Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What I Learned in the Simply the Story Training

I have been telling Bible stories since our first term in Arua, but just last week I got to attend a Simply the Story training to be officially trained. I was so excited, maybe because it was a sign of my new freedom as I no longer have a baby that needs me. :) But either way, it was great to go through the training.

I learned more than I expected. I knew how to tell a story and the steps of presenting. I knew the general concept of what to do to prepare to tell a Bible story. BUT I learned it so much better and deeper. An illustration they shared in the training was perfect for me. 

"Learning a Bible story and sharing it is like preparing a meal. You need to know the ingredients (story) well. You follow all of the steps. You let it simmer, (you let the story simmer in your mind to see if God will bring new truths to you.). And after you have prepared it well, then you share it with others. If you don't take time to prepare well, then you don't want to share it with others. Take pride and prepare well, so that what you make is wonderful." 

Before the training last week I could make a meal, but it was more like hamburger helper. It fed, and was used, but it was not as wonderful as it could be. Learning the steps to prepare a story well, and really learning a story has helped me so much. I have seen the value in good preparation and I know that it will help those who I share stories with in the future. 

I am now in a weird place, where I have a choice. Do I fall back into the habits of what I know or do I do the hard work to change my story telling to make it better. It is always hard to break bad habits and to create new ones, but I am looking forward to the challenge. I have a chance to grow and become better, I don't want to miss that chance.

What about you? What is God teaching you these days? Will you embrace what He is teaching? Will you let Him help you break bad habits and create new ones? Are you up to the challenge? I know you are! And God is ready to walk through this with you :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What I Am Most Excited About

I have two women's Bible studies that have been meeting since last fall. I love both of these groups of women. We know that God has called us to Congo, and we are keeping an open heart and mind to God making a way and His timing. But in that, I worry about what will happen to these two groups where I have been the teacher. 

This last week at the Simply the Story training I wrote about here, a leader from each group was trained in Bible storying! I am so excited that these women will be able to take over these Bible studies. They have the tools to continue the ministry on, and even the basics of how to teach others how to lead a story. 

Over the next few months I am going to be working with each of them to hand the Bible study to them completely. We will do some weeks of preparing together and me still presenting, then some weeks of us preparing together and them presenting, and then a few weeks of us preparing together, and me not going and letting them have the space to lead it completely and we can meet to debrief. I am so excited to see how God will use these two women to reach their neighbors in ways that I couldn't do.  

Would you pray with me for these two women? 

Regina is the wife of a pastor and also teaches preschool to the neighborhood children whose families can't afford to send their kids to school. 
Josephine is also the wife of a pastor. She is a seamstress who makes beautiful dresses to help support her family. 

Pray that:

they are able to find the time to prepare the Bible stories well. 
the friends and neighbors will continue coming, or begin coming as they are leading. 

they are encouraged in their service to the Lord. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

My FIRST Simply the Story Training

Scott has gotten to attend and lead many Bible story trainings. We use the method, Simply the Story. (STS) Last week we hosted a STS training in Kasese. Three trainers came and joined Scott, and I got to be an attendee.

I have been leading oral Bible studies in Kasese since September. Being the good ministry wife, I have heard my husband lead many and really I just watched and did what he did. Scott taught me things as I went a long, and he did offer me the manual to read, but like an independent woman, I tried to figure it out myself.

There was a 5-day workshop option, but I attended the 3-day workshop. We learned how to prepare and present a Bible story. We broke into small groups (tribes) and worked together to learn how to learn stories. It was great to be with a team and to learn together. From the beginning of the training, we were not allowed to write down anything. No pens or notebooks allowed. So different than all my years in school, but I really loved it. Each member of the group got an opportunity to "go visit another tribe" and share the Bible story we had learned together. It was great to practice but also to see others practice and to learn through their experiences.

I have so much I learned and want to share from this training. I don't want to write a forever long post now, but I am doing a series in the month of June. Each week I will share more of what I have learned through STS and the training and also how it is being used.

The posts in the series will be:
What I Learned
The Best Moment in the Training
What I am Most Excited About
What I like Best about Storying

Check back each Tuesday to get a little more excited about what God is doing with this method of engaging His Word!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

What Gets You Excited?

What gets you excited? Where to you love to use energy? I have a friend named Jade Metz. She is a fellow WGM missionary serving in Kampala, Uganda. She started a project of giving out reusable sanitary pads for women that she calls, The Dignity Project.

Jade shared her heart and project with me last summer. As we moved to Kasese I met a man named Godfrey who quickly became a friend. He is Ugandan and runs a ministry for prisoners and ex-prisoners. His testimony and calling are an amazing story. One day at Bible study he shared the struggles of female inmates who have their monthly period. They don’t have disposable pads for sure, and they don’t even have extra fabric to use. They take part of their uniform, rip a strip off, put soil in it and sit on it. My heart twisted and grieved. Oh how blessed I have been. I immediately thought of Jade and the dignity project.

Jade and her friend Andrea came to Kasese. I got to bring them to my Bible Study group (picture on the right) and they gave pads to each of these ladies.

On Saturday, we went to the prison and gave out pads and Jade shared her testimony. She did great. The women were so touched and lives impacted. She shared that, “there is no sin that God can not redeem.” This struck a cord with these women. Many stood and made a profession of faith right then! Jade loves speaking and is so good at it. (Sorry, no pictures are allowed there)

After we left the prison we got some lunch then went and did a training for women who wanted to learn how to make the pads as a source of income. The women who came were ex-prisoners, wives of long-term inmates and widows of inmates. These ladies have no way to care for their families, and learning how to make and sell pads may make a difference in their kids going to school, or receiving medical care. I get excited about this.

We had 48 ladies attend the training, it was great. They all got some hands on experience and left feeling encouraged. Before they left I gave them a challenge. I told them to go out, buy the supplies and make a pad on their own. Kind of a mini exam. When they were done, if they were serious about making a business out of this, they could call and we would meet. I promised to give them a certificate of achievement and we could meet over a soda and cookie. I have since met with 14 women. As I “checked” their work and gave them feedback on quality we got to talk. They shared about their lives and dreams. THIS IS WHAT GETS ME EXCITED. I don’t love meetings, but I love sitting with these women and listening to their hearts. I love helping give them a skill they can use to help their families.

Jade gets excited about speaking and women making a profession of faith. I get excited about equipping women and building relationships. Both are good. Both bring glory to God. This weekend of time together was a great example of the body of Christ. We all have different skills, gifts, and talents. We all have different passions and drives. But God uses each of us where we are and for His glory. So what are your skills, gifts and talents? What is your passion? What drives you? WHAT GETS YOU EXCITED?! Now use it to bring others to Christ and to bring Glory to God!