Today’s guest post is by Dr. Shannon Tucker who is serving with CMF in Kenya.

“Blessed are the Flexible…. for they will not be broken.”

This is a favorite saying of one of my teammates and as a missionary it is good to remember.

I have always enjoyed sharing what I have learned with others, whether this was in a large group setting, or with smaller groups and individuals, including people I worked with and clients. I am thankful for all God has allowed me to experience and learn throughout my life and I love sharing those things with others. I especially love public health, veterinary medicine, and science in general. Did you know that scorpions glow under a UV light? Thanks to a friend in Tanzania I now know that and am sharing that Fun Fact for the Day with you all!

Before I came here I was comfortable that how I taught was not that bad and that people did learn things from me. Now I am transplanted in a new culture and every day I question how I am teaching and how I can do it better. The people I am teaching have different interests, abilities and levels of education, with many having no formal education. However, they all have something in common that is very different from me. They come from oral societies.

“‘Orality’ refers to reliance upon the spoken, rather than written, word for communication.”  (From the International Orality Network website)

The CHE (Community Health Evangelism) program that I work with is great in that it uses spoken word, stories, skits, dramas, pictures and many other participatory learning tools to help teach lessons, which are really more facilitated discussions based around lessons than teaching facts to memorize. In itself it is flexible and can be adapted to use with different cultures. This is good, but it takes the teacher/ facilitator recognizing a need to adapt and the ability to be flexible and do the adapting.

This has not been easy, but I am continuing to adapt and want to share one way I have done this when teaching/facilitating a lesson that begins with the creation story. When I first taught this I used pictures that I made, then began asking the people to draw the pictures, then I added motions/ actions that made sense to me for each day to help me remember, lastly I asked the people themselves to decide which motions/ actions they wanted to use.

Enjoy Shannon’s video of the results from one Kenyan community.  See for yourself how through telling the gospel story orally and by applying motions,  hope is shared in another culture.  To find out more, or to follow Dr. Tucker you can visit her blog here.

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