The Pughs work in a team among the Alagwa using Bible stories in the mother tongue, for evangelism and discipleship.
Both Owen and Miriam are from Stevenage and their passion to serve the people of Tanzania grew out of the many years they were actively involved in their local community. Through their church they were involved with youth work (both inter-church and church based), church leadership, worship, teaching and hospitality.
Their TIMO team, which ran from 2010-2013, was a partnership between AIM and the Africa Inland Church of Tanzania (AICT), lead by Tanzanian AICT pastor Emmanual (Ema) Shilikale. Having spent the three years on the TIMO team training and ministering amongst the Alagwa, Owen & Miriam were passionate about returning. They wanted to continue to share Jesus through their friendships, through supporting and nurturing the small church which had been planted, and through practical projects. They hope their love of the Alagwa and understanding of culture gained during their time on a TIMO team help them to encourage people to know Jesus deeply, in every area of their lives.
The Alagwa are a small people group in north-central Tanzania. Over 99% would consider themselves to be Muslim. Family and community are extremely important to them, and becoming a follower of Jesus means facing possible rejection. This is a frightening prospect, with potentially serious consequences.
Many of the original TIMO team have returned to work among the Alagwa, and together they continue to live simply amongst this people group, sharing their lives with them. Through farming, education, small-scale development projects, church work, story groups, Bible studies, and just ‘doing life’ with people, the team seeks to share the gospel in ways that are understandable.
Alagwaisa is an unwritten language, and although many people speak the national language of Swahili, conversations about life issues happen mostly in Alagwaisa. The team has worked with a number of Alagwa to produce a set of chronological Bible stories. These are being shared on audio devices, phones, and by word-of-mouth to individuals and groups. More recently, the team has had the opportunity to work on an oral translation of the book of Luke with both Christian and Muslim Alagwa translators from many different villages.
The Pughs are involved in discipling new believers, encouraging them to discover more of God for themselves and to share his truths with others. This is challenging, because people among the Alagwa are used to knowing by being taught, rather than by relating to God themselves. Owen and Miriam long to see many Alagwa set free to know and share God’s love for themselves. They want to see the Alagwa church thriving, reproducing, and reaching out to the Alagwa and others in their communities.
Could you partner with the Pughs in this work?