The Alagwa of Tanzania
Location and Background: The Alagwa live in in a geographically remote area at 4,000-6,000’ elevation in the hills and mountains of central Tanzania. They live in 15 villages, and although the Bubu river runs through the lower lands, the higher regions suffer from lack of water and they often must walk miles to find water to meet the needs of their families.
History: The Alagwa are a Cushitic group, who migrated south from the horn of Africa. They believe they are descended from Habesh, who was the 10th generation from Noah’s son Ham, and are still living with the curse put on their ancestor.
Culture: The Alagwa are subsistence farmers, growing maize and millet. They also keep cows, goats and sheep. They are very community oriented, living in houses made of burned brick with roofs of thatched grass. The Alagwa speak both Alagwaisa and Kiswahili.
Religion: A tribal legend says that once when some Alagwa visited Mecca they were rejected by the Muslims for having ‘no religion’—only animistic beliefs. They later embraced Islam, so that now well over 90% are Muslims. However, they seamlessly blend their traditional beliefs with their Islamic ones. Allah, Mungu and Lala’a are all used to refer to God. So although they are called Muslims, their beliefs and practices are strongly steeped in their traditional ways of life.
Latest Prayer Updates:
Pray for the Holy Spirit to work mightily among the Alagwa, filling the believers with boldness to confess their faith in Christ to their families and friends. Pray for unity among the missionaries and nationals who are working to reach them with the gospel. Pray that the Word of God will be translated and that many will hear it and believe.
Please pray for the next Scripture translation week in July. Pray for all the translators to be able to attend, and for God to prepare their hearts as they come for a week-long Bible study! Particularly pray for the translators who are not believers, that their hearts and spirits would be touched by God, and that they would respond to Him. Please also pray for the challenging logistics to come together well.