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Stories I Heard in West Africa – by Dave Naff

Posted on Aug 4, 2005 | 0 comments

Stories I Heard in West Africa

Stories I Heard in West Africa are traditional African short stories. They were originally told orally. They have been gathered together and illustrated by David A Naff, an SIM missionary. Each story includes Scriptures that relates to the moral teachings in the story.

The human backgrounds (villages and human activities) in the illustrations are generally accurate and typical of West Africa. Each story has a black and white sketch. Permission has been given to copy and hand out the sketches as reminders of the story. The illustrations fall under a folk art category. These are African stories and there is no mention of western ways or culture.

Author and Missionary Dave A. Naff, along with his wife Mary, served more than 35 years in Liberia. These fables have been handed down for centuries from one storyteller to another.

Additional stories are currently being developed.
Current stories:

  • Goat Tries to be Leopard – The story shows the danger of pretending to be what you aren’t. It also points out that we need to be born again as Christians. Each of the twelve written pages has a colored picture on the opposite page. The final page is a black and white drawing that may be copied for the children to keep. The Scripture references are: John 3:3, 1:12.
  • The Easy Way – The story points out the dangers of stealing and laziness. Each of the sixteen written pages has a colored picture on the opposite page. The final page has a black and white drawing that may be copied for the children to keep. In this story Snake gets into trouble by taking the easy way. The Scripture references are: Proverbs 14:12, II Thessalonians 3:10, Romans 1:22.
  • Remember the Duck – A young African boy confesses his sin and learns about forgiveness and real freedom. Each of the sixteen written pages has a colored picture on the opposite page. The final page has a black and white drawing that may be copied for the children to keep. The Scripture references are: Romans 6:12-16, I John 1:9.
  • Spider’s Heavy Load (an allegory) – Spider learns the consequence of sin and the freedom of confession and cleansing. Each of the 25 written pages has a colored picture on the opposite page. The final two pages have black and white drawings to be copied for the children to keep. A brief introduction and drawing accompany this story. This is the most African of stories and more difficult for non-Africans to understand. The storyteller frequently makes comments relating the story to particular Bible verses. This story ends with the words and music spider sings on his journey. The Scripture references are: Deuteronomy 18:10; Psalms 38:3,4; Proverbs 14:12; Jonah 2:3,5; Matthew 11:28; John 14:2; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23a; II Peter 3:9; I John 1:8-9; Revelation 21:27 and Revelation 22:14.
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