The Jiye of South Sudan

Population: <12,000
 
Location and Background: The Jiye people live in the arid flat lowlands of the South East corner of South Sudan in Eastern Equatoria State. They are agri-pastoralists- they grow sorghum and raise cattle, sheep, and goats. The are very closely related to the Toposa of South Sudan and speak the same language. They are also related to the Karamojong of Uganda, Nyang’atom of Ethiopia, and the Turkana of Kenya. Their homeland is bordered by the Toposa to the South and East, the Ngipeta to the North, and the Nginyoro to the West. They have conflict with all these neighbors. 
 
History: The Jiye people originally came from Kotido Najie in the Karamoja region of Uganda. They left the area in search of water and pasture. They passed through several areas, but moved on after being attacked by the Toposa. They settled in Naliimtiira for a while and grew, but were eventually driven off by neighboring tribes (the Nginyoro and Ngipeta). Their leader, Natuliasia, advised them to divide into four groups to avoid being attacked as a large group. These four groups eventually became the clans of today: The Ngikurono, who worship wood ash and live in Lorumute; the Ngisirae, who worship the cheetah and live in Kesegor Hill; the Ngimokodol, who worship the millipede and live in Lopeat; and the Ngitarakaboon, who worship the hyena and also live in Lopeat.
 
Culture: The Jiye are fierce warriors. They compete with the Toposa for water and pasture. They engage in cattle rustling. They pierce and scar their bodies as marks of beauty. The women wear beaded head bands in colors which represent the clan of their husband.
 
Religion: The Jiye are ATR (animists)- they believe in a supreme being named Apayok, who resides in a crater in Mt Kesegor. They believe if you commit an offense against him, Apayok will not give you water when you visit him there. They believe Apayok sent a sorcerer named Natidiita to protect and guide them. They also believe in the spirits of their ancestors, with whom they communicate through a medium.

Latest Prayer Updates:

Persecution and resistance

Pray for Elia and the team among the Jiye. There is persecution and resistance and Mary the key leader was persecuted recently. Catholic leaders went and instructed the people negatively about the Gospel work which caused a negative perspective to emerge. Elia has been very effective and fruitbearing among the Jiye. He and the recently trained students from Harbigners Bible School in Kenya, have talked with the elders and community to clear things up and refute the Catholic accusations. Despite all of this, of the nine churches, 4 are going on well but one has died. Pray for the team of locals to have encouragement and persevering faith. Pray for them as their Jesus Film equipment has not been working well and is losing its charge quickly and takes 5 days to charge. They need new equipment. Thank you for praying.

Desparate situation

The water situation in Jiye land is very desperate and needs urgent prayers. No rains and very high temperatures (up to 47 degrees (116F) during the day) are making the situation dire. Encouragingly, the disciples are still keeping the groups and churches going even at this hard time. Missionary Elia and two other Toposa leaders have gone to the Jiye to strengthen the believers for three months, from April 1st until June. Pray the Lord will flood this land with rains and with His Holy Spirit.

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