The Visible Story is a resource to help evangelists and mission workers share the gospel in Indonesia. Created for urban slums and rural villages, where levels of poverty and illiteracy are high, The Visible Story opens the Bible’s message in a fresh and natural way. Working through our partners, Bible students are trained in ‘engaged storytelling’ and equipped to start faith conversations. A colourful flipchart depicts four of Jesus’ parables that have been selected carefully for their resonance with Indonesian culture and everyday life. In the hands of Bible students trained in its use, and with a burning heart to reach their home communities, The Visible Story is a simple yet profound resource to share the Bible with local communities.
A great testimony was received from Serah, our PP coordinator in Asia. It was written by one of our Pavement Project workers trained in 2010. It read:
“Good news! The 19 years old Muslim girl I have been counseling for the past few weeks has received Jesus. I first spoke to her 2 days before Christmas. That was the first time I met her. She spoke to me for almost an hour and end of it I asked her whether I could pray for her to Jesus. She cried a lot while I prayed for her. She told me when I met her later that something happened withing her when I prayed with her. But it was a big spiritual warfare for me. I was extremely drained out for almost 2-3 days.
She asked me for a Bible after that and she was given a Bible.
Yesterday I used the green bag with her and I was in tears when I heard her pray.
She asked Jesus to come into her life and guide her into her future. She was just praising Jesus for who is to her. Even I was surprised the way she was praising Jesus, calling him ‘Great’, and a’Friend’ to her etc. She picked up the ‘light’ Pocket card and told that “I’ve received a new light, after I started praying to Jesus”.
I have used the bag just once with her. I usually interact with them at least 2-3 times before I use the green bag. She still needs prayer. There are few things that she still needs to break free. But she said she’s able to think differently now.”
The Little Book of Help was perfect for this, and our prayers are that these teenagers are impacted by the life-changing word of God.
Rodrigo* seemed to go from one crisis to another. He had lived on the streets for a long time before coming to the project, and his own mother had plied him with alcohol, which had caused serious neurological problems. He was sent to me because he was unable to control his anger. He’d have fits of rage where he broke things in the home, and was disobedient to his foster mother. He walked in hanging his head, ready for a telling-off. I calmly reached for the green bag.
Little by little, as I began to tell him stories, he began to share his. He told me how, in the orphanage where he lived before coming to our project, the children had been tied to their beds while fire was held to their feet. He could not forget the screams of his friends, locked up in their rooms, and his feeling of powerlessness because there was nothing he could do to help them. When Rodrigo left, having told his story, he was very calm, and relieved. He asked me to pray for his behaviour to change.
Slowly but surely, it did. But one day I arrived at the project to find him being physically held down by four people. He seemed like an animal trying to escape captivity. I asked them to let him go, but as soon as he was let loose, he ran out to the street. I knew I had to deal with the situation, but I had no idea what might happen. As I searched for him, I begged God to keep him safe. I felt very discouraged that Pavement Project had not helped him enough, and that he was suffering so much again.
At last I spotted him, arms outstretched, hanging onto the bars of the gate of a house, as if he were glued in place. I went to him and hugged him. I noticed that there were welts on his arms and neck. He seemed to be having a rage attack. Gently, I began to speak to him, reminding him of the lost lamb in the story I had told him. I reminded him that Jesus would always go looking for him, and that no matter what he did, he would always be loved and cared for. I assured him that the horrible things he had endured need not happen ever again. Rodrigo let go of the bars, turned to me and hugged me, and cried for a long time.
The bond created in a counselling relationship is unique. Pavement Project is not a quick fix solution to a child’s problems, and where follow-up is needed, the trust that builds between worker and child means that they can receive ongoing support, and as many counselling sessions as are necessary.
“Through Pavement Project, they have discovered in Jesus a friend who is always available and willing to carry their heavy load.”
*Rodrigo’s name has been changed according to our SGM Lifewords‘ child protection policy
Fourteen-year-old Vanessa* was rescued from the streets aged just nine, and had been living in a foster home ever since. But despite receiving love and care from the workers there, Vanessa’s self-esteem was at rock bottom. She despised herself, refused to study, and found it impossible to form healthy relationships with other children or with staff.
Vanessa’s encounter with Pavement Project was to change all that. During a counselling session, she told her story for the very first time, sharing a secret which she had never felt able to reveal before. When she was just five years old, her mother had left her alone at home to care for her baby brother. He fell from his stroller and was killed, and Vanessa had been carrying the guilt with her ever since. Pavement Project allowed her to break the silence and to receive the comfort, support and reassurance she so badly needed.
“Vanessa had been carrying the guilt with her … Pavement Project allowed her to break the silence.”
I was overjoyed when this previously withdrawn teenage girl sought me out at church, beaming with pleasure, to show me that she was wearing a dress for the very first time, and was going to have her hair done. Small but significant outward signs of inner transformation, as Vanessa’s encounter with God began to change the course of her life in a beautiful way.
*Vanessa’s name was changed in line with SGM Lifewords’ child protection policy
Every year, we have a great opportunity to bless people with a Biblical picture of Christmas. We have all seen the Christmas message get watered down and lost among the craziness of Santa, shopping, holidays, presents, and feasts.
What if we could remind family and friends of the real meaning of Christmas? What if they opened their card on Christmas morning to find A Little Story About Something Big, and the penny dropped that this year, Christmas is about Christ who was born to us this day..?! Or your congregation each got a Christmas booklet that they could give to their family and friends?
A Little Story About Something Big is a fun and creative booklet about the real story of Christmas. It’s now available in Australia and can be ordered in bulk through our distributor, HSM Resources. Ask them for a bulk order discount and you could get them for as little as 80c each!
In 2008, we trained 15 Bible College Graduates to use The Visible Story in their unique context.
- Amon uses it as an evangelistic resource in his home village in Kalimantan;
- Midun is a pastor to 13 small rural congregations in West Java;
- Paulus works with children in the outskirts of Tangerang