Meet Sharon—wife and busy mother of one high- schooler and one college student—from north central Texas. So how did ONE WEEK in Orlando, Florida become, as she says, “one of the greatest gifts in her life”?
Back up to October 2010. Involved in a local church in their area, Sharon and her husband were in search of new ways to minister within their congregation and beyond. After hearing about a 5-day training in oral Bible storying, the couple set aside a week, made arrangements for their kids back home, and headed to Florida. What they learned and brought home with them was life- changing.
“Within 3 months, our church had asked me to lead and teach a women’s group in Bible storying. In another 3 months, I found myself on a church- sponsored trip to the Middle East where we ministered to women in Jordan through storytelling.”
Imagine the joy she had standing on the banks of the Jordan River, telling a diverse group of tourists the story of Jesus baptizing people in that very place! Later, she shared with Jordanian women from broken homes the story of Moses—of how God uses the broken to be His messengers of hope.
“Then the following year, I traveled to Cambodia, partnering with long-time missionaries in training pastors and church leaders from Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines,” Sharon says. She taught them how to use oral Bible storying, and as they practiced their newly-acquired skills in the afternoons, Sharon and her group went outside the city to camps where they ministered to children.
“It was beautiful to hear the creation story delivered to the children in their own language, and then to see the children delighting in answering the questions after the story,” she recounts to us.
Since then, she’s journeyed to Ethiopia to teach more pastors and church leaders how to use storying in their churches and ministries. “I received an email last week from a youth pastor who was very excited about the training and how it was impacting his church,” Sharon tells us. “He said that storying has changed the way the pastors are preaching. They no longer lecture, but use stories about Jesus—and this is CHANGING LIVES.”
By StoryRunners – a division of Cru