Key to the effectiveness and growth of the work in Malawi is the ongoing training and encouragement of the otLIVE instructors who work so faithfully in schools in this area.
What a joy it was therefore to have an opportunity to not only update and enhance the skills of the current instructors, but also to train two Malawian trainers for the first time – George and Wiseman – who will now go on to train others to become otLIVE instructors.
We rejoice over the feedback from some of the instructors, which reflects not only a refining of teaching skills and technique, but also a growth in their personal walks with the Lord…
“This training has helped me to perfect my story telling and improve the quality of my hand signs. It has been good to be reminded that I am not alone, but am part of a team! I want to tell these Old Testament stories to my family, people at my work and at church. My own walk with God is growing deeper.”
“Even as I teach otLIVE, this course has helped me personally. It has opened my eyes to see the goodness of the Lord and to rely on Him only. Even now, I teach my family, friends and other Christians to depend on God and to pray more fervently than before. I have realized the importance of praying as I teach children the Word of God. This training has also helped to improve my teaching techniques and to have more information on the Old Testament stories.”
“This training has been very profitable in my life and has helped me to be an effective leader. Now I will be able to train other otLIVE instructors. Even now, I have learnt new ideas on how to make my otLIVE lessons better and to attract the interest and attention of the learners so that they are involved in the story. I have also learnt how to handle difficult learners in the schools by treating them with love.”
Practice makes perfect – so it is good for me to re-do and review the hand signs. I have learned also to ask the Holy Spirit for help when I prepare otLIVE sessions for the schools.”
“I have learnt how to change my style when teaching otLIVE – also a good way of attracting the children and holding their attention when I am teaching. Personally, I have been reminded that I need to forgive a friend – despite what they have done to me. I have also been reminded of the respect I need to have for the Word of God. And to do what I need to do, even when nobody is looking.”
“This training helped me with different approaches to teaching – like how to tailor the story to suit the audience. It has made me think about illustrations from my own environment, experiences and even the world, which will further illustrate the story.”
“I have learned about the importance of speaking loudly and moving when I am teaching. I also know how to change my style and be flexible. For me, I need to read the Bible more and listen to God, so that I can teach well.”
A story from Xolani, an otLIVE instructor, who has found creative ways to minister despite the pandemic…
“We have just started weekly otLIVE lessons which we run on Sundays in the yard of our home.
About 30 children from the community attend. We do the otLIVE lessons outside and try to comply with government regulations regarding social distancing and mask-wearing. Not easy with children!
(otLive is the new version of Walk Thru the Bible’s popular Old Testament Seminar, which uses interactive hand signs to teach the big picture of the Old Testament.)
This has been like a breath of fresh air for our family to get back to serving the kids. And you can see that the children have just been yearning for this!
Things are very tough for people generally in our community. The economic fallout from the pandemic has been massive. Families are in distress. Many have lost their jobs. The children often arrive hungry – so our church has been involved in reaching out with food parcels.”
(The outreach project for vulnerable children run by Xolani’s church is supported by Walk Thru the Bible, in partnership with turn the tide 4 children.)
Lockdown brought many ‘firsts’ for us all.
For Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa, this included our first online training of otLIVE instructors in Nigeria and India. What a privilege it was to partner with Walk Thru the Bible USA for these exciting events. We thank the Lord for technology that allows us to cross even closed borders!
As our South African trainer explains:
“There was such a wonderful energy that came from bringing together different teaching styles and cultures. How wonderful to see the passion and joy in the new Nigerian instructors – who were so creative in coming up with songs to help them remember the story and hand signs. Thank the Lord for Zoom which has opened up so many new opportunities.”
“These new otLIVE instructors are like wildfire going through the schools in Nigeria. They have all already taught many events, and otLIVE has been received with great excitement and enthusiasm.”
Moms-for-Wellington are a passionate group of women from a cross section of society in the town of Wellington in the Western Cape of South Africa. The group is committed to serving the vulnerable children in their community through structured initiatives such as discipleship, feeding and pre-school programs.
The otLIVE instructor relates:
“It was a great time doing an otLIVE Live Event for Moms-for-Wellington. What a great opportunity to invest in the lives of the ladies who disciple and work with the children. This was a way empowering them with a better understanding of the Bible – both as they minister to the children and to enrich their personal walks with the Lord.
Afterwards some of the enthusiastic group of moms shared their feedback:
“I have such a sense of accomplishment! I never thought I could understand the big picture of the Old Testament in just one morning – but otLIVE helped me to do that!”
“I am surprised at how much I learned in just one day.”
“This is great, easy to learn material”.
May the Lord bless and strengthen these precious ladies as they minister to the vulnerable children in their community.
This was the feedback from of one of the leaders of the Holiday Bible Club hosted by Lenasia Church of the Nazarene – where 1900 children participated in otLIVE over the course of the week.
Testimonies from some of the children…
I have learnt that God can make anything happen if you come to him in prayer. God is with you throughout the way. I really liked acting out the Bible with the hand signs and I understand the Bible better now. I didn’t go to Children’s Church before. I hope to go now.
I never grew up reading the Old Testament – so I never understood about Abraham, Isaac and all those people. But now I have started reading the Bible for myself.
I am learning what I didn’t know before and I understand the Bible more. The lessons also reminded me about respecting God and helping each other.
otLIVE makes me want to participate. The hand signs are so fun!
Now I will be able to read the Bible.
I felt good and normal being here. I like the story about Joshua. The lessons also reminded me about respect – and not dissing others and my parents.
~I will remember that it went well with Joseph because he obeyed God.
I like the story of Samson. It reminded me about not letting people force you into things. I also really enjoyed the hand signs and I can do them for my family. I am reading my Bible.
My favourite story was about Joshua and learning to be strong and courageous.
Jacob was a wrestler! That’s cool!
I liked the explaining of the stories. Now the Bible will be easier to read.
I learnt about forgiving and not being cruel to others – like Joseph.
I am happy to be here. I am learning to not swear and to show respect.
These hand signs will help me! I liked learning about Moses – and the waters parting and the staff and the snake. The stories teach me that we must obey God at all times.
And from some of the volunteers…
I am a volunteer here and I have also brought my own kids to attend Holiday Bible Club. What is amazing is that the kids remember most of the otLIVE lesson and are really motivated. The hand signs really help.
The children are enjoying the hand signs. They pick them up easily, are learning quickly and are able to repeat them. They are really grasping the lessons from the stories.
The kids were enthusiastic and excited about otLIVE – eagerly anticipating what they were going to be taught next!
otLIVE really made the stories easier to understand. The actions and hand signs especially helped the kids.
And from others…
“I am learning so much from otLIVE. This has meant so much to me.”
“otLIVE is such an easy and light way to get through lots of content and to understand the Bible.”
“I take leave from work just to help here at the Holiday Bible Club!”
“I will remember the smiles on the kids’ faces. OtLIVE really helped to simplify things – I used to get stuck trying to remember everything!”
For more information on otLIVE please click here