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:
Please pray for the Alagwa who are helping translate the book of Luke, especially those who are not Christians. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would open their eyes and give them the skills and wisdom they need to translate God’s word. Pray that they would encounter Christ through his word and commit their lives to him.
Please pray for the 5 believers who were baptised Christmas Eve, for their discipleship and strengthening. Pray especially for one of them who had been possessed and oppressed by serious demonic forces for many years. She had been challenged to follow Jesus a number of times over the last few years and has been prayed for many times. In the last few months, she finally accepted her need for Jesus and decided to follow him. This is a huge step for her. Please pray for her protection, and that the Holy Spirit will teach, strengthen and protect her over the coming weeks and months.