Season 3 | EPISODE 7

The Power of Story, Part 1: The Stories We Tell About God

55:41 · May 7, 2024

In this episode, Jim and veteran missionary George Mixon take us on a heartwarming journey to Kenya. Together, they delve into Chronological Bible Storying, an exciting tool currently used for discipleship and evangelism among unreached people groups in Kenya and other oral learning contexts. We also hear local Kenyan pastors recount their poignant experiences with biblical narratives that have reshaped their ministries and enriched their lives. Tune in to discover how these ancient stories—from creation through the stories of Jesus and the early Church—reveal God’s gracious plan to bring His redemption to a sinful, broken world.

In this episode, Jim and veteran missionary George Mixon take us on a heartwarming journey to Kenya. Together, they delve into Chronological Bible Storying, an exciting tool currently used for discipleship and evangelism among unreached people groups in Kenya and other oral learning contexts. We also hear local Kenyan pastors recount their poignant experiences with biblical narratives that have reshaped their ministries and enriched their lives. Tune in to discover how these ancient stories—from creation through the stories of Jesus and the early Church—reveal God’s gracious plan to bring His redemption to a sinful, broken world.

In this episode, they discuss...

  • The essence of Chronological Bible Storying, and its cultural resonance in Kenya (4:51)
  • The theological and practical implications of storytelling in conveying biblical truths (16:24)
  • Kenyan pastors’ testimonies about the impact of CBS on their ministries and personal faith (23:40) 

Thank you for listening! If you found this conversation encouraging or helpful, please share this episode with your friends and loved ones. Or please leave us a review—it really helps!

Referenced in the episode...


Special thanks to all our brothers and sisters in Kenya for their hospitality and the gift of hearing their stories. Our guest for this episode was George Mixon, a long-time Serge missionary who spent decades ministering in Kenya. This episode was hosted by Jim Lovelady. Production by Anna Madsen and Grace Chang. Music by Tommy Leahy.

𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑭𝒓𝒂𝒚 𝑷𝒐𝒅𝒄𝒂𝒔𝒕 is produced by SERGE, an international missions agency that sends and cares for missionaries and develops gospel-centered programs and resources for ongoing spiritual renewal. Learn more and get involved at serge.org.

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Questions or comments? Feel free to reach out to Serge’s Renewal Team anytime at podcast@serge.org



Welcome to Grace at the Fray—a podcast that explores the many dimensions of God’s grace that we find at the frayed edges of life. Come explore how God’s grace works to renew your life and send you on mission in His Kingdom.


0:00:22.4 Jim Lovelady: Hello, beloved, welcome to Grace at the Fray. Now, for the next two episodes of Grace at the Fray, I want to take you on a little adventure to Kitengela, Kenya, with my friends George Mixon this week and Ben Nihart next week, where we will explore the power of storytelling. You may not have thought much about how stories have impacted you, but over the next two episodes, my desire is that you come away with a better understanding of what your story is, how to tell your story, and how your story fits into a larger story that makes life worth living. It makes the stories of your life worth telling. Now, I know you love a good story, and I know you have your favorite movies and your favorite books. You might know someone who’s a really good storyteller or have a family member who always brings up their beloved stories about whatever person in the family has the best stories. But in this episode, my guest is George Mixon, who’s been a missionary in Kenya to the Maasai people for the last 40-something years. And what he does now is train Kenyan pastors and ministry leaders in what’s called Chronological Bible Storying (CBS). With his curriculum, He teaches them how to memorize the key Bible stories and retell them to their people, and then watch how the Holy Spirit just shapes a community of believers around the stories from the Bible. Telling a Bible story may sound too simple, but that’s part of what is so glorious and humble about what George does with this curriculum. He just tells the old stories, and people find themselves in those stories. And part of the reason why this works in Kenya is because Kenyans love a good story and they love a good storyteller. But what I learned on my trip was that I’m not that different. All of us love a good story, and I’m very pleased to share with you, after my interview with George, a handful of interviews with some of these pastors who serve all over Kenya and train their congregations in the CBS curriculum. I’m looking forward to introducing you to them. And as we explore the power of story, I want you to keep in mind what stories do to us. Here’s what happens. You tell a story and that story conveys a certain set of values, and those values shape the actions of you and your community. And when you live out those actions, it creates more stories, and those stories shape your values, and you know what you think is important, and that shapes your actions. And this cycle is just always happening over and over and over again in every story we tell here and live. Keep this in mind as you hear George and the Kenyan pastors share their stories and how they’re finding themselves in the Bible stories that they tell. And you know, just from the outset, I apologize for some of the poor audio quality. It was our first day in Kenya, and we were still figuring things out. But listen closely; I know you will be glad that you did.


0:03:41.5 Jim Lovelady: Well, George, habari gani? 

0:03:43.0 George Mixon: Nzuri sana! Good job.

0:03:45.0 Jim Lovelady: What did I just say? 

0:03:47.0 George Mixon: You did great. You said, how are you? Basically.

0:03:49.0 Jim Lovelady: All right.

0:03:50.3 George Mixon: That was one way of saying it.

0:03:51.1 Jim Lovelady: Nzuri? 

0:03:53.2 George Mixon: Nzuri sana.

0:03:54.3 Jim Lovelady: So, habari gana? 

0:03:55.5 George Mixon: Gani? 

0:03:57.0 Jim Lovelady: Habari gani? I said it right the first time. Nzuri sana.

0:04:00.1 George Mixon: Nice.

0:04:01.0 Jim Lovelady: It’s really good to be here in Kenya with you, man.

0:04:05.2 George Mixon: Glad to have you.

0:04:06.5 Jim Lovelady: The jet lag is still, like, a real thing.

0:04:08.8 George Mixon: For sure.

0:04:09.9 Jim Lovelady: It was cool that we sat next to each other serendipitously, providentially. We sat next to each other on the plane. Didn’t plan on that. That was pretty cool.

