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.