Praise God that at this time Christians are being raised up by God to live among the Zigua and share the gospel with this Muslim tribe. Pray that they will be the fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved, an aroma of life to life. Pray for their prayers for the perishing to be powerful in turning people from dead works to serve the living God.
Pray for the Zigua to become very disillusioned with Islam and with spiritism or witchcraft, and be drawn to the purity, truth and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Zigua have just received a team of believers. Pray for curious and open hearts, grace to welcome new neighbors, and patient language helpers to step forward. Praise God for sending Light into the darkness.
Pray that the Zigua will turn from Islam, from witchcraft, from traditions and from anything else that they have trusted in, and will put their hope in the Living God and worship His Son Jesus and look eagerly for His soon return.
Please pray for the turmoil in the hearts of some in our village. We’ve been walking with a young father who has much sin in his life. He wants to follow Jesus and his commands, but is afraid to lose his wife and children. He is pleading with us Christians to share the good news with his wife and see if she will respond. We have been doing this. Pray for a positive response. Our local imam is also in turmoil. Yesterday morning he used his morning call to prayer to warn people against our deception. He saw our giving vegetables to neighbors as a threat. He warned them that we are trying to lead them off track. Pray that the veil would be lifted and he would see things as they really are!
A team of new workers is awaiting visas to begin living among the Zigua and sharing Christ with them. Please pray that all the necessary government permissions will be granted, and that the Zigua will be prepared by the Holy Spirit to be unusually receptive to the team and to their message.
We know of several men interested in following Jesus. One of them has actually told us that he knows that Jesus is the one true God and that Islam has people caught in lies. But they are afraid. They are afraid of losing what little they have- wives, children, community. Please pray that perfect love would drive out fear. Pray for their wives to come also and stand with them. Pray for a community of believers to form as a soothing balm against alienation and rejection.
Emmanuel, a new Zigua believer, is attended a training for new believers June 20th. Please pray with us that God will equip him mightily to tell others (including his grown son) about God’s Kingdom and Jesus. Pray also that Tanzanians will be assigned soon to the missionary team as we believe we will all be more effective if we have national team members.
Please pray for our new believer Emmanueli. As the holy month begins, persecution against him has stepped up. He went to a funeral for a relative and people refused to shake his hand. He told them, “though you have rejected me, I do not reject you. And someday, I have hope that we will shake hands again”. When he is insulted, he continues to stand firm, and offer the other cheek. He told us, that God’s word is what gives him the strength to do that. He feels like it has really found its home in his heart. He continues to testify boldly. He asked for more Bibles to hand out and knows of at least 5 more people who are interested in following Jesus, but are afraid of the isolation. Please pray over the holy month that more people who are truly seeking God would find him. Pray that those disillusioned with the status quo would find the inner strength to step out in boldness. Pray for the harvest!
Pray that those Zigua who have begun to study the Scriptures and learn about Christ will put their faith in Him and will refuse to participate in the evil deeds of darkness but instead even expose them.
Please pray for the Zigua. Finally the life-giving rains are here. Everything is green and new. People have planted their maize, though it’s early days, the crop looks solid. But so does the grass. As fast as the maize grows, the weeds are faster. Each morning our little village empties out as people go to hoe the weeds out of their fields and keep the birds at bay. As they go out to tend to their fields, we pray for the spiritual harvest. We too, pray that the birds of the air, will not steal our scattered seed. We pray that the soil is good. We pray that the weeds will not choke out our tiny plants. We long for the Kingdom to arrive here. Please pray with us.
The village chairwoman came to ask us to make photocopies of their holy book (the Koran) to make charms. No, we answered, we can’t do that. Now she is saying that she isn’t afraid of the Bible, but that we are afraid of their book. Pray for a break through!
On the other hand, we are praising God for bringing rain to us the day before a traditional rain ceremony was planned. Now people are out planting instead of engaging in traditional spiritistic practices. This was a huge encouragement to our new Zigua believer!
A will be baptized this Sunday. His wife also wants to follow Jesus! God is so good!
A is a brand new believer in Jesus. He’s read the Bible we gave him cover to cover, was the only attendant at our first church service in the village and after answering his double sided page of questions he wants to be baptized! We had nothing to do with this. He came and found us and the Holy Spirit has obviously been at work with him for a while. Our partner church in another town wants to send someone to visit with him weekly for dicipleship. Pray for the right person! Meanwhile, a missionary is also scheduling time to spend with him. Pray also he would stand firm through the inevitable persecution he will experience!
Pray as we draw near to Christmas that we would be able to explain effectively why Jesus came to our Zigua friends and neighbors who are curious.
Pray for a way forward for education among the Zigua. So many kids don’t go to school at all. Pray for literacy to increase, and a hunger to read God’s Word.
Pray for a Zigua friend who came and asked for money to abort her fifth child. I told her that seeking an abortion is both dangerous and a sin. We discussed alternatives and I have assured her that I will help her in any way I can (such as vitamins, and some work to increase her household income) should she decide to keep the baby. Pray for her to keep her baby and through this stressful time to come to faith in Christ.
Child brides are quite normal among the Zigua, partly because hardly anyone attends or completes school. Another reason is that parents do not trust their children to abstain from premarital sex. The result is a cultural practice where girls are locked inside once they begin menstruating until the time when their parents can give them a “coming out party” This period is sometimes 2-3 years! After the party, the expectation is that the girl will soon be married. Please pray people come to know Christ, and this part of their culture be transformed.
Zigua people here rely heavily on natural and super-natural medicines that vary from reasonably effective to harmful. Pray that they would be able to put their faith in the Great Physician who is able to heal.
Please pray for a man named A who came by this week asking for a Bible. He wants to read it to compare it to the Koran… We gave him a copy of the NT in Zigua. He asked if we could get him the OT too. When I asked him if he wanted to put it in a bag he said he had nothing to hide. We encouraged him to come back with questions when he’s read some. Pray that his seeking heart will find the truth and he’d be set free! Pray that we’ll be able to connect with him again soon.
Please pray for the ongoing relationship between the Bagamoyo town church members, from other tribes, and the members of our village. Pray for growing trust and understanding. Many church members are deeply invested in the area, some to the point where they are purchasing farm land. Please pray that their motives and interest in the area would not be misunderstood by the community. Pray for growing interest among church members to reach out in word and deed to the Zigua, and for vision and understanding that they are indeed involved in cross-cultural ministry and need to be sensitive to cultural issues.
Please pray for the chairman of our sub-village. She is a person of major influence and seems to be embracing us and wanting change for our village. As of yet, she isn’t all that interested in the Christian God, but she is looking for common ground, telling us that we all believe in one God. She also believes in the power of prayer. She has a story of a day when there was nothing to eat and she prayed and a stranger whom she had helped years before dropped in with some money and gifts of food as a thank you that same day. Would you pray for a powerful encounter with Christ?
Praise God that He has opened a door for AIM to begin an outreach team among the Zigua people, set to begin in 2017. Pray for all of the logistics that go into beginning any new outreach. Pray too for team leaders Jeremy and Leah as they work in advance of the team’s arrival; for health and strength, good relationships in the community, a good grasp of the language (Kizgua), and for their children to thrive and to be a blessing in the village where the family lives.