Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17).
Orality is a way of communicating that relies on spoken, rather than written language. As many as two-thirds of the world’s population are classified as primarily oral communicators. Mission organizations like TWR Women of Hope, International Orality Network and Global Recordings Network (GRN) share the gospel with oral cultures in a relevant, simple way. Because oral communicators learn differently, mission groups must adapt their communication of the gospel to fit oral cultural norms.
When Jesus preached to the oral communicators of his day, he used stories about people like shepherds and fishermen with whom people could relate. When Paul writes of the armor of God, he describes a typical Roman military uniform. Simple word pictures represented complex spiritual truths, like the shield of faith.
GRN uses input from the local community when selecting among hundreds of biblical stories. Then, with a mother-tongue voice actor, they review the story to ensure clarity and cultural accuracy. Such steps are necessary to overcome language, religious and social barriers that would impede the message from being accepted. Listeners often replay recordings hundreds of times, enabling them to learn the message by heart and tell it to others.
TWR Women of Hope reaches oral cultures with programs on radio, CDs and MP3s, and orally translates prayer calendars in over 20 languages.