0:04:18.3 George Mixon: Yeah, we’ve only been here, what, 12 hours? 

0:04:21.0 Jim Lovelady: I don’t even… I don’t know. I don’t even know what day it is.

0:04:25.5 George Mixon: Yeah, yeah. [chuckle]

0:04:26.0 Jim Lovelady: Where are we? 

0:04:27.1 George Mixon: We are in an area called Kitengela. It’s about an hour south of Nairobi, and we’re going to have a training here. The venue is a Christian university that’s near Nairobi, and they have a great place for us to meet. And we’re bringing alumni and some of our main trainers from around the country here to encourage them this week and kind of spur them on in the work they’re doing.

0:04:51.2 Jim Lovelady: That’s so awesome. Well, okay, so tell me, I want to hear your story of how long you’ve been doing this ministry in Kenya. And then a little bit more specifically, what Chronological Bible Storying has looked like. And then, later today, you’re going to be walking folks through it.

0:05:10.3 George Mixon: Sure.

0:05:10.5 Jim Lovelady: I can’t wait to hear that too. So yeah, tell me your story.

0:05:13.5 George Mixon: Okay. I think I’ll first just give you a very nutshell of what is Chronological Bible Storying because that’ll make my story make sense.

0:05:21.3 Jim Lovelady: Okay.

0:05:22.0 George Mixon: Bible Storying, it’s the same story that everybody else is teaching. It is God’s Word. It’s the Bible. But the focus of the methodology is the story or the storying. Most of the Bible, 70% of the Bible is narrative. And it’s tapping into that fact and the fact that many people in the world, especially here in Africa, are story people. They’ve learned the most important things in life, in relationships with their family and their community and sitting around the fire telling stories about this and that. And a lot of our Christian work and missions in the last hundred years, we are very literate and very expository, which is all wonderful. But maybe we’ve lost some of the advantages that also doing it in an oral method can bring to these people. So, Chronological Bible Storying—it is the Bible. So we’re not just telling random stories. We’re telling Bible stories, and we’re using this oral methodology, which is learning the stories by heart. And so that we can just ask questions. And so that’s what a basic Bible storying is: telling the story, learning it together, and teaching through questions. And it’s chronological in that we move through the stories of the Bible from creation to Christ, showing what God was doing through all of history to save a broken people from their sin and to bring a Savior. So that’s why it’s chronological. So that’s the basics of what we’re doing. 

How did I get there? In 1994, my wife Martha and I moved here with two little baby girls. I was a veterinarian in my first life.

0:07:05.8 Jim Lovelady: I was a freshman in high school.

0:07:07.0 George Mixon: Oh, wow. Yeah, I’m old—almost 61. We worked on a church planting team. They were planting the church among the Maasai, especially in very remote areas out from the population center and out in villages. And Maasai, at that point, were still probably considered an unreached people group, and they wanted a veterinarian to come alongside them. Because we believe the gospel does more than just save your soul. It redeems your life and the world around it. So, it’s a way to minister to people and to connect with people. So I did animal health training, very rudimentary things. I went around to villages, teaching people how to better prevent diseases in their animals or how to better use medicines for treatment and other things like that. Or how to get access to medicines.

In that process, we lived in a teeny little community out near the Maasai Mara. There was no church there. There was one believer, and I wasn’t trained as a pastor. And I thought, oh, what can I do to help him start a church here? And I was given some materials by New Tribes Mission, which introduced me to the idea of teaching the Bible through the narrative, chronologically. And I followed their lessons. They were very expository; they were written up. We basically changed the language and the examples, and I just taught out of their book. And even then, I just felt like I was giving these people gold. We were just meeting under a tree, whoever showed up. And eventually God used that nugget to plant a church. There’s actually a number of churches there now. But I fell in love with that, and that’s where I really felt God calling me to be more of a pastor. I went to seminary and came back with Serge at that point, on a team that was focused on training Kenyan church planters. I helped them to do a good job with church planting. Within a year and a half, I was reintroduced to Chronological Bible Story teaching, but this time, really emphasizing the orality, the telling of the story, the learning it by heart. And I always just, my heart was aflame. I just said, this is what I want to do, which is a part of church planting. It doesn’t teach everything. But that became my niche, training the Kenyan church and its leaders to use the narrative of the Bible and a very oral method, which you’ll be talking about more later. What is that? As opposed to a traditional Western literate model, to really grab their hearts and help them put it all together and lay the foundations through chronology. So I started training people, a small group of pastors. After a while, those pastors started helping me train other groups of pastors. Eventually, they were just doing the training. I was sending them out and training others, just the 2 Timothy 2:2 model. And now we have, on average, probably 25 groups a year around the country that go through a year-long training through about 30 to 40 stories. These are groups of pastors and leaders who are interns sent to their own churches to use this for discipleship and to share the gospel using one story at a time.

So, we have an expanded ministry. Ben Nihart works with me, and he is actually still in Kenya. I live in the States now. I’m back here a lot. But Ben keeps it going with our team of trainers, and I know you’ll be meeting with them later, but yeah, that’s what we’re doing. I’m starting to go to other countries and introduce Bible storytelling to other groups and other churches in different places. So, yeah.

0:10:58.9 Jim Lovelady: So okay. So there’s this big cloth here. Give me a quick run-through of what this is because each one of these is a story. There’s… How many are there? 40? 

