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:
Pray for B, a relatively recent Maba believer, who has taken a 9 months Bible/evangelism training and just set off to be a missionary! He says he hopes to reach leaders particularly. Pray for him that he will be full of courage and discernment and compassion. As a child, he was one of those beggar boys carrying the bowls around to take back gifts to his ‘Faki’ from whom he learnt the Koran. May God use him and his knowledge of our cousins’ faith richly.
Pray for those he seeks to reach, steeped in fear of spirits and evil eye, trapped by tradition, and with little idea of God. May God open their minds and hearts and give visions and dreams to them which will turn them to Christ. May God open the doors for many more to work amongst this group.
A friend from the local church went into the market to share the word of God. That itself is a positive sign as the church has not been active that way. Two ladies told her that they see that Christianity is good. There is love, people come and share the word of God in the market, there is not the violence and vengeance that they see amongst their own people. But… “We couldn’t change. Muslim is what we are and have been.”
Please pray for the Maba that their eyes will be opened. So many people here do not understand anything of their belief system but go through the motions of praying and fasting etc. believing that is what helps them, while also wearing many charms and living in fear of being attacked by bad spirits. Meanwhile, vengeance and violence and corruption is rife.