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Oral Bible Study

Oral Bible Study in Closed Country
by Mike, who recently returned from the area

"'What would you think about having a Bible study with no Bible or literature?" . . . She replied, "it would not be possible."

We sat on mats on the floor listening to the details of yet another police raid at a gathering of followers of Jesus in a believer's modest apartment in the city. The police took Bibles and other religious literature from the home and marched some of the participants to the police station for interrogation. The story was all toc familiar.

Lena, an Asian woman of indeterminable age, sat to my left. She was a house church planter with a reputation for boldness. I asked her, "What would you think about having a Bible study with no Bible or literature?" She searched my face with questioning eyes, and then stated, "It would not be possible."

The picture here is a gathering of women taken in another apartment one week before I spoke with Lena. The women are gathered "to celebrate National Women's Day." Actually they were listening to the story of a miraculous healing from Luke, told using the words of the Bible. The women listened intently to the story. The storyteller guided the women through questions and through repetition of the story. What did the disciples do? What did Isa (Jesus) say? How do you think the woman felt? How would you have felt? Through the words of scripture, spoken and heard, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the women in the kitchen engaged deeply with the story.

If unwelcome guests had come to the meeting what would they have found? There was no Bible or literature in the room. They would have found ten women "celebrating National Women's Day." Pray for these and other believers, that God will continue to give them creative ways to share the good news and grow in their faith.

- from a brochure sent out in 6/2012 by Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship