by Ross Lange
Jesus fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: "I will use stories to speak my message and to explain things that have been hidden since the creation of the world." (Matthew 13:35)
Storytelling has always been an effective way to communicate. Jesus used stories or parables a lot when He taught the crowds. For years Gospel Recordings has followed Christ's method and used storytelling to communicate spiritual truths, often with amazing results.
Some time ago, a missionary in Indonesia thought that, while learning their language, he would begin to evangelize the people using our recordings. When he started to play the Bible stories, the people were amazed that this little box (record player) was speaking their language. They looked it over carefully. Surely it must be God speaking to them since only God could speak their language.
After a few minutes they all jumped up and ran screaming into the jungle. They were not seen again for days. The problem? The missionary had been playing the story of Noah. When the people heard God telling them that a great flood was coming that would cover the whole earth, they thought they had better get out of there quick before the flood came!
Several years ago, WEC International planned to send a couple to plant churches among an unevangelized tribe in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso). However, some problems arose and the couple never did make it to Africa. Around that time, however, Gospel Recordings was able to visit that tribe and make recordings for them.
Years later, another couple was sent to that same tribe. When they arrived they were amazed to find that this "unevangelized" tribe already knew about Jesus, having memorized all those Bible stories from our recordings. They had known all about salvation for 15 years before any missionary arrived!
Today lives are still captivated and convicted by the Bible stories on our tapes. A Muslim leader in Liberia, after listening to a cassette one night, said, "Your message has troubled my heart." Another Muslim in the same area said, "If the cassettes would have reached me before, I would not have joined the Muslim faith."
A Christian worker in Zimbabwe quotes someone who recently benefited from our tapes, "If it weren't for your tapes, I wouldn't know Jesus as my Saviour."
And so the old, old story, simply told, is still pointing many to the Lord.
Ross Lange is the International Ministries Director for Gospel Recordings USA. He and his wife Jan serve in the USA office.