Oral Learners Initiative
Oral Learners Bible Institute (olBi) is Bible school training for the illiterate and people of traditionally oral cultures—people who are oral learners. Bible lessons, presented in story via video, are put on SD cards to be played on individual’s cell phones.
OlBi is not meant to replace literacy or a Bible college education. Rather, it is a bridge for the illiterate to be trained to plant and pastor churches within their communities. Instead of requiring them to first learn to read and write, olBi equips them with basic knowledge of the Bible and theology so they can begin to minister to other oral learners and plant churches as people come to Christ.
Video lessons written by our OLI team have been produced in the Tamil, Gujarati, and Hindi languages, by local Indian speakers, and are being used in a unique evangelism effort among Indian Hindus.
After a native pastor-evangelist was chased out of a Hindu stronghold in India, he took the olBi Bible course into the area and set up five small groups who used the video lessons on their phones. Over 100 Hindus watched the lessons. Forty of them became believers and now travel to attend church.
OLI is now taking the Oral Learners Bible Institute to the Swahili speaking nations of Africa.
SHOUT is an innovative outreach created by the Oral Learners Initiative designed to deliver the Gospel directly to the unreached on their own mobile phones!
Many of these unreached people live in oral societies where they prefer to communicate and get information orally as opposed to reading and writing. It is among these people that we find the largest emerging mobile phone markets in the world. People without running water or electricity, often living in primitive housing miles from any city, own a mobile phone.
Mobile phones keep these oral communicators connected with family and community. An illiterate Maasai tribesman standing on an hillside in Tanzania stays connected with his tribe and conducts business through his mobile phone.
Third World countries have become First World mobile phone users!
Many unreached people groups have no written language of their own. How can these oral societies receive the Gospel message?
OLI’s solution to this dilemma is CHAT, an innovative, yet ancient method of communication with which these people are familiar—storytelling. CHAT is Bible storytelling!
A tribal storyteller shares stories from the Old and New Testaments in his own language and familiar style. The stories are recorded and placed on solar powered audio players along with ethnic songs that reiterate God's principles.
Then a tribal evangelist, equipped with the player, goes from village to village and CHAT(s). Imagine the curiosity when someone in a remote are hears a CHAT song, in his own language! Soon a crowd gathers, everyone joins in and sings along. The recorded storyteller shares from the Bible and CHAT is in motion—discussion which leads to salvation!
There are some countries which are closed to the open evangelism of the Gospel. In these places the Gospel is whispered from individual to individual. Whisper is OLI's digital outreach to countries that are closed to the Gospel.
Micro SD cards loaded with evangelism content designed to be loaded on phones around the world!
Imagine a micro SD card that was loaded with lessons designed to teach a person English. Now imagine what an English lesson would be like if a story from the Life of Christ was the content of the lesson.
Imagine a pastor using Whisper as a micro-enterprise to fund the start of his new church. Inviting the students that desire to learn English to a group meeting where they can practice their English while discussing the lesson's story.
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