0:11:09.7 George Mixon: This has 42. Each picture represents a story. We did not create this. This was created by a Baptist missionary working among the Maasai people. A team of churches in the States helped them develop it. And it’s now available if somebody wanted it on the International Mission Board’s website. And it’s being used all over the world, but it is so handy, you can fold it up in your pocket and take it anywhere and spread it out and start sharing the gospel with a village or something like that. So, basically, the stories are arranged chronologically. We start with creation, and then we go to the fall, and then we move on into Noah, and now Abraham, how God’s working to bring a Savior through Abraham’s family. And we go to the patriarchs, we go to Moses and saving the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, Passover, Mount Sinai, Tabernacle, just kind of get through the Old Testament and then Jesus’ birth and baptism and some key stories about Jesus and some of the stuff He did. And finally, this is the Passion Week, that shows what Jesus did to save us. So, through all this, we’re following the thread of the Savior who was promised in the Garden of Eden and seeing it expanded, and what God was doing in His sovereignty to teach about Himself. To teach, what does it mean that I’m powerful? What does it mean that I’m holy? What does it mean that you’re sinful? I mean, what is faith? And we see all these pictures, real-life pictures of faith, or of repentance, or of brokenness, or what is sinfulness, and things like that. So, that’s what this cloth is about. It’s a tool that all of our trainees eventually will go home with.

0:13:05.6 Jim Lovelady: So, it’s the story of redemptive history, and you’re contextualizing it, but you’re also delivering it in a way that is… You’re delivering it to the heart of each culture. And yeah, it’s the story of the Kingdom. It’s the story of God. It reminds me of Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible.

0:13:27.6 George Mixon: Sure.

0:13:29.0 Jim Lovelady: My wife loves that book because when she was nursing our newborns, she was just working her way through the story of redemption. So, you’re doing that in this contextualized way. So, what’s your goal for this week with this conference? 

0:13:49.0 George Mixon: So, our trainings take people 6 to 10 months to get through all these stories. We try to do them very slowly. Our training is not a content transferral. It is content, but we want people to be using the storytelling methodology with their own people. So, we want to give them a little bit and then take it right into their ministry right away, into their church, or into their evangelism. So, everybody here has not only been trained in this, but they’re all actively training other church leaders. They’re from all around the country, and every now and then, we like to get our alumni of this basic CBS (Chronological Bible Storying) training together to encourage them, to give them new materials, and to help them in their organization. It’s kind of like a general conference, in a way. This week we’ll be going through the first half of the book of Daniel in a very oral method. In previous alumni trainings, we’ve developed a Sonship curriculum. We’ve taken Serge’s Sonship curriculum and put it in Bible Storying format. Right now, it’s 16 stories. So, it’s all the same stuff people will be familiar with, talking about the Gospel and what is justification? What does justification have to do with sanctification? What is forgiveness? What is the law? How is the law really supposed to work in our lives in driving us to the Savior and leading us to Him? And then, more practically, how do we forgive? Where do we get the power to forgive? What is repentance? What is lifestyle repentance? So, those are the concepts, just like normal Sonship, but every topic focuses around a Bible Story. The Bible Story is the thing that carries the lesson because that’s what people have stuck in their heads and walk away with. And they learn very simple questions of how to get the goody out of it. So, they don’t have to remember all the concepts about justification, but they can sure think about Abraham in his life and how faith was played out. And how did God count him righteous? Through his faith, but not a perfect faith. So, they’ve got all this context. That’s what a story does for people. It gives us a context for… It takes abstract ideas and makes them concrete.

0:16:24.8 Jim Lovelady: Absolutely. Yeah. That’s how the Bible works. The Bible doesn’t say, “all right, here are the 10 things you need to know about grace.” The Bible goes, “here’s a story of a father who had two sons. One son took the inheritance and squandered it. The other son slaved away.” Neither one of them loved the father.

0:16:43.5 George Mixon: Absolutely.

0:16:44.1 Jim Lovelady: Both are invited into the love of the Father, who’s constantly inviting us into the party.

0:16:50.3 George Mixon: Exactly. So, one of the examples that I often give about this idea of taking the abstracts and making them concrete is, like among the Maasai that I’ve worked with for a long time, they have a very complex ritualistic system of moving through different age categories. And there are elaborate ceremonies involved. And so, the final one, and circumcision is a hood part of it, becoming a warrior, becoming a full man. The final one qualifies the guy as a full elder, which enables him to start the process with his kids. I’ve been to these ceremonies, and in the ceremony, there’s blood sacrifices. It’s pretty incredible. But there’s a point where all the holy men can gather in this circle surrounded by these branches and this ritualistic stuff goes on. So, what’s a holy man? Okay? So, for them, what is a holy man who qualifies to go in there? Well, he has all his members. He’s not missing an arm, or a testicle, or an eye, or anything like that.

0:18:05.1 Jim Lovelady: Interesting.

0:18:05.1 George Mixon: The big thing is he obeys the culture, and he takes his kids…

0:18:11.6 Jim Lovelady: He’s done it right.

0:18:13.9 George Mixon: He’s done all the different things. However, a lot of them are wife beaters, a lot of them are drunkards, he can be a liar, he can be a cheat, he can even be a murderer, as long as he’s not murdering another Maasai.

0:18:31.0 Jim Lovelady: Interesting.

0:18:31.9 George Mixon: And he’s a holy man! So, now I’m going to come in with the Roman robe and say, all have sinned. You’re a sinner. God is holy. Oh, God has both of his eyes and limbs and only kills other people. So holiness… Abstract means nothing. However, with stories, what is, where’s holiness? God destroyed the whole world because of man’s sin. And man’s sin was not just all the awful stuff they did. Every thought of the heart of the man was always evil all the time. So our sin is something deeper. The whole world turned upside down in the Garden of Eden. All they did was bite an apple. What’s the big deal? 

0:19:14.8 Jim Lovelady: What’s the big deal? 

