“I was sitting on the couch of my condo. The blue, green water of the Pacific was glistening below. I was asking God some questions. How can I be changed? How can I be more like you? A thought flashed through my mind, “Memorize the whole New Testament!”. After almost choking on my coffee, I felt impressed that the Lord was encouraging me in that direction. So I decided to make the effort.”
After memorizing a good number of books, Paul Childers started to present them to young people at the University of the Nations Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Students enjoyed the work, but there was something missing. It was not coming alive as he felt the Word of God should. So through a series of events he got to know Bruce Kuhn, Broadway actor and now Bible presenter.
As Bruce and Paul began the discussion, a wild thought developed in their minds. Would it be possible to train non-actors to memorize an entire Gospel (abridged to 90 minutes) and deliver it in a way that imparts the power and life of that Gospel. So Paul and Bruce launched the Word By Heart school.
The wild idea worked! Non-actors are being trained to memorize books of the Bible and deliver them in a powerful and personal way. What started off with one school at YWAM's University of the Nations Campus in Kona, HI, in 2013, has since then multiplied to 15 different locations in 2016 and projecting 30 locations in 2017. The school is replicating through the University of the Nations network. (The University of the Nations is in 140 countries and runs over 300 courses.)
The vision of Word By Heart is to see the Word of God embraced as the forming story for personal and social life in all nations and for every language group.
Word By Heart seeks to do this through live “truthtelling” of the Word. Our vision is to see the number of “TruthTellers” multiplied through training. The goal is that they share the Word of God in their mother tongue with their own cultural idiom and humor.
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