My husband and I met with her and her husband regularly for them to train us in story-centric discipleship. Story-centric discipleship means to know God through His sacred stories by listening, sharing, and teaching others His sacred stories so that we can know how to be in relationship with Him. I would like to come and tell you more sacred stories so that you can listen to them, then share them, and teach them to others as well.”
The elder’s wife said, “We would love this very much. We had a Jesus follower come to our village about 15 years ago and he shared Jesus stories with us, but we haven’t had a Jesus follower in our village since then.”
Senda said, “We will try to come and visit your village four times a year. If I come, will you be willing to gather groups of women and tell them the Bible stories, too?”
We all said, “Yes! Of course!”
Senda went on to say, “In my village on Saturday nights, I gather women from five different villages. I share the sacred story with them, and we practice until each of us can tell it accurately. Sometimes, I might need to tell it five times before everyone in the group can tell it accurately. I then ask them to go back to their villages and gather a group of women to do the same thing. They will gather the women, tell the story until everyone can tell it accurately and then they go share it at their village.
Each week when we listen to the story, we will take the time to ask at least these three questions: 1. What do you learn about God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit? 2. What do you learn about the people both good and bad? 3. What should you do based on what you have learned? The women love it when we ask the questions because it gives them time to discover deep truths that God reveals to them in the stories.
Without thinking, I raised my hand slightly. Senda looked at me and said, “Yes?” It just came out of my mouth, “I can’t believe you are trusting us with these sacred stories?”
Senda smiled sweetly said, “It is not me that trusts you. It is God!”
I couldn’t believe it! God trusts me with His sacred story! I determined in my heart that I would gather women to tell His sacred stories every time Senda came and shared them with us.
Just then the men walked up to the courtyard and motioned that it was time for Senda to leave us. I didn’t want her to leave. I wasn’t ready because I wanted to know more sacred stories. We quickly hugged her goodbye and then she was gone. My heart felt joy as I thought of God’s sacred stories, but I also felt sadness because we didn’t know when Senda would return, but I started thinking of who I would invite to come and hear the sacred stories.
The next week I had invited five women from my village along with my sisters to hear the stories. I did exactly what Senda said she did with her women in her village. I welcomed them and then told them I wanted to share the sacred story of Jesus, the Son of the Most High God with them. I told them the sacred story several times until they were comfortable retelling it to each other. I then asked them to go out and tell it to a group of women they would gather and to do it the way I did it. I reminded them to tell it several times and have them practice it so they can tell it well. Then encourage them to go do the same.
My sister Praga loved listening to the stories too. She shared with me that wanted to tell the stories, too. This surprised me because Praga is a practicing Hindu. But the next week when we gathered together Praga shared that she invited five friends over and she also told them the sacred story of the Most High God sending Jesus to be born as a baby to Mary. Praga shared that the women in her gathering all agreed to go and tell the sacred stories to their friends the same way.
I couldn’t wait until Senda showed up again to share more sacred stories with us.
After about six months the white van drove up with the dust cloud swirling around it. This time all of the women that heard the van drive up rushed out to greet Senda. We were so excited to share with her that we were faithful in sharing the sacred stories. We encircled our arms around her arms, and we rushed over to our courtyard so Senda could share more stories with us. As we sat down to sip our tea and catch-up Senda asked us how it has been in our village. Normally, we would chatter about the happenings of each family, but not today. I couldn’t wait!
“Oh Senda, the Most High God makes us feel so valued. We stand taller because we have been trusted with His sacred stories. We can’t wait to hear more sacred stories about the Most High God and His Son Jesus! What story will you tell us today?”
Senda looked at each woman that gathered. There must have been well over thirty women this time waiting to hear the sacred story.
Senda pulled out a little black box and pushed a button and we heard a man’s voice say, “In Matthew 1, we are told this true story…” We sat mesmerized as we listened to the man’s voice tell us the generations that led up to the birth of Jesus. After listening for a while Senda shared with us that Audio Scripture Ministries provided these solar power devices for them to bring out to our village. Senda said, “The sun can charge it up for you so you can listen. Sit it out so that this side faces the sun, and the sun will give it energy to power it up.”
I wanted it so bad, but Senda gave it to the elder’s wife to be used in the village. Senda asked, “When will you gather so you all can listen to hear the Most High God’s sacred stories?”
We chose a day and agreed to gather, pray, listen, share, and then go teach it to others. Senda suggested that we listen to one chapter at a time and to play it as many times as necessary so that we can retell it accurately.
Then one of the women said, “Senda will you tell us a sacred story, too?”
Senda smiled and said, “Of course!” Senda bowed her head in prayer and then began to say, “In today’s sacred story, we will hear about how Jesus invited people to be His disciple. A disciple is someone that follows someone and does what they do. When you listen today, I want you to ponder if you are willing to be a disciple of Jesus, the Son of the Most High God. In this sacred story Jesus is called the Word.
Everything in the Bible is true. In John 1 we are told, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning…”
***This is a fictional account that is based upon a composite of stories taken from a team of storytellers. The names have been changed to protect the storytellers. Every scene is based on a true story that has been told of what is happening on the field.