Tribals Coming Alive!


“I want to see this work with tribals!”

So said my buddy Zhenya as he met me in Moscow airport before the recent Siberia “Reindeer” STS training.

From the very beginning, when I led my first “foreign” workshop in the Peruvian Amazon, it never occurred to me to doubt that God would raise up storytellers among tribal peoples in any less of a way than He would among literates and Westerners.

This was the Urarina of Peru, who told me that they had discovered (“at last!”) a way to share the Gospel and Bible message in a way that was ‘just like how we do it in our village’.

This is a people group of whom the missionaries, working among them for 25 years, said to me, “There is no way” they will learn how to show action and expression required in storytelling, and also lead discussion to help others find treasures in stories.

Those missionaries could not believe their eyes when I showed them the video ‘proof’ of Urarina storytellers in action!

The same was true in the Panamanian jungle, where missionaries could not believe that “these tribals” could “critically think”! An uneducated tribal woman later sure put paid to that mindset!

A couple of weeks ago Zhenya was ecstatic, as were others, to see Vitalik (pictured above) come alive in his Nenets region of the Arctic Circle and connect naturally with STS and storytelling ministry. And … Vitalik now prays publicly. Something he never did before.

“May the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you … May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.”
~ Psalm xlvii 4,5 & 7


Land of Snow

Land of Snow from Bryan Thompson on Vimeo.

Russian banya and other stories



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More adventure on the Siberian tundra: reindeer festivals, chums, wrestling, stick pulling and races and a good old Russian banya


Heading east on the Yamal


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A wee summary of our workshop this past week and plans for the reindeer festival this weekend