instead of becoming angry, she humbly submitted to her husband and began praying that the Lord would transform his heart. Over time, God did soften her husband and, this past April, he allowed Kristina to attend the next phase of training.

In this phase, the participants listened to a recording of the Bible stories in the local trade language and then were recorded repeating the stories back in their own language. Kristina gently closed her eyes as the recorder played. As she listened to the story of Moses and the burning bush, she softly repeated what she heard into a second recorder — this time in her mother tongue.

“Listening to these stories about the Israelites has really encouraged me,” she said. “They were in difficult times, but God was bigger than that and rescued them. I know he’ll bring me through my Red Sea as well.”

Retelling Biblical stories has provided great comfort to Kristina, who now knows that God was with her during the loss of her children, her rough childbirths and even during the period she had to wait for her husband’s blessing to attend the training.

That is why Kristina is dedicated to teaching Scripture — because she knows that hearing Bible stories can help change other people’s lives, no matter how deep their hurt.