Many cultures in Asia have a rich oral history, and in some countries, history and cultural traditions are almost entirely passed on only in oral form. “In some villages that our OM teams visit, the older generation of people don’t know how to read or write, so we’ve had to get creative in how we reach out to them,” Julie*, an OM staff member working in South Asia, explained.
The OM team leaders gathered on 20 July for some leadership development training, including an afternoon focused on using drawing to help communicate. “Pictures can tell complicated stories in an easy to understand way,” Ben, the country leader, taught to the 12 leaders gathered around him. “When you use pictures, and it can be on a piece of paper, on a white board, or on the ground in the dirt, you are able to communicate stories to a wider audience without losing their attention.”
The group learned some tricks about drawing simple faces, body postures and Bible-story themed objects, like jails, trees, chariots, houses and other basic images, and then spent time practising telling a Bible story while drawing pictures. “Good drawings build on themselves so that they move along with the story and enhance the message of the story rather than distract from it,” Ben said. “In the morning session, we learned about making plans of actions for our ministries, so let’s now practise sharing those with others using simple pictures, so that when we share our plans with our teams, and delegate the work, that they can better understand what we are saying,” Ben challenged the ministry leaders.
“How do we make sure that when we share stories using pictures, that we portray it as accurately as possible?” one training participant asked. The group discussed some of the risks of using pictures and how to ensure that the story-tellers were not adding to or forgetting details from the stories they used. “I think it comes down to reading the stories again before you teach on them,” Andy another participant stated. “Ultimately the stories are about the big picture of God’s story, and ideally people need to read for themselves what God’s people have written, but sometimes the big picture is better than no picture at all.”
OM is constantly looking for people with a variety of skill sets, talents and passions to join our teams. We need more trainers, education experts and creative thinkers to help lead our teams into new and exciting ways of doing ministry. If you would like to find out more specific ways of getting involved in missions with OM, please contact your local OM office at

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Photos from South Asia