The Maba of Chad
Location: Mostly Eastern Chad and some in Sudan. The Maba are one of the largest non-Arab people groups in Chad. They are the dominant tribe of the Wadai mountains. The Wadai region is hot and dry most of the year, characterized by broad flat grasslands and plateaus.
History: Long ago the Maba overthrew the Christian Tunjur dynasty in Wadai and formed the backbone of the Islamic Wadai Empire, which dominated Eastern Chad in the 1800s. In modern Maba society, chiefs and members of the royal class still possess a high degree of prestige and power, although the French abolished the sultanate in 1912.
Culture: Although they are Muslims, people live in fear, using amulets and charms to ward off evil and sickness. They are primarily farmers, growing millet and wheat, as well as raising horses, goats, sheep, and chickens. The Sultan serves as head of state of the region and rules through governors and district chiefs. The Queen Mother is highly esteemed and has great influence.
Religion: Folk Islam
Latest Prayer Updates:
The Chadian pastor involved in the outreach programme in a mixed Maba/Chadian Arab village soon after Christmas, asks for prayer as he returns Saturday 20th April to visit the couple who made a commitment to our Saviour during that outreach. Pray also for the teacher in the village school who has been the only believer spending time with the couple up to now because the pastor’s motorbike has needed repair for the last 4 months. Pray that pastor and his church will consider it a priority to get the bike repaired soon so that he can do visits in surrounding villages as he used to do.
Following the death of Ousman, local leaders of our cousins have forbidden people to visit the home of Rachel, his widow, saying that those who do should fast 3 days. Stories are being spread of the bad behaviour (drinking alcohol, dancing etc.) that Christians are up to. Even Ousman’s brothers have not visited. In a society where community is everything, this is deeply hurtful. Pray for the small community of believers to have grace to show compassion and love to those who persecute them and not retaliate. Pray that this might impact the local community to consider the claims of the gospel.
Ousman had under his charge, for 6yrs, the son of his dead brother. He is now 8 yrs old. Because the family is so overcome with grief and the enormity of coping with his children (including another orphan) they are talking of sending the boy to stay with a great aunt. Pray that they would be mindful of how far they would be sending him from Christian influence and reconsider. Ask God to provide for this family.