0:19:16.3 George Mixon: They changed their whole allegiance. They’re no longer… They’re trying to run their whole lives. And so holiness… I mean, we see it in the sacrifices, for us to come to God by faith and repentance in the Old Testament, he wanted us to bring a sacrifice that bled ’cause he was showing us what holiness is about. Your sin leads to death. That’s how important holiness is. So now holiness is not just this abstract idea. It’s a mental picture of what God has been doing at the Passover over and over. And that’s true of faith. That’s true of God’s power. That’s true of what’s grace, what… All these things, they’re no longer abstract, they’re actual concrete things. The other huge beauty of Story is that when you’re getting around to application. You can always say, so how is your life? I mean, how have you faced a situation like Abraham did where you feel like God’s telling you to do something really hard that doesn’t make sense, or is unseen to you. It may be some great calling to save the world, or it may be going and repenting to your wife for your sins. Or going to your stinky neighbor who’s hard to get along with. So when we make our application questions, we can always relate it to the very tangible story. So it’s great for making application.

0:20:51.6 Jim Lovelady: Interesting. And the Story is amazing because, as you were working with the Maasai people, there are rules and regulations on how you know you’re okay. How do you know that you are qualified? Well, every culture has those things.

0:21:10.6 George Mixon: Absolutely.

0:21:10.7 Jim Lovelady: The American culture that I live in, I’m steeped in and often don’t even realize that it’s happening. It’s this complex set of cultural rules and regulations…

0:21:22.3 George Mixon: Exactly.

0:21:26.4 Jim Lovelady: To help me know whether or not I’m okay. Well, the same story for the Maasai people of the way that the gospel is working itself out there is the same story in my American context, showing that actually all of these things find their answer and hope and the sigh of relief and the freedom is in Christ in the gospel.

0:21:46.2 George Mixon: Right. Right.

0:21:48.5 Jim Lovelady: Yeah, this is really cool. This is exciting. I can’t wait to see you in action as you’re unpacking these stories, you guys are going to be going through the book of Daniel.

0:21:56.5 George Mixon: That’s our content this week.

0:22:01.2 Jim Lovelady: That’s the content for this week, but it’s also how you’re helping train these folks to whatever part of the Bible they’re in, they’ll take these tools and they’ll translate them and then take them back as they’re training much the people under them. So, yeah. It looks amazing.

0:22:20.6 George Mixon: Yeah. It’s exciting.

0:22:27.0 Jim Lovelady: All right, well, I can’t wait to see it…

0:22:27.1 George Mixon: Thanks.

0:22:27.0 Jim Lovelady: In action. But I’m also smelling…

0:22:27.6 George Mixon: You’re smelling the food? 

0:22:27.7 Jim Lovelady: Lunch. I don’t know what it is, but it smells really good.

0:22:30.3 George Mixon: Good.

0:22:30.4 Jim Lovelady: So we should go eat soon.

0:22:32.4 George Mixon: All right.

0:22:32.4 Jim Lovelady: All right. Well, George, asante sana.

0:22:36.3 George Mixon: Thank you. Karibu sana.


0:22:45.3 Jim Lovelady: The meal we had after that interview was really good. I’ll never forget. It was truly an honor to get to sit down with George and hear his story and how the story of Jesus captured his heart. But I must say, it was an incredible privilege to get to sit down with these Kenyan pastors who are serving in some really remarkable places, to hear how the Chronological Bible Storying has shaped their ministry and changed their lives. I’m going to share four interviews right now, and then a few more in the next episode. But for these, I want you to pay attention to how the stories of the Bible have impacted them and their ministry as they share their favorite story from the Bible. I hope that from across the world, you can experience just how alike we all are as we find ourselves in these stories. So first up, how about Julius and the power of forgiveness? Find yourself in this story.

0:23:40.0 Julius Munyithia: My name is Reverend Julius Munyithia. I’m working with Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church here in Nairobi. I’ve been there almost I think 10 years now.

0:23:55.6 Jim Lovelady: Oh. Wow. Yeah, that’s right.

0:23:57.4 Julius Munyithia: Yes. I’ve stayed there a little bit because when I came, I came like a church planter in that church. Although it was started by somebody else, but many pastors left because the church could not support them.

0:24:17.3 Jim Lovelady: Right. It’s not in a very… It’s in a poor part of town.

0:24:20.8 Julius Munyithia: Very poor, poor condition. But since I came, I could do some few jobs like carpentry work. So I could support a little bit myself and my family, but I could sustain me there. That’s why I’m be there.

0:24:34.5 Jim Lovelady: So tell me your favorite CBS story.

0:24:37.9 Julius Munyithia: My favorite story is about Joseph. Joseph’s story, I like this story the way Joseph was brought up by his father. One being loved by his father because he was born at the age when Jacob was aged and also this is all the boy that was born by the wife that Jacob loved. So I like the way Joseph was relating with his father and also the way he was relating with his brothers. He told them the dream he had. And then after that, they were not happy with him. After that, the way they did to him, finally they treated his father. The guy was sold to Egypt. But the good of it was Joseph was with God. He trusted God. He was always, he had hope with God. So after he went to Egypt, all that was happening to him, God was with him. He was in prison, God was with him. And I like something that humbled me. That is why I like this story so much, is the way this guy approached his brothers for forgiveness. I think he knew the love of Jesus, that God has loved him the way he has taken care of him. And then he could even have power to visit his brothers and tell them, you intended to do evil to me but God intended good for me. I forgiven for you. I had a brother that he told me we can start a business. And then I said, it’s okay. He told me the story, what kind of business he want us to start. Then he told me if we can share some money and then we buy a bus for business. And then I did that. I gave a 100k and that exactly that’s what I had in my account.

0:26:49.3 Jim Lovelady: You gave everything you had…

0:26:49.5 Julius Munyithia: Kabisa! 

0:26:51.0 Jim Lovelady: To buy this bus.

0:26:51.8 Julius Munyithia: Yes. Then after he bought the bus, because the agreement was, we will be splitting the profit. But immediately he bought the car, he stopped, even communication, he cut off.

0:27:08.4 Jim Lovelady: Oh my gosh.

0:27:09.7 Julius Munyithia: So he took about six months. Then I tried to talk to him, he was so arrogant to me. I tried to talk to my parents. He could not help. So he went home and bribed my parents so they could not listen to me.

