David served the persecuted and restricted church from 1994-2008 with The Voice of the Martyrs. During that time, David saw God working in great power to make disciples and grow house churches in hostile and restricted nations. Not surprisingly, the way David saw God making disciples was the same way God made disciples in the early Church of Acts.
The believers in these church planting movements depended on the Scriptures. New believers engaged in sharing the Gospel and making disciples at great personal cost, even death. Believers formed mature and intimate relationships. All they had for discipleship was the Bible, the willingness to share it with others, and the commitment to obey Jesus.
Often, the Bible that the Persecuted Church used was not written. David and Cindy saw the first example of this in their friendship with Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand. Richard Wurmbrand was imprisoned for 14 years in post-WWII Communist Romania, and Richard and the other Christians imprisoned with him never had a Bible. Each man had part of the Bible stored in memory, “in their heart.” They shared that Scripture and used the “Living Word” to encourage, exhort, and strengthen each other.
Today around the world, underground Church has the same experience. In many places, it is illegal or dangerous to carry a Bible. They testify that their heart is the safest place to store the Word of God.
Responding to persecution and inspired by the Holy Spirit, workers around the globe have developed oral methods to share and study the Bible inductively. At SOM International, we teach discipleship and evangelism tools grounded in the Bible.