The Maba of Chad
Location: Mostly Eastern Chad and some in Sudan. The Maba are one of the largest non-Arab people groups in Chad. They are the dominant tribe of the Wadai mountains. The Wadai region is hot and dry most of the year, characterized by broad flat grasslands and plateaus.
History: Long ago the Maba overthrew the Christian Tunjur dynasty in Wadai and formed the backbone of the Islamic Wadai Empire, which dominated Eastern Chad in the 1800s. In modern Maba society, chiefs and members of the royal class still possess a high degree of prestige and power, although the French abolished the sultanate in 1912.
Culture: Although they are Muslims, people live in fear, using amulets and charms to ward off evil and sickness. They are primarily farmers, growing millet and wheat, as well as raising horses, goats, sheep, and chickens. The Sultan serves as head of state of the region and rules through governors and district chiefs. The Queen Mother is highly esteemed and has great influence.
Religion: Folk Islam
Latest Prayer Updates:
Pray for O, one of a few Maba believers, who is increasingly severely sick with heart failure despite every medicine possible. Pray that the peace which passes all understanding will fill his heart and will be a witness to his family, friends, and neighbours. Pray that God would intervene and heal him.
In December you prayed that the checking of the Genesis translation into Maba might restart. It had been apparently “forever blocked”. O has been the Maba person who used to work on it. This last week, another man, Ib was finally found to help. A few hours of work were possible before the person leading the translation had to leave for other responsibilities. She returns early April. Praise God the translation did restart, pray that it will continue when she returns in April and that O will be fit enough to take part. There is something very strange in the way the translation hasn’t moved forward, but it is difficult to get to the bottom of it. Pray against the forces of evil working against progress amongst these people.
The visit made by the church of southern Chadians led to leaflets with the word of God being distributed to 400 households with team members being welcomed by most. One couple decided to follow the one Saviour. Pray that they will grow in their fledgling faith. They have a new testament in local Arabic. Pray that they will understand it. The husband can read but it is not clear how well.