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Bible Story Site Adds 25th Language

April 18th, 2012

The OneStory Partnership reached a milestone recently when Kumaoni, spoken by 2 million people along India’s border with Nepal, became the 25th language represented on the initiative’s Bible story website.

OneStory aims to present the fascinating and life-changing sweep of the Bible narrative to people who learn and communicate mainly through oral means. The partnership works with indigenous speakers to develop and record chronological Bible “story sets,” typically 40 to 60 stories, for each language group. The development of each set takes about two years. The goal is to have indigenous speakers spread the stories to their neighbors, forming an oral Bible tradition to be told and retold for generations.

The addition of Kumaoni to the site means story sets can now be heard or downloaded in 25 languages. Among the other languages on the site are Korean; Azhe, used in southern China; and Tamajeq, spoken in parts of North Africa.

Managing partners of OneStory include Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), TWR International, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Youth with a Mission (YWAM), Pioneers, and the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The overall partnership involves the linkage of these managing organizations with other agencies, churches and individuals committed to Christ’s mandate to spread the gospel to all the earth.

Pioneers and the Alliance are the newest of the managing partners. Pioneers is an Orlando, Fla.-based organization that initiates church-planting movements in partnership with local churches. The Alliance contributes a strong history as a church-planting movement that focuses on the longevity of its career international workers, who are committed to an incarnational ministry of bringing the Gospel message to lost people in their heart language and cultural forms. The worldwide Alliance fellowship comprises nearly 5 million believers and is present in more than 80 countries, its international workers laboring alongside local church workers.

The OneStory media site was made possible by TWR’s new media asset-management initiative, LinguaDMS (Digital Media Source). TWR further participates in the OneStory Partnership by developing multimedia strategies that may include broadcasting the story sets on radio. 

The chairman of the OneStory Partnership, YWAM’s Dean Lundberg, said, “Our goal is to strategize ways to train men and women to engage with unreached and unengaged people groups who are primarily oral learners. The website offers a wonderful resource for practitioners and field people to share the gospel through excellent audio recordings.”

The Bible story sets range from two to four minutes each, beginning in Genesis and progressing into the New Testament Epistles. Heard in sequence, the audio files not only expose listeners to the Scriptures in their own languages but also illustrate the particular biblical truth revealed through that combination of stories, according to Lundberg. The hope, he said, is for people of the various language groups to experience the “redemptive panorama” in their own sociocultural contexts.

To learn more about the partnership and project and to listen online, visit www.onestory.org.

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