0:27:31.0 Jim Lovelady: Oh, my goodness.

0:27:32.3 Julius Munyithia: So after that, it was so bitter to me that even I could not even wanted to meet with him. So he stayed almost a year plus. So finally, I came to my senses and I said, it’s like I’m having a big burden in my heart, in my life. So what I’m going to do is… And that’s what I told my wife. So I said, I will go and face my brother. And I told him that since I can see you have totally refused to give the share per agreement, I’m hereby going to forgive you completely. And I know the God I serve. He will provide money in his own time, and I’ll have another car. That’s what I did.

0:28:29.0 Jim Lovelady: Wow.

0:28:30.7 Julius Munyithia: I went and met him. I told him, I want to meet with you.

0:28:34.5 Jim Lovelady: And he met with you? 

0:28:35.8 Julius Munyithia: Yeah, he met, then I told him exactly, “You remember our agreement? You remember the money I gave you? Even my account is now nothing. And the money I gave to you, but it’s like you refused to give what we had agreed. Today I’ve forgiven you. I’ll not ask you again, but God will provide for me.”

0:29:00.0 Jim Lovelady: Wow.

0:29:00.5 Julius Munyithia: And surely God has provided. He has provided several times. I bought the car, a new car. So but also, forgiveness is a process. It’s a healing process. Healing process. So Joseph’s story is so familiar to me.

0:29:23.8 Jim Lovelady: Your story is beautiful because we all have something that we value. And when someone takes that away, we have to contend with, can I forgive this person? Or what do I need in order to bring myself to that place where I can actually forgive? It has to be something supernatural. It has to be something from outside of myself. So when Jesus comes to you and says, “I will take care of you. Can you trust me?” And you say, “I will trust you,” and you take that step. I love that you said, “I came to my senses.” Your brother was the one who did all this harm to you. But you said, “I came to my senses,” and realized that you had to have… In order to have peace, in order to keep going in life, you had to be the one that forgave him.

0:30:18.2 Julius Munyithia: Yes.

0:30:18.9 Jim Lovelady: So has he come to his senses? 

0:30:21.6 Julius Munyithia: Oh, [laughter] he is older than me.

0:30:26.2 Jim Lovelady: Oh, he’s older than you? 

0:30:26.9 Julius Munyithia: Yeah.

0:30:27.6 Jim Lovelady: Oh, okay.

0:30:27.6 Julius Munyithia: So in Africa, we have that kind of problem. Somebody who is older than you to come and apologize to you is a little bit difficult.

0:30:37.3 Jim Lovelady: Oh, interesting. Yeah.

0:30:40.0 Julius Munyithia: So, he has not come, but for me… But now we are friendly, we can come, we can meet, take tea together. But I saw some fears in his life, because he’s maybe fearing to tell me, you know, what I did to you was wrong. I know that’s the problem he has. What I did to you was wrong and maybe I would like to pay back. I know those are kind of fears he has, but to me, I’ve nothing holding him in my heart. Completely, I have forgiven him and have peace in my heart, in my mind, completely. Yes.

0:31:26.0 Jim Lovelady: You run to Jesus and you’re angry and you say, “Jesus, are you going to do something about this situation?” And Jesus goes, “I’m going to take care of that. What’s more important is I want to free you of the fear. I want to liberate you from fear. Do you want this?” And you go, “Yeah.”

0:31:45.3 Julius Munyithia: I said, yes. Yes. Jesus. That’s what I want. And I can have peace. Peace in mind, see peace in my heart, oh, so beautiful. Yes.

0:31:55.2 Jim Lovelady: Amen.

0:31:56.7 Julius Munyithia: Yes. Yes.

0:32:00.8 Jim Lovelady: That’s so good. Well, thank you. Thank you for sharing.

0:32:03.4 Julius Munyithia: Thank you so much.


0:32:10.9 Jim Lovelady: What a remarkable story. And it’s not over yet. Right? Julius is still trusting that the Lord is going to work that story out. So how about another one? I want to introduce you to Patrick as he tells the story of Naaman and how God gives grace to the humble. And then another story of the serpent and Eve and the great promise of God. Find yourself in these stories. 

0:32:28:0 Jim Lovelady: Well, Patrick, it’s great to meet you.

0:32:38.8 Patrick Sayialel: Yeah, nice to meet you, too.

0:32:40.5 Jim Lovelady: So tell me about yourself. Tell me who you are, where you’re doing your ministry, where you’re a pastor, and a little bit about how CBS has impacted your ministry.

0:32:53.7 Patrick Sayialel: Thank you. My name is Patrick. I have one wife and five childrens, three sons and two daughters. And I serve as a presiding bishop of a denomination called Community Christian Church, CCC. So I lead the whole country. We have over 500 churches in the whole country.

0:33:19.6 Jim Lovelady: Wow.

0:33:20.0 Patrick Sayialel: And I lead as a presiding bishop. I have like over 300 pastors pastoring in our church. And the ministry actually is doing well. When I started joining the group and start learning about the CBS, for the first time, I didn’t understand that this is a good thing. I thought it’s just a cloth. I thought it’s just some pictures with no meanings. But when I started to go through, when George came and started, took us through personally, I was so blessed. I was so blessed. And the most favorite story that I like…

0:34:01.8 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. What’s your favorite? 

0:34:03.6 Patrick Sayialel: The story of Naaman. The story of…

0:34:05.7 Jim Lovelady: Why do you like the Naaman story? 

0:34:07.6 Patrick Sayialel: Because Naaman was a great man of… He was a soldier of Syria. But finally he had a problem of leprosy. I learned that sometimes we feel that we are great. We are, we know we are well academic, we have full of knowledge, we are great people, we are well… It is true; we are well known. So this is like, we have to humble ourselves, no matter the education, the wealthiness that we have, whatever we have, we still have, we still need God. Because we can’t do it by ourselves until we surrender, until we repent before the Lord. We have to allow ourselves and the story of the woman and the serpent—I like because Genesis 3:15, there were curses between Adam, Eve, and the serpent. So God told a woman the seed of a woman will…

0:35:22.5 Jim Lovelady: Crush the head of the snake.

