House Destroyed, Commitment Amplified

Posted in OLD The Archive

House Destroyed, Commitment Amplified  

By day, Richard works in the medical profession. By night, he is involved in crafting an oral Bible for his own people group, the Kanuri. Richard used to live in northern Nigeria, until his house was burnt in the wake of ethnic violence. In the fire lay Richard's laptop, chock-full of many hours of story crafting work. Amazingly, before the flames could lick it up, a friend from another religious group swooped in and saved it for Richard. He lost nearly everything - yet nothing that was important!

Richard is a Story Crafter. His job is to help oral communicators gain access to the Bible. Two thirds of all people in the world are oral communicators who can't, don't or won't learn through literate means.2 This definition accounts for four billion people on planet earth, among whom the Kanuri are included. However, while 67% of the world uses oral communication, 90% of the world's Christian workers are using literate communication styles.2 In other words, where stories, proverbs, drama, songs, chants, and poetry are required; lists, outlines, word studies, apologetics, and theological jargon are being plied.2 Hence, the creation of the OneStory initiative at TWR, of which Richard is an integral part.

After studying the worldview of his own people and going through extensive training, Richard identified stories from creation to Revelation that give a complete picture of the Bible, and that also resonate with the culture of the Kanuri people group. As you read this, Richard is in the process of converting these stories into an oral Bible. This involves four phases - story crafting, back-translation, testing/retelling and revision. It is a highly technical process which exists because of the supreme importance of accuracy. Oral societies are incredibly exact in their transmission and so, once a story is in circulation, it will permeate Kanuri society. The stories must therefore have biblical accuracy.

While one may think that the fire has set Richard back in this process, he has actually become more determined than ever to complete the project. The disaster has thrust him out of his home town and led him to take a three months sabbatical from his daytime job so he can concentrate on completing the project before the end of the year. Once the oral Bible is ready, radio programming can begin. A gifted storyteller will record the stories which will in turn be broadcast regularly, accelerating the spread of the stories into the community.
To learn more about TWR's OneStory initiative, check out {}

1. Name changed for security reasons.

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