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Oral Culture & Storytelling

As part of the Great Commission Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations.  The Greek work for “nations” is “ethne” which literally mean “ethnic people groups”.  Our driving desire is to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people groups who have not yet heard the message of salvation.  There are thousands such people groups who do not have a single verse of scripture in their own language; they are unreached people groups (UPG) for whom Jesus died.  In a great number of cases, they do not even have a written language: they live in oral cultures (OC).  

So a key focus of our work at Impact195 is the evangelization of UPGs in OCs.  People who live in oral cultures love to hear and tell stories.  Stories are very important in their daily lives: since they have nothing in writing, they weave into stories anything important that they need to remember.

Our approach is to send well-prepared missionaries as ambassadors for Christ on 24 to 30 month assignments among UPGs to develop “oral Bibles”.  These consist of a set of 40 to 50 Bible stories translated into the heart language of a UPG.  These Bible stories are carefully selected to present the whole redemptive panorama, from creation to the return of Jesus, and to do it in a manner that is well suited to the culture of a specific UPG. They are recorded in the heart language of the UPG, then back-translated in English to verify their accuracy, and to make sure they do not distort or corrupt the Bible message.  


They are then recorded on solar-powered MP3 devices and/or taught to natives of the UPG who in turn tell them over and over to members of their group.  Since these Bible stories are God’s word, “living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword”, they bring people to faith in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.  UPG members thus converted to Christ are given further Biblical instruction in the context of newly-planted churches, so they can become mature disciples of Jesus Christ, prepared to reproduce themselves spiritually among their own people.