When Banko Myle met a paralyzed woman in her Banna village, he told her a story he’d just learned.
It was the Gospel story of Jesus healing the Bleeding Woman (Matthew 9, Mark 5, Luke 8).
“Can that same Jesus heal me?” she asked.
He assured her Jesus could — both from her physical sickness and from her sin. Banko prayed for her.
When he visited her the next day, she was trying to stand, supported with a stick. On the third day she was walking. By the fourth day she was serving; she prepared coffee for Banko.
A week after first meeting Banko, the woman praised God.
“I was despised and neglected for many years because I was paralyzed, but God healed me,” she said. “I believe in Him and I follow Him.”
Before he learned to tell Bible stories, Banko didn’t share the Gospel message with unbelievers in Ethiopia. For him, preaching from the Amharic Bible was for Christians. But storytelling in people’s everyday language provides a bridge from evangelists to the Bible.
“We don’t need to carry around a book to share the Gospel with others. We carry the stories in our hearts. Whenever I meet someone, I can share stories and talk about the meaning.”
Banko also enjoys telling The Creation Story. When people learn about God, many wonder why He allows sickness and death. Banko gives them an answer they understand with The Fall of Man and then he explains God’s solution through Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection.
Banko has seen transformation in his own life. Now he’s watching God change his community by removing obstacles to faith. Where people used to seek healing from witch doctors, now many are praying and seeking insight from Scripture.
“I have seen the power of God’s Word in the Banna language,” he says. “We used to think that the only person who could minister is the one who can read and write. But now everyone — even laypeople — are ministering and boldly sharing their faith.”
Photos by Esther Havens
Written by Kim Farr