Together John and Youssef sat down and wrote the 17 episodes of five minute or less in length. First, the most relevant stories for Muslims were chosen from the scriptures. Second, the stories were outlined in English. Then John & Youssef sat down together and wrote out the stories in the local language. While writing, they thought through each line theologically and contextually. They were intent on keeping the stories Biblical, yet telling them orally. They were also intent on making sure they were contextual so that when heard by locals, they would be clearly understood. There were many hours spent writing, thinking and theologizing so that the clear Gospel message was presented in a way the local people could understand.
Once a script was completed, they enlisted a local believer from a Muslim background to dramatically record the stories professionally. They also hired an artist in North America. She was given a description of the art images that were needed to illustrate the story. This artist had short-term experience working among Muslims. Because the art production was getting backlogged, a second artist was hired from within the country to create additional art. This artist offered further valuable insight into artistic concepts that helped contextualize the imagery further.
A photography studio volunteered their services to photograph the paintings and they were sent digitally to the team on the field. Due to cost concerns, John edited each episode himself in iMovie. A rough cut of each episode was given to several people in different countries in the same region who would field test each story in their context. Feedback was given on each episode that shaped the final version. On several occasions, images were changed or adjusted due to the input from the field-testing for better contextualization.
Each episode was created in this fashion and averaged 9 weeks to produce and approximately $1,500 USD per story. Approximately 85% of the cost was for the artwork produced.
The original art images are available for similar usage for free to those who will not profit from its use but are seeking material to use for evangelism and discipleship. Conditions apply and final work must be approved by Stories of Life Productions so as to maintain quality products of our copyrighted material.
Stories of Life can also help with producing these video stories into other dialects. These stories specifically relate to the Muslim mindset. All that is needed is for interested parties to provide Stories of Life with a professional recording of each story and Stories of Life can adjust video images and provide encoding for mobile phones or other video formats needed. At present, the stories are available in English, Arabic, and Urdu.
A Resource Disk is available that contains PowerPoint that can be used to train people how to use this tool.
Phase 1, a set of 17 evangelism stories is now complete. Check www.hikayaat.com. We are in production on Phase 2, stories related to the life of Jesus and the Life of Abraham, which are discipleship-geared stories. Eventually Stories of Life hopes to complete an illiterate’s story Bible that can be used on cell phones for evangelism and discipleship.
Product Summary: Story One (S01 – God’s Love Story) is the “capstone” story from which all the other stories are hinged. It is a “Creation to Christ’s Return and the New World” story that is purposely held short to 5 minutes so it can be remembered easily and shared and repeated by those who use it or teach it. It encompasses the whole of the gospel in a contextualized way that the Muslim mind can understand. Stories 2-17 expound upon Story 1 in more detail. Stories 2-17, when used individually, may be of more use when speaking into a certain issue in someone’s life or on a special occasion visit. For example using the story of “Abraham’s Sacrifice” on Eid would be highly relevant and appropriate during an Eid visit or the Jesus’ Birth story for having a Christmas party with your friends. Many of the stories include a “gospel bridge” at the end that you can modify and use with any of these stories individually.