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:
Please pray for translation of the Bible into Maba. It seems that it is forever blocked. Pray that no fear or other distraction will stop the checking of the Genesis translation- (completed many years ago but not published) in December.
This past week I heard about M – a young man who has been seriously studying the Quran from a young age. He has traveled to the Middle East to further his knowledge of the Quran and was teaching others here in the capital city. Through M’s own intense study of the Quran he gained an interest in Jesus Christ and eventually realized that Jesus is the way to salvation. M secretly sought out Christians and a church where he could find answers to his many questions. Not long ago he even took the step of being baptized. Family members soon found out about his new faith and beat him and locked him up several times. A local church recently decided to help him head back to his home area in eastern Chad but after being dropped off at the bus park, relatives found him trying to escape and they beat him and took all of his stuff and destroyed it. A fellow brother in Christ took care of M’s wounds and this past week helped this brother to again secretly travel out east. M was able to get on the bus but there has been no word since his departure – we are fearful that he was found by family members and that they have done something to him. Please pray for M and that his faith would stay strong despite whatever he may be going through at the moment. There is a small MBB church in his hometown out east that is led by some men from his same people group. Pray that if he has made it out there, that he would somehow be able to connect with this church.