Kinds of Ministry

Putting psychological and medical principles in a Biblical framework
Author: Margaret Hill

People need information, whether medical, or psychological—how people normally react to stress and trauma. Secondly, they need to know what God says about it—through Scripture readings and discussions.

Many parts of Africa today are affected by wars, rebel groups and civil unrest. Even without these, there are armed robberies, horrific road accidents, domestic violence, and the increasing shadow of AIDS. However, literature addressing trauma generally comes either from a medical perspective or a biblical one. This article outlines how mental health and trauma healing has been addressed in Scripture Use seminars. A manual has been developed to facilitate such training.  [more...]

A church-based literacy program for Ghana
Author: Pat Herbert

The pastor will find that not only can his congregation read the Scriptures in their own language, but they will show a greater depth of understanding God’s Word and show growth in their Christian lives.

Community literacy projects have been running in Ghana since the 1970s. Pastors, however, were not using the mother-tongue Scriptures in their churches. To address this problem, Pat Herbert describes how they developed Scripture Guides to accompany literacy primers. The program is now known as Literacy for Life (LFL). The article includes a sample of a Scripture Guide lesson, and discusses various issues, including training of teachers to use the materials, making it a church-based program, and funding for the primers and Scripture Guides. It compares the normal literacy programs to the LFL program and describes the impact the program has had.  [more...]

Author: Hanni Gruenig

How can we start women reading their Bibles when they have never done it before?

Many women in Africa do not realize that the Bible has answers to their daily life questions. Hanni Gruenig describes how she used a course of Bible studies to address relevant issues for the women who had completed the literacy course. She describes its impact on some of them.   [more...]

A Case Study in the Role of the Translation Organization
Author: John L Ommani

When the Bible remains silent about certain cultural features, the Church... should assist the Christians to think through their traditions by digging deeper.

In the Tharaka society of Kenya, female circumcision has held a prominent place. In recent years Christian Tharaka people have questioned whether the rite should continue. The Bible Translation and Literacy agency has had a part in helping the society look at this rite from a biblical perspective. This article chronicles the history of the rite, including both its positive elements and problems, and some alternatives are presented.  [more...]

Author: Mary Crickmore, CRWRC

Remember that interventions with low external inputs and high local ownership have a good chance at promoting lasting change.

This article starts with a brief history of change in Africa and Europe, looking at the attitudes to and reasons for change, personal motivation for change and a Christian perspective. It continues by examining the three different levels at which change takes place – worldview/values/morality, informal cultural customs and technical. Change also affects power relationships, so the need to discuss potential changes with all the players and avoid loss of face for each is vital, as well as being aware of people’s motivation, peer pressure and the need to take things slowly.  [more...]

Author: Eunice Pike

...to ensure the Mazatecs understood a bit of doctrine, we needed to put it in a hymn.

The concept of “limited good” means there is only so much good (including knowledge and love) to go around, so someone’s advantage implies someone else’s disadvantage.

The Mazatecs of Mexico hold this belief. One result is that they are reluctant to teach people directly for fear they will lose their own knowledge, so all teaching is indirect. This article looks at how this affects the spread of Christianity, and the important role missionaries, hymns, gospel recordings and mother-tongue Scriptures have in spreading the gospel. It also outlines Scriptures that speak of God’s unlimited goodness and kindness.  [more...]