In the last twenty years, as an adult and as a technology adaptor, I have seen first hand the impact that technological innovation has brought to Christian environments. A couple of years before color TV arrived in Bogota, Colombia, most people did not have access to a decent library at home, nor at a neighbor’s home. As a middle school student I had to take a one-hour bus ride to get to the nearest public library. I am not talking about a small town, but a big city, a national capital. Until the Internet arrived in 1994, that was reality not only for students, but also for anyone who wanted to research any given topic.
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Background: MAF-US has been using oral communication to teach Bible storytelling techniques as a way to overcome literacy barriers and/or the lack of access to printed or digital Bibles.
Purpose: In July 2013, MAF staff, Brian Ward, Regina Manley, and Ralph Dawson, along with MAF board member Rebecca Lee, traveled to Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Arnhem Land, Australia. Their main goal was to bring oral communication training methods to MAF staff and to local pastors so they could use the methods to share the Word of God and increase the impact of their ministry.
New Cargo: Pilots have been known to have flown all sorts of things … pigs, coffee, generators, you name it. One thing that is now becoming a common piece of cargo in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is called the “Bible Box.”
A local ministry in PNG, Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship (CRMF), provides radio flight communications for MAF-AUS. In addition to this, they are currently partnering with MAF-US Learning Technologies to provide Christian resources to isolated communities. CRMF has been busy creating Bible Boxes for pilots to take on their flights.
Some days we wrestle with recalcitrant lines of code. Other days we search for elusive cross-cultural bridges. And on those days, after hours of eyes and mind buried in a monitor, the rest of the world seems a distant memory, or perhaps just a dream. Did any of our work produce fruit? Did we touch anyone? Did we advance God's Kindom at all?
That's a good time to back away from the desk and remember what the Lord has done for us, to us and through us. The infographic below provides good perspective on the year we just finished. Not the complete picture certainly, but an encouragement none the less.
Background: In November 2013, MAF staff, Brian Ward and Regina Manley, were invited to instruct an oral Bible storytelling training for the Bible school students of Hope Universal in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Africa.
In 2011, Regina and another instructor first introduced the oral-inductive Bible storytelling method called ‘Simply The Story’ (STS). Regina explained, “Our goal was to train a core of instructors to teach Bible storytelling and discussion skills both in the Hope Universal's four Bible schools and also able to do workshops with other ministries both in Sierra Leone and other African nations.”
Background: Like most isolated areas in the world, there is an ongoing need for biblical resources and for an easy way to share them. This is the case for Hope Universal located in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Africa. Recently, Hope Universal asked four of its volunteer staff to become what is known as its first ever “mobile tech team.” This team will help meet the need for creating and distributing biblical training materials.
Purpose: Brian Ward, from MAF-LT met with the four young men responsible for the task of creating and distributing digital biblical resources. The purpose of the visit was for Brian to show them how to use a tablet and how to share biblical resources with others. Brian also wanted them to learn how to use the tablets to create multimedia resources.
The following quote is from a business blog by Amy Anderson: “It is imperative that we decide in advance to do the right thing. When circumstances present themselves in the heat of the moment, we must already know what our response is going to be.”