0:35:23.8 Patrick Sayialel: It speaks about the Savior who will come, actually who has already come. And it gives us a promise that right now, the Savior will come.

0:35:34.4 Jim Lovelady: That’s right.

0:35:35.1 Patrick Sayialel: Who will save us from all the problems, all the whatever. He will come. And whenever he comes, we’ll be with him and we’ll be with Jesus. And he will save us, we’ll put our trust in Him and we will be given an eternal life. So it’s a great promise.

0:35:57.2 Jim Lovelady: As soon as the problem of the world comes into the world, the solution is promised. Just right there.

0:36:05.1 Patrick Sayialel: The solution is promised. I really like the two stories.

0:36:10.4 Jim Lovelady: Thank you so much for sharing, Patrick.

0:36:12.1 Patrick Sayialel: Thank you so much.

0:36:12.8 Jim Lovelady: It was great to meet you.


0:36:20.9 Jim Lovelady: And how about another from Martin, a missionary in Northern Kenya and his favorite Bible story about the power of Jesus, the friend of sinners who brings his friends out from the realm of the dead. Find yourself in this story. 

0:36:32:0 Jim Lovelady: Jina lako ni nani? 

0:36:40.7 Martin Mwangi: Good.

0:36:40.8 Jim Lovelady: Is it pretty good? 

0:36:42.3 Martin Mwangi: Yeah.

0:36:43.0 Jim Lovelady: I said, what is your name, right? 

0:36:44.2 Martin Mwangi: Yes.

0:36:44.6 Jim Lovelady: I did say that one.

0:36:44.7 Martin Mwangi: What is your name? Jina lako ni nani? 

0:36:47.0 Jim Lovelady: Jina lako ni nani? 

0:36:48.4 Martin Mwangi: Yes. My name is Martin. Martin Mwangi is my name, I’m a born again Christian. I was brought up in a Christian family by both my parents, my dad and my mom who are still there. They introduced me to church in a very tender age. But I did go get born again that time. I got born again when I was a youth, when I was about to join high school. And right now I am a missionary serving in northern part of our country among one of the least rich communities in Kenya.

0:37:31.8 Jim Lovelady: Oh, wow.

0:37:32.6 Martin Mwangi: It’s Ariaal Rendille community, which is an intermarriage between Samburu community and the Rendille community.

0:37:40.0 Jim Lovelady: So the Samburu and the…

0:37:42.9 Martin Mwangi: The Rendille community.

0:37:43.6 Jim Lovelady: Rendille.

0:37:44.7 Martin Mwangi: Yes. Yes.

0:37:45.2 Jim Lovelady: Samburu and Rendille.

0:37:46.8 Martin Mwangi: And the Rendille community.

0:37:48.0 Jim Lovelady: So they came together and they formed…

0:37:50.4 Martin Mwangi: Because of the intermarriage here, like the Samaritans who came as a result, intermarriage between Jews and Assyrians.

0:37:58.3 Jim Lovelady: Oh, interesting. Okay.

0:38:00.0 Martin Mwangi: So The Rendilles are intermarried between Samburu community and the Rendille community. Yeah.

0:38:07.5 Jim Lovelady: Okay.

0:38:08.3 Martin Mwangi: So I can’t say that I’m really a pastor of any local church.

0:38:11.7 Jim Lovelady: You’re a missionary.

0:38:13.0 Martin Mwangi: Because I’m a missionary reaching out to the whole community, and when people get born again, I encourage them to join churches of their choice.

0:38:22.1 Jim Lovelady: Okay. That’s wonderful.

0:38:23.8 Martin Mwangi: As long as Christ is being preached.

0:38:26.0 Jim Lovelady: Right. So what has the Chronological Bible Storying looked like for you in your mission work up there? And how has it had an impact? 

0:38:36.3 Martin Mwangi: First of all, when I went to that region, I didn’t know anything to do with the Chronological Bible Story training. And I served for, like let me say close to three years. And I really struggled to present the gospel to the community. Because the community that I’m reaching out to, the larger percent of the community, they are kind of semi-illiterate and therefore, it is hard for them to really grasp the gospel the way it is being preached in these other regions of developed places in our country. So when I learned about the training that was happening in a place nearby where I was staying, I decided to join the training. And to me, I can say it was a big blessing. Because for me, it ministered to my heart. I was able to see the whole gospel right away from the beginning of creation. I was able to see the gospel in the Old Testament, and again, even it being revealed in the New Testament. So it also ministered to me, and again, it also equipped me to minister to the people that I was reaching out to. It opened many doors because we are Africans, and we love stories. We learn through stories. That is how our great great parents taught our great parents and even our parents. And so that is our natural way of learning. And so, now when I learned about Chronological Bible Story sessions, I went back to the village where I was as a missionary and I started using that as a method of reaching out to the community. And many people got interested to hear the gospel. And every time they were looking forward, they looked forward to the next session. And out of that, there are people who gave their lives to Christ. And I can say currently, the church that is in that village, it is majorly the result of Chronological Bible Story training. And even now, even as I do ministry, because I later moved from that village and moved to another place where I am now mainly focusing on student ministry. And still, that is what I do. The reason I prefer using Chronological Bible stories, one of the reasons is because the region that I’m reaching out to and the community that I’m reaching out to is an unreached community. These are people who have not had the gospel before, and therefore I find it very hard to start telling them the gospel from New Testament. So I prefer laying a firm foundation right away.

0:41:31.4 Jim Lovelady: The whole story.

