A couple days ago, I ventured off the beaten path in order to reach remote Bakoum villages with a couple of my Bakoum coworkers. Our goal was to see if there were any people in each village who feared God and who would like to be a part of our Oral Bible Storying (OBS) workshops. The response was very positive which means that we should at least 2 representatives from every Bakoum at our workshops. Tomorrow we will be studying the creation of the world (a summary of Gen 1-2).
One of our Bakoum co-workers, Bosco, will start the meeting explaining why we do Oral Bible Storying. In short, we do OBS in order to learn the Word of God, in order to share the Word of God, and to whet people’s appetite for the written and more complete Word of God as it is translated.
Dave put together a “front-translation” of the Genesis 1-2 meaning that he made the French text “Bakoumy” based on the meaning in the Hebrew. We will study this text and then spend time talking about key words in (i.e. What will the Bakoum word for ‘God’ be?). We will seek to understand the facts of the narrative (i.e. what did God create and on which day?). The goal of this section is to get listeners to really internalize the narrative so that they could be able to retell it in a natural way. As people internalize the story, this is also the time where we can draw out implications of the text for our lives. We will ask questions like:
- What does this text teach us about God?
- How should men treat their wives who are made in the image of God? Should they beat them?
- This story demonstrates God as a generous giver who filled the earth with all kinds of beauty and wonder. Was God reacting to the spell of a witchdoctor when he created the earth? (Answer = no). If God freely created this entire world without being manipulated to do so, do we need to try to manipulate God today?
- If God made Adam to care for creation, how should we treat creation today?
I’ve put together hundreds of pictures to show people God’s creation from all over the world. My prayer is that when they see these pictures and when they hear the story of Genesis 1, they will be in awe of their Creator and worship him.
Once all participants have internalized the story, we will then test it in our village and by doing a back translation into French and then sending it on to a consultant.
Here is how you can pray for this first meeting:
- Pray that people will worship their Creator God.
- Pray for a sense of unity and cooperation among participants (especially when we discuss key religious terms). Sometimes things get really tense.
- Pray for Dave and I to communicate well in Bakoum and to lead the meeting well.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will come and convict of sin and open blind eyes to the glory of God.
- Pray that participants will go back to their designated villages and share this story outside for people to hear.
- Pray for our children – that they would have helpful spirits and servant hearts towards the 50ish people we will host.
We have a close Bakoum friend who is a believer. When we told him our plans to translate Bible stories from Creation to the ascension, we said that people would then have what they would need in order to be saved. He looked at us and said, “They will definitely be saved.” May the Lord make his faith sight. Thank you for your prayers.