A True Story

A Collection of Brief Stories from the Bible

Written in Easy English

For Conversational English Classes



Stories Written by Gary and Evelyn Harthcock

Teachers of English As a Foreign Language, Southeast Asia

Illustrations Compiled by Debbie Corley
ESL Ministry Volunteer, Ruston, Louisiana


Notes About This Version of
A True Story by Gary and Evelyn Harthcock

In 2007, the Friendship International ESL Ministry (sponsored by the Concord-Union Association WMU) in Ruston, Louisiana began using A True Story during the Bible study portion of our English lessons. To help our students understand and be able to re-tell the stories, we began compiling illustrations for each story, and also slightly revised the format of many of the stories.

Over time, volunteers in other ESL ministries became aware that we had prepared pictures to use with A True Story and began to ask for copies to use with their students. Since the Harthcocks have made their materials available to download free of charge, we decided to seek their permission to put our pictures with their stories and make them available, free of charge, to anyone desiring to use simple Bible stories with their ESL students. The Harthcocks graciously agreed, and also gave permission for us to "do any revising that you think would be helpful."

Therefore, these materials are available free of charge as long as they are not used for profit in any way. They may be used by teachers who are teaching ESL free of charge to their students, and may also be used by students who are trying to improve their English skills. They may not be reproduced in any form to be sold for profit.

The stories and illustrations provided here are the result of that process. The stories and illustrations are numbered according to the original stories, though some stories have been combined and renamed. Most of the stories appear in this format:

Story number and title
Text of the story (in simple English, based on Scripture)
Location in the Bible where the story is found
"Words to Know" definitions of some words from the story
"Questions" to prompt a review of the story
A second page with the sentences of the story in large print. These can be copied, cut apart, mixed up, and given to students to put in order as a review of the story.
A page of illustrations that convey the meaning of the story in picture form. Some of the pictures were drawn by an ESL volunteer, and others are copies of illustrations from English Lessons from the Bible I and II, by Glenda Reece, Mildred Blankenship and Laurie Allen Klein. (The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has given permission for literacy missions volunteers to copy these illustrations for use with their ESL students.)

Because of their content, the following stories do not follow this format, though there is a page of illustrations for each of these also: Story 1, the creation account; and Stories 124 through 133, which contain excerpts from several of the New Testament letters.

Debbie Corley
Friendship International Ministry Volunteer
Ruston, Louisiana

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