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A lot has changed since JD Crowley began working with tribal peoples in Cambodia 16 years ago, patiently leading them through a Creation-to-Christ evangelism series that takes more than twenty sessions to complete. Today, the villagers themselves take the message to new villages as the church continues to grow.
But recently JD began to notice a problem. The Christians could capably teach the gospel from Genesis to Jesus over a number of hours, but when faced with a 20-minute opportunity, they seemed unable to boil the message down without leaving out essential elements. So JD adapted an Australian tract into a training chart that he calls “Creation to Christ in Twenty Minutes.”
JD had to translate both the words and the artwork. The original tract included stylized drawings that were not easily understood in a culture unaccustomed to the logo-filled West.
The villagers, for example, were unfamiliar with the crowns worn by European kings, so JD replaced the crown, which symbolized God, with a sunburst in the clouds. This fit their concept of the “God of the heavens.” JD also added color and made the stylized symbols more explicit as an aid for those who still can’t read.
The chart begins with God and creation, followed by the Fall, and continues through Christ’s death and resurrection. It concludes by leading the reader to make a decision: Live in rebellion against God and suffer eternal death in hell, or bow to the Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy eternal life with Him.
Last September, JD launched this new witnessing tool at a biennial leaders’ conference in northeast Cambodia.
Now those leaders are teaching their church members to witness using this creation-fall-redemption approach. As people come to the Lord, they still need the full 20-hour version to become well-grounded in the faith, but the condensed message is proving to be a very effective starting point. Within a few months, more than 20 villagers came to Christ.