Cultivate Blog

Good Soil in Closed Countries and Open-Air Markets

Categories: Stories

Open Air

The flexibility and creativity to use Good Soil materials are boundless.  One missionary shares some of his stories:

Extraordinary Entry.  Traveling to a country currently closed to missionary visas, I was bearing gifts for a group of national missionaries who were coming from various countries to meet us.  I had prayed about how to bring Good Soil materials into the country without being accused of proselytizing or being subjected to customs as a publisher.  I determined to wrap all my materials as Christmas gifts and divide them among my bags.  As I stood in line, the person ahead of me got sick and the agent processing our passports and visas became visibly upset.  He motioned me around the mess and passed me on with only a cursory check of my paperwork.  God's providence did not end there.  Three men endeavored to be allowed to carry my bags, ostensibly for a tip.  When I told them I didn't need help, two of them walked away, but one persisted in at least helping with my biggest bag.  Having carefully divided my resources, I relented and took the risk.  As we approached the people inspecting the bags, he said something to them and we walked straight through without any of my bags being scrutinized!  The cost:  A small tip of less than $1 in local currency paid by the smiling national missionary who awaited me.  The missionary explained that despite it being a holiday for the local idol, he would not pay any more for only carrying one of his friend's bags.

Img 2099

Stories, Sir?  I carry a set of Good Soil teaching visuals that I use for displays and to teach groups of deaf or young people.  For one conference in this closed country, I was seated in the back, in part because I was an outsider and the national missionaries were divided with the women and men sitting on opposite sides of the aisle.  As speaker after speaker addressed the group, my previously empty row began to fill up with fidgety kids being sent to the back by their families.  When a break came, I asked permission to teach Bible stories to the kids during the next session, a round table question and answer time.  With a willing father to help supervise, I passed out the forty teaching visuals and asked each child to pick out a favorite Bible story.  One boy had picked out three and was agonizing over having to narrow it down to one.  When the story-telling time was over, I had made a new friend.  For the remainder of the conference, he sat next to me always politely asking, "Will you tell us more stories, Sir?"

Valuable Visual.  I have modified my set of Good Soil teaching visuals with Velcro tabs on the back.  This allows me to set up displays at large open-air events where we witness as a church family to deaf people in sign language.  One year, we set up an 8'x10' display and selected about 10 of the visuals that would lead a person clearly through a presentation of the gospel.  To amplify the impact of the Chronological Bridge to Life cards, we built a replica of the Golden Gate bridge that could sustain over 250 lbs.  If someone wished to get close to our display, they had to cross the bridge to the other side.  We then asked them what they were seeing and if they had any questions.  Many of the participants asked us why we had a bridge at our display, allowing us to lead them to a table inside of our booth.  On this table, we had a miniature bridge with one section of it broken.  We placed the topic of SIN from the Bridge cards in front of this section.

Img 2082

Tactile Tactics.  During another year at this same open-air outreach, we decided to make sure our display was accessible to the deaf-blind.  I had my sons make a Lego replica of the tabernacle which we placed alongside the Story of Hope booklet open to that page.  We also had a small-scale, wooden model of the ark sitting on top of the large Good Soil OT story visual.  Most importantly, we had a wooden cross with the two cards picturing Christ's death, and his burial and resurrection.  Deaf-blind participants are usually led past our booth with the SSP, Social Service Provider, signing into their hands.  This year, I noticed several of the SSPs actually leading their clients to our table and allowing them to touch and feel the tabernacle and the ark.  Then they would explain the idea and connection to the illustration to them.  At this point, I would interrupt them and point them to a full-size door they could enter if they so chose, just like the ark had a door to enter.  On this door we had John 10:7,9 written and Jesus, himself, as the door!

John 10:7-9 (KJV)

Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.


The Bible's BIG Story Teaching Visuals | Set of 105

Set of 100 (plus 5) laminated teaching visuals (double-sided 13.5" x 10.75") for presenting the Bible's redemptive story with visual impact! Used for teaching The Story of Hope or The Roots of Faith Bible studies and several other Good Soil E & D resources.

  • 50 Old Testament event visuals
  • 50 New Testament event visuals
  • 5 Muslim-ministry specific visuals
  • Bible event images on front
  • Key teaching content on back
  • Teaching content can be internationalized

Translation teams can request a translation-base document for translating the teaching content (on the back of the visuals) in order to tape it over the existing English content.  Contact to request that document.

Learn More


The Chronological Bridge to Life Visuals

Set of 8 laminated teaching visuals (double-sided 13.5" x 10.75") for summarizing the Bible's BIG Story of Redemption focusing on eight essential truths.

  • Visuals for summarizing the Bible's Big Story of redemption focusing on eight essential truths.
  • Includes key Bible verses and faith response statements.
  • Includes instructions for teaching the ChronoBridge

Learn More

Join Our Mailing List

Get notices for new products, resources, and training events.

Get Blog Updates By Email

Subscribe by email and we'll send you a message whenever a new story is posted.