The Power of Storytelling Among Afghans

In 2011, Equipping Evangelist was visiting Italy where he met a man named Daniel. Daniel believed God had called him to reach Afghans with the Gospel, and planned to go to Afghanistan, but God closed that door. He soon realized that there were over 600 Afghans living in Rome, so he found where they were gathered, and went to tell them about Jesus. Daniel explained that two people accepted Jesus on his first day of outreach, so he decided to stay in Rome. He began sleeping in the streets for three years, preaching the Gospel to anyone who would listen.

When EE met Daniel, he accompanied him to the train station where there were many Afghans, and he started telling them Bible stories. Daniel was amazed at how captivated the people were by the stories and exclaimed: “It’s working!” Daniel invited EE to stay the night with him in the train station, and they were up till 2:30am telling story after story about Jesus to dozens of Afghans! Daniel loved this Bible storytelling approach for evangelism, and began learning the Heart Bible for himself. A church formed from new Afghan believers on Platform 15 of the train station, and many people came to hear the Good News about Jesus.

God moves in truly incredible ways, and the power of His Word is unlike anything else. Storytelling is deeply ingrained in many cultures around the world, and the influence stories hold can be life changing. For Muslim cultures in particular, storytelling is greatly important, and comes naturally to people. Daniel explained that when Afghans or Iranians are asked if they want to hear a story, they are almost always receptive. Rather than presenting a Bible to them, telling the stories from the Bible orally is arguably the most effective way of sharing the Gospel with Muslims. Additionally, when Bible stories are shared, they are not representing a church or specific theology, but purely presenting God’s Word and His stories. 

Brother Daniel has since been all over the world, to some of the most unreached places with the Word of God. He has used the Heart Bible in Greece, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Rwanda, and Kenya, just to name a few. Daniel shared about a time when he was in the ISIS controlled town of Kobane, Syria. He had shawls with pictures that told Bible stories, and handed them out to the people, telling them the stories. He explained that “nobody can stop you from telling stories. Nobody can keep you from memorizing them.” That is why the Heart Bible is so crucial for people living in restricted countries, and why it is so important that leaders are trained in these stories, so that people who cannot have access to a Bible can still hear the Word of God and store it in their hearts.