Thursday, November 28, 2013

Greetings Friends and Family from Woodinville, WA.,    

Levi Dannayo teaching scripture songs.
We are thankful for your partnership with us in the gospel in Africa. We are grateful for the 600 African students that we’ve been privileged to teach Bible classes to over the past 12 years. Many of these graduates are Pastors while others teach Bible knowledge at schools and in ministries throughout Malawi. We are also thankful for all our students who have ministered to the spiritual and physical needs of inmates at Maula Prison for over a decade. In addition, we are thankful that the ‘Songs for Saplings’ music is being taught throughout Malawi by our dear friend, Levi Dannayo and there are now two CDs of Catechism and scripture songs in Chichewa.
New Focus for Ministry:
Doing Pastoral Training @ Nkhoma
We are thankful how the Lord has been teaching us that Africans learn their history, identity and values from stories and songs and that God has given us a book that is 80% stories and songs. In the Western church we extracted various ‘creeds and confessions’ from the Bible’s story that, in recent decades, have been reduced to ‘short tracks’ of what to believe to go to heaven when you die.  While Christianity has been widely accepted in Africa, it is usually propagated in ‘bits and pieces’ apart from ‘God’s Story’.  Moreover, this ‘reductionist gospel’ has failed to transform African culture and people remain largely defined by their own cultural stories, rather than the ‘gospel’.  

If Africans are to have their identities, history and values defined by the gospel then the gospel will have to be rediscovered in the context of the Bible story. To this end, we are focusing on teaching Christ-centered Biblical theology in the African context through Bible stories (God’s story thru God’s stories). To do this more effectively we believe the Lord is directing us in the following ways.
1)       ‘Storyrunners’ and their ‘School of Storying’ (

We plan to bring a Malawian team to the ‘School of Storying’ in Orlando (March 2014), hosted by ‘StoryRunners’, the Bible Storying ministry of Campus Crusade.  Our team will learn ‘Bible Storying’ which is a natural, contextual telling and discussion of Bible stories that can lead to evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. Telling Bible stories is the best way to help those in ‘oral cultures’ to hear the gospel.
The ‘School of Storying’ is a 5 day introduction to what a 3 person team will do overseas. Our Malawian team aims to take 42 Bible stories to the various people groups in Malawi. These stories—from ‘Creation to New Creation’—comprise the ‘story set’ used in the ‘School of Storying’. Our Malawian team will be trained to coach Malawian Christians through the ‘Bible Storying’ process. Then our team will do the 5 week training in Malawi in their own language for their own people. 

2)      ‘Chichewa Story Bible’.
To further help Malawians understand the Bible we are developing the ‘Chichewa Story Bible’. The book will contain 30+ Biblical stories selected to tell the story of God’s Kingdom that finds it's fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the ascended Lord of all. Each story will have a couple pages of helps to aid the storyteller (background, context, themes, key verses, fulfilment in Christ).  This book is to be an aid to a ‘storyteller’ and the stories come directly from the Bible and were chosen because of their importance to the overall message of the Bible. We have a Malawian team committed to this project that consists of a publisher, a writer, and several Pastors.  

We are grateful for God graciously guiding and providing for us over the last 12 years and we very much appreciate your prayerful support of this ministry.
Zikomo Kwambiri (thanks very much)!

Jay, Laura, Clara, Katherine and Lauren Stoms 

Also please pray for our upcoming speaking engagements:

December 1st Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Redmond, WA (Sunday AM).
December 15th Crossroads Church in Lake Stevens, WA (Sunday AM).

December 29th Bellwood Presbyterian Church in Bellevue, WA (Sunday AM).
January 5th Green Lake Presbyterian Church in Seattle, WA (Sunday AM).