0:41:32.2 Martin Mwangi: From the beginning, so that later, when we are talking about Christ being born, they already know why is he being born? And that has been tremendous. I’ve seen great results out of that. Young people in schools have gotten born again because of that ministry. And that also keeps me encouraged to train even more other people. I’m also a trainer. I became a trainer of CBS by God’s grace. And it’s been a great honor and privilege to see people being blessed by this ministry.

0:42:07.5 Jim Lovelady: Yeah, I love it. So tell me what is your favorite of all the Chronological Bible Storying stories, what is your favorite and why? 

0:42:16.9 Martin Mwangi: I think I love all the stories, but there are two stories.

0:42:21.3 Jim Lovelady: You got a big one. Oh, two. Okay, fine. I’ll give you two.


0:42:23.9 Martin Mwangi: I love Jesus and the Samaritan woman, and also Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

0:42:31.6 Jim Lovelady: Oh. Why do you love that Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead? 

0:42:35.2 Martin Mwangi: One thing, I see the faithfulness of Jesus as a friend to Lazarus who never forsook him, even when he needed him most in a state where no one else could help him. And that is how I see myself. I was dead in my sins and no one could have saved me, but Jesus stepped in and saved me even when I was in such a state. And for me, I think that story makes a lot of sense to any other person who needs Christ as a Savior. So it’s happened that it’s one of my best stories. I love that. I love teaching that story. Yeah.

0:43:18.4 Jim Lovelady: When you teach that story, what’s a normal response for people? 

0:43:22.5 Martin Mwangi: One of the things that I’ve noted from the people that have listened to that story, they have come to love Jesus as a true friend. They have come to embrace him as the best friend they have. We actually have that song, What A Friend We Have in Jesus. Yes. So Jesus steps in as the best friend and the one who is able to help us, and even including my listeners from situations that are so dire and so needy. Yeah. That no one else could do that.

0:43:58.2 Jim Lovelady and Martin Mwangi: (singing) What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! 

0:44:23.4 Martin Mwangi: Amen.


0:44:23.6 Jim Lovelady: That was wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

0:44:27.3 Martin Mwangi: You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much.


0:44:37.6 Jim Lovelady: Okay. I’ve got one more for you today. Let me introduce you to Theophilus and the Bible story about how Jesus teaches two of the disciples about how all the stories of the Bible are actually about him. Find yourself in this story. 

Most blessed Theophilus.


0:44:49.9 Theophilus Musyimi: Thank you. Thank you.

0:44:58.7 Jim Lovelady: Jina lako ni nani? 

0:45:05.2 Theophilus Musyimi: Mimi naitwa…

0:45:05.3 George Mixon: No, usiseme hivyo. Sema, jina langu ni…

0:45:09.2 Theophilus Musyimi: Jina langu ni Theophilus Musyimi.

0:45:13.0 Jim Lovelady: I Just said, I think I said, what is your name? 

0:45:15.6 George Mixon: No, you were perfect.

0:45:17.0 Jim Lovelady: How do you say? 

0:45:17.9 George Mixon: There are many ways to say things. So he was starting to answer you in a different pattern and I said no, say it the way he does it.

0:45:23.5 Jim Lovelady: Oh, I’ve been learning.


0:45:29.1 Jim Lovelady: Most blessed Theophilus, it’s good to see you.

0:45:29.4 Theophilus Musyimi: Thank you.

0:45:30.3 Jim Lovelady: Okay. So here’s what I want to do. I would love for you to tell me a little bit about who you are, where you are a pastor, where you’re in ministry, and what the Chronological Bible Storying has done for your ministry. What impact has it had on your ministry? 

0:45:50.6 Theophilus Musyimi: Thank you for your good questions. I am Theophilus Musyimi, Reverend, Mchungaji, I work with the AEPC Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church, now in a place known as Machakos. I’ve been a pastor there for several years, and I have seen the church grow. I am married, I’m a family man with one wife, five children. And I like my family. I have known George for quite a while, like 17, 16 years…

0:46:30.6 Jim Lovelady: Wow.

0:46:31.1 Theophilus Musyimi: Ago. While I can say shortly about the Chronological Bible Story, it has really helped me personally, because I’ve been preaching the Bible the normal way, whereby we stand, you preach with the Bible breaking point one, point two, point three.

0:46:51.5 Jim Lovelady: Okay.

0:46:52.4 Theophilus Musyimi: But when we were introduced to this ministry of Chronological Bible Story whereby you learn the story by mind, you memorize it, you know it in the Bible, then you can preach freely to the people. And mostly while you are traveling, if you sit next to a person, you can start telling him about the word of God through a story. If you find a good friend or Muslim or an Islamic person, you can preach to him or to her without using the Bible. Because whenever you use a Bible before a Muslim person, he won’t allow you to continue. He’ll shut you down and say, no, I like the Quran, not the Bible. But, with these stories, you can really preach the gospel to him or to her, because many people like stories, and also, the Bible stories are sweet. And even they always speak to what’s through the heart of that person while listening to the story. So that is why I’m saying I’ve seen, the Bible story, Chronological Bible Story, helping my personal life, and helping my church because most of my preaching, I do them with Bible stories and the people, they have learned the stories of the Bible. And when they go back to the story, they find what I’m saying is true, like the Bereans. So I’ve seen the Bible story, the Chronological Bible Story really having an impact on my personal life and on the life of the church.

0:48:35.9 Jim Lovelady: Oh, that’s so good. What is your favorite story from the Chronological Bible Story? 

0:48:43.4 Theophilus Musyimi: I have several favorite stories.

0:48:44.9 Jim Lovelady: Yes. One.

0:48:45.2 Theophilus Musyimi: But One.

0:48:46.1 Jim Lovelady: Give me one.

0:48:46.2 Theophilus Musyimi: One. The road to Emmaus.

0:48:46.8 Jim Lovelady: Why do you love that one? 

