The Alongsiders movement continues to spread through different countries in Asia and Africa. These are cultures where values and beliefs are passed orally from one generation to another.
In the countries we work, important messages are taught in proverbs or songs, folktales, sayings, ballads, or chants.
So, our discipleship material must be presented in a form that will be well received and easily understood by young people and children who are used to these oral forms of communication.
Long lists of doctrine, 3-point sermons and abstract principles will simply not do in this context.
Jesus was a master of this form of communication, and His teachings have stood the test of time partly because He wrapped them in compelling parables and sayings.
So, to help communicate the importance of stories and word pictures to you our readers, enjoy this poem which is based on a famous story told by Jacob Kranz, an 18th century rabbi based in eastern Europe.
The poem beautifully captures the essence of what we are doing through our comic book curriculum...
Naked Truth walked down the street one day.
People turned their eyes away.
Parable arrived, draped in decoration.
People greeted Parable with celebration.
Naked Truth sat alone, sad and unattired,
“Why are you so miserable?” Parable inquired.
Naked Truth replied, “I’m not welcome anymore.
No one wants to see me. They chase me from the door.”
“It is hard to look at Naked Truth,”Parable explained.
“Let me dress you up a bit. Your welcome will be gained.”
Parable dressed Naked Truth in story’s fine attire, with metaphor, poignant prose, and plots to inspire.
With laughter and tears and adventure to unveil,
Together they went forth to spin a tale.
People opened their doors and served them their best.
Naked Truth dressed in story was a welcome guest.
(A Jewish tale retold as a poem by Heather Forest)