The Zigua of Tanzania
Scripture: Pray the Zigua would, “Here the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’” (Jer 31:10)
Location: North-East Coastal Tanzania
History: It is believed that the Zigua fled East from their homeland to their current location on the coast to avoid the slave trade of the 18th century.
Culture: The Zigua are Bantu people. They are farmers growing sisal, a fibrous plant used to make rope and mats. They also grow sesame and corn. “In coastal villages we visited, they are more fishing oriented,” writes AIM missionary Jeremy, after a survey to learn more about the group. “The rural community of Komsanga, [which we visited], had very rudimentary houses and very little development. The central town of Miono, about 10 km away from Komsanga, has electricity, a hospital, shops, and restaurants. You don’t have to travel far out of this town to notice the dramatic change in apparent wealth, moving from brick houses with good tin roofs and electricity to mud walls and grass thatch without electricity or a close water source.”
The Zigua live in small houses are mud walls with grass thatch. These are quite small buildings, ranging in size from about 6 square meters (65 sqr. feet) to perhaps 33 square meters (360 sqr feet) and are grouped in small clusters of two to eight houses.
Religion: Islam is the primary religion of the Zigua. It is often mixed with African Traditional Religion which includes ancestor worship. Some Zigua have chosen to follow Christ, and the Joshua Project reports that 3% of the the Zigua are evangelical Christian
Engagement: There are other organizations that have been working in and amongst the Zigua people, sometimes for many years. For example the New Testament has been translated , the Jesus Film is available in Kizigua as well as other resources. IMB and other organizations are currently engaged or are starting engagement as well.
Latest Prayer Updates:
Emmanuel, a new Zigua believer, is attended a training for new believers June 20th. Please pray with us that God will equip him mightily to tell others (including his grown son) about God’s Kingdom and Jesus. Pray also that Tanzanians will be assigned soon to the missionary team as we believe we will all be more effective if we have national team members.
Please pray for our new believer Emmanueli. As the holy month begins, persecution against him has stepped up. He went to a funeral for a relative and people refused to shake his hand. He told them, “though you have rejected me, I do not reject you. And someday, I have hope that we will shake hands again”. When he is insulted, he continues to stand firm, and offer the other cheek. He told us, that God’s word is what gives him the strength to do that. He feels like it has really found its home in his heart. He continues to testify boldly. He asked for more Bibles to hand out and knows of at least 5 more people who are interested in following Jesus, but are afraid of the isolation. Please pray over the holy month that more people who are truly seeking God would find him. Pray that those disillusioned with the status quo would find the inner strength to step out in boldness. Pray for the harvest!