0:48:47.2 Theophilus Musyimi: I like that one because it gives me hope, because these two guys—they were running from Jerusalem to hide themselves because their Savior was killed and they saw him. He was killed and buried and they had no hope because they had hoped in this Person. But when they went to Emmaus, Jesus came along with them. And he started telling them, actually he was telling them Chronological Bible Story.

0:49:19.9 Jim Lovelady: That’s right.

0:49:20.4 Theophilus Musyimi: And revealed to them that I am that Christ. And the one first, which really touched me, when they realized that was Jesus, they said, wow, were our hearts not burning. He said, when he revealed the word of God, when he told us the word of God. So the Word of God is life. He gave them life. And although they were running from Jerusalem, they went back again to tell the good news…

0:49:49.2 Jim Lovelady: That’s right.

0:49:49.6 Theophilus Musyimi: To the People. So that is why we are going to tell the good news to the rest of the people.

0:49:56.1 Jim Lovelady: Oh, I love that one. I love that. Because they didn’t know who he was until he broke the bread.

0:50:02.6 Theophilus Musyimi: Yes.

0:50:03.2 Jim Lovelady: And then they realized that it was Jesus…

0:50:04.3 Theophilus Musyimi: It was Jesus.

0:50:07.0 Jim Lovelady: In the breaking in communion.

0:50:08.1 Theophilus Musyimi: Yes.

0:50:08.5 Jim Lovelady: That’s when they saw him. All right, I love it. Well, thank you so much. That was beautiful.


0:50:22.1 Jim Lovelady: Now, I hope you caught the overarching thread of how each person was transformed through the power of these Bible stories. And listen, you know that it isn’t the story in and of itself that’s powerful. The real power is the Holy Spirit guiding those stories, renewing the person who hears them. You saw George Mixon’s life changed when he saw how the Holy Spirit was moving through the CBS curriculum, and you saw how every one of these pastors was impacted by the stories of the Bible and how these stories of God’s grace propelled them out into their communities. 

So, what’s your favorite Bible story right now? 

The story that’s recently wiggled its way into my imagination is the story of Ruth and Naomi, where Ruth binds herself to Naomi in covenantal love and faithfulness. And what makes that a profound and beautiful mystery to me is that Naomi calls herself bitter and Ruth is binding herself to an angry and bitter person.

0:51:18.4 Jim Lovelady: And she’s never going to let go. And it’s that kind of love that transforms Naomi. I love this story because in my struggle with anger and bitterness, it’s almost like Jesus says, yeah, sure. But everywhere you go, I will go. And everywhere you stay, I will stay and I will be with you, and I will transform your bitterness into gratitude and your anger into joy. And I think the fact that my imagination is captured by that story is evidence of some kind of faith. So that even as I’m telling the story, it gives me hope. 

And I think the simplicity of Chronological Bible Storying is actually quite genius. When these stories from the Bible impact me, it changes my imagination and reshapes my values, and that in turn, changes my actions. And maybe one day, while I’m in conversation with someone, the opportunity to share that story comes up. And I don’t share it outside of the context of my life, I share that story because of how it’s impacted my life and how I want it to impact the life of the person I’m sharing it with. So suddenly, telling a Bible story becomes the most natural way of talking about Jesus and how He’s changed your life. It may be the most natural form of evangelism there is. It reminds me of 1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord, always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have, but do this with gentleness and respect.” 

So how can you be ready to tell your story of the hope that you have in Christ? 

Well, our desire here at Serge is to see your heart renewed so that you know the hope that you have in Christ. And we want to equip you for life on mission so that you know how to tell others about that hope. That’s why Serge’s Renewal team offers a variety of resources. And I want to highlight one course called Discipleship Lab. It’s another fantastic way that we want to equip you to guide others in gospel growth. If you have people that you’re discipling or if you’re praying about how to become a discipler, go explore this curriculum. It’s a cohort-style training program, and I actually have the privilege of getting to co-lead a cohort here and there. It’s a program that gives you both theological understanding and practical tools to take the gospel that’s transforming your life and help others experience that same transformation in their lives. 

And that’s what we’re all about. That’s our story. Gospel renewal, leading to life on mission with God in his kingdom. So, go to serge.org and hover over the Renewal tab and explore more about Discipleship Lab. And be sure to check out the show notes for more information and resources, like how you can give to the work of Chronological Bible Storying in Kenya. Funding that project directly helps George and Ben take the CBS training to more places. In fact, lately, they’ve been taking the curriculum to some of the neighboring countries around Kenya. It’s really exciting to see how this is growing in some amazing ways. So please check out the link in the show notes to participate with that. And help me build awareness about the Global Ministry of Serge by sharing this podcast with folks. Leave a rating, and if you write a message on your podcast platform describing something that you like about the podcast and about Serge, that gets shared with lots and lots of people. And the more you do it, the more it gets shared. So if you find the stories we tell of how God is renewing the world as he sends us on mission, share these stories, always remembering that our stories are participating in a bigger story, the story of everything. But that’s for next time. 

For now, go tell your story about what God is doing in your life today. And remember, beloved, you are sent with God’s blessing. So may the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to smile down on you. May the Lord be gracious to you and turn his bright eyes to you and give you his peace. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God life everlasting, Amen. 


George Mixon

George Mixon serves as Renewal Specialist at Serge and supports Kenyan Serge teams in incorporating Bible storying into their gospel-centered ministries. George and his wife, Martha,  were missionaries in Kenya for almost three decades where they trained Kenyan leaders in Chronological Bible Storying (CBS). They have also developed a Bible Storying version of the Sonship curriculum for primary oral learners.


Jim Lovelady

Jim Lovelady is a Texas-born pastor, musician, and liturgist, doing ministry in Philadelphia with his wife, Lori, and 3 kids, Lucia, Ephram, and Talitha. He is passionate about the ministry of liberating religious people from the anxieties of religion and liberating secular people from the anxieties of secularism through the story of the gospel.

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