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:
Pray for the translators as they continue to work on the gospel of John. Pray that the Muslim translators would understand who Jesus truly is as they grapple with the work of translation and that the Christian translators also would grow in the depth of their understanding of and love for Jesus.
“And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” Eph 2 v22
Please pray for the church as it continues to struggle. Pray especially for restored relationships between some members and for a vision to be the body of Christ together in their community for the glory of God.
Pray for one family who have understood the good news of Jesus for some time but are not yet ready to follow him. Their children are struggling with multiple demonic attacks – please pray that they will turn to Jesus for help, the only one who has the power to set them free.