How Heart Bible Started

“Look at their faces.”

“I know! This really works.”


It was a cool night.  The African villagers huddled around the fire and listened intently.   Equipping Evangelist and his wife couldn’t understand the language they were speaking, but they could understand their body language.

Just one month earlier, EE and his wife had been searching for a better way to teach functionally non-literate pastors in Nicaragua, when they found a BibleTelling workshop only 2 hours from their home in the US.  That workshop showed them how they could internalize the stories of the Bible, tell the stories and teach others how to internalize and tell the stories to others. 

They immediately put those skills to the test as they planned an upcoming trip to Africa.  The assignment for that trip was to teach Evangelism and Discipleship to 25 bilingual Christians at the Livingstone School of Missions in Botswana.  EE and his wife chose a chronological series of 22 stories. Their students were engaged, excited and enjoyed how the stories “came alive” for them, because now, the stories “lived in their hearts”.  They each had a growing Heart Bible.  One student said,

“I used to bla, bla, bla when I preached,

but now I ‘Bible, Bible, Bible’”.

Using BibleTelling techniques, the African students told and internalize the stories, drew the stories, wrote songs about them, danced and dramatized them.  On the final night of the teaching, the students travelled with EE and his wife to a remote village, where the students had been praying about planting a church.  Their plan was to tell a few Bible stories and then tell the villagers that they would return again to tell some more.  But, things didn’t go as planned.

Instead, the villagers squatted in the dust, undistracted and slack-jawed, as they listened for 3 ½ hours to all the stories the student had learned.  Every so often, they’d leap to their feet and dance around the fire and the women would tongue trill. Finally, EE spoke through a translator,

“We have all heard from God tonight.”

In the months that followed, a church was planted in that village. But, EE and his wife had  heard from God as well. 

“Grow a Heart Bible for yourselves and teach the nations to do the same.”