Good Soil Resources Reaching Oral Learners in South Sudan

Categories: Stories

Mary South Sudan

Dear Friends at Good Soil,

My husband and I took your basic Good Soil and the Storytelling training courses in 2015 while we were preparing for our assignment here in the remote “bush” of South Sudan among an illiterate, unreached people group. Thank you for the excellent training. Using small discovery Bible story groups, our team is now telling our 25 selected Bible events to some new believers.

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Mary, Rose and myself with Mary’s baby

When we took the training in Harrisburg, we bought a box of Reflections from God’s Story of Hope—the book tracing God’s redemptive story through the Bible which has the beautiful paintings. Many of these went to special supporters and family in the USA, but I brought one copy to South Sudan, and had no idea how loved it would be!

Mary was the first oral learner (illiterate) who believed here in Laarim. After she trusted Christ, she used the book pictures to tell the Bible stories to many others who cannot read or write. This all began as I was using the book to share the BIG storyline of the Bible with Rose, a student who spoke English, and had recently responded in faith to follow the Lord. While I was doing this, Mary entered with her baby, so Rose went through the book with her. Then others came, including an elder of the people group, and Mary went through it (not every story—but the big picture) excitedly with them all in the Laarim language. That turned out to be a long, but oh so fruitful day . . . and the book continues to enrich the ministry here! Once as Mary shared her faith story, showing the final image in the book, she exclaimed, “it’s more beautiful than Camp 15” (the nearest village with shops, about 15 km distant), “or Kapoeta” (about twice as far and more of a town), “and maybe even more beautiful than America!”

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Mary has become a true woman of faith—far beyond my own in some respects! She is truly an evangelist. Mary’s husband, a chief, also trusted Christ through her witness and now they both meet meeting in their home with other believers. It is fascinating to watch her and appreciate the truth in her statement when she says, “Until you came, it was only the educated who could learn about God in the schools, but now I have heard.” Another oral learner won by her witness said, “When you were not here and my child became ill, I decided not to go to the witchdoctor, but pray for my child as I had heard you pray…and God even heard and answered me!”

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Mary sharing with group on our veranda

I am guessing this copy of the book is the most used (and abused), and most loved (and dirty) one anywhere!

I appreciate the prayer focus and our individual prayer session which was a part of our training time, and continue to receive encouragement from them.

- Linda Byler, missionary with Africa Inland Mission International


The Good Soil Basic Seminar equips you to share God’s story of redemption chronologically, so that people will clearly understand, sincerely embrace, and firmly hold on to the gospel. The seminar extends over two days and is generally followed by an optional one-day Good Soil Trainer Certification Workshop. Learn more...


The BibleStorying Workshop equips you to tell stories (events from God’s Word) effectively. You will learn and polish at least three Bible events, practice telling those stories, and learn how to use Good Soil resources to share those stories in your personal ministry. Learn More...

Reflections 3Spreads

Reflections from God's Story of Hope unfolds the storyline of the Bible through 50 Old Testament and 50 New Testament events—from Genesis through Revelation.

  • 100 key Bible events organized by 25 major Bible eras.
  • 100 full-page Bible event images.
  • More than 200 pages, 9" x 12".
  • A Bible storybook for all—adults, children, Christians, or non-Christians

Learn More...

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