Dr. Paul was the first missionary sent from Liberty Church in 1970, beginning 25 years of church-planting and leadership training in Mexico. In 1994 Paul and his wife Teresa embraced a long held vision for South Asia, and began work with a large indigenous church-planting mission there. Experiences training this agency’s field workers led them to search for a more effective way of communicating the Bible among low-literacy populations. They concluded that biblical storytelling, or storying, showed the most potential.
In 2001 they developed a biblical storytelling pilot project with a two-fold purpose: first, to focus on how storying can be used to spread knowledge of specific Bible passages among groups of oral learners, and second, to discover how biblical storytellers can be multiplied through intentional training. This would later become Paul’s doctoral project.
In 2006 they combined biblical storytelling with adult literacy as a door-opener to unreached villages. This strategy proved to be highly successful, with more than a hundred new congregations planted every year since then, most in villages that had been highly resistant to Christianity.
For example, during 2008 year-long Oral Bible projects were held in 474 previously unreached villages. In each place literacy training and biblical storytelling were given three to five nights every week. The results were even better than the Paul and Teresa had dared hope. In 12 months, 5,241 illiterate villagers learned their alphabet—2,735 of these accepted Jesus as their Savior, forming 189 new congregations that started as a result! In addition, 86 people were prepared for full-time ministry.
The cost to train and send one literacy teacher / biblical storyteller to an unreached village for 12 months is just $350. Paul and Teresa’s vision is to greatly expand the number of villages that are reached with the gospel each year. Please join them by supporting this outreach with your gifts and prayers.
Paul is the author of TELLING GOD’S STORIES WITH POWER (2010) published by William Carey Library.