“It is simple, but it can change people’s lives,” said April, a Manide speaker sharing oral Bible stories in her own language.
Together with local partners, the Manide translation team in the Philippines continues to be involved in events where people can listen to Bible stories in their own language. At a recent youth camp, storytellers shared oral Scripture with young people from several Manide communities. Not only did the youth hear God’s Word, but they also came together in a way that helped break down social barriers between their different communities, one of which feels especially inferior to the others.
“I thank God for the opportunity to hear the gospel through Bible storying,” said Michelle, a participant at the youth camp. “It is the best way to reach our communities. It was the best experience — to learn more about God, appreciate his creation and realize that we are important to him.” Oral communication is preferred in the Manide culture, and many people don’t read. Bible stories will be used to start a Bible storytelling movement. Less than one percent of the people are Christians. “Manide Christians need God’s Word for their transformation and for sharing the gospel with others,” says a project adviser.
Through a series of workshops, the translation team will produce 35 oral Bible stories in the form of digital audio recordings with a written transcript. They will invite local believers to participate in the storytelling process — crafting stories, testing and revising them, and providing feedback.
The team will also train pastors to use the materials in their churches. Through storytelling — a key aspect of the Manide culture — advisers hope that people will connect deeply with God’s truth and understand more about God and their faith.