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 a couple that have been studying the word and seeking to follow Jesus for quite some time. Until now, they have not been very open in their community about following Jesus. A crisis has recently occurred as the wife returned to studying at the mosque, having felt a lot of pressure to do so. Shortly after beginning studying, she came under strong demonic attack which was frightening and she has sought help from the local religious “healers” (which has not been effective). Please pray for her to repent and meet Jesus in a deeper way. Please pray that her husband will stand firm for Jesus and not bow to community and family pressures and that he will see the spiritual battle clearly that they are in. Please pray that in all this God’s glory will be revealed and that this couple would trust Jesus and cling to him. Pray that they would be a clear sign of hope and healing in Jesus in their community.
Praise God for the daughter of a witchdoctor who has seen us worship on a Sunday from afar and felt very drawn by what she saw. On Sunday she walked the 45 mins to join the worship and really enjoyed it. Please pray for a continued desire within her to seek Jesus and also be discipled. Her mother (the witchdoctor) was extremely positive about her going to church and she herself has listened to scripture many times. Please pray that this would be another step towards this whole family coming to Christ.