Owen and Miriam Pugh

Ella, Charlie, Imani and Cerys

Sent from Bunyan Baptist Church, Stevenage

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?

Latest Prayer News

Owen and Miriam Pugh returned to Ga/ara to continue their ministry among the Alagwa in March. Owen is increasing his involvement in a project that builds water tanks for local families so that they can store water during the dry season. Please pray that through the project God will provide opportunities to share about the life-giving hope we have in Jesus, and that Owen will be able to communicate God’s love clearly. 

The Pughs are currently in the UK on Leave. “…leaving Ga/ara was pretty hard this time round. Feeling a bit broken in the middle of yet more transitions, the seekers and believers who seem vulnerable and those situations which we were full of hope to see already resolved but are still not… These present times, probably for all of us, are nothing if not deeply challenging, disorientating, and downright hard. Sometimes that needs to be expressed. But woven through it all is the ever present help and comfort of Jesus, present even when we don’t “feel” it, bringing a better perspective which revolves around him and not us. That invites us to trust and to cry out to him. So we continue even now to draw near and cry out to the One who still calls us and still holds us.” Please pray for the situations on the Pughs’ hearts, and for them to keep bringing them to God and find comfort in Jesus.

Miriam writes, “I am thankful for the way the gospel of Luke in Alagwaisa is continuing to speak to the disciples. This morning, a friend and I were listening to Luke 14:15-24. As we asked ourselves what we learn about people in this passage, my friend said people’s heads are so hard… (as in resistant to God) and we talked about the importance of giving God the first place in our lives and looking to him above all other things. She affirmed this as she talked about the way even before she gets out of bed, she talks to God and puts everything she has to do in his hands. As we prayed, she confessed that often our heads are hard and also prayed for many hearts to be opened in our community and beyond.” Praise God for how God is speaking to believers through the Alagwaisa translation of Luke’s gospel, and pray that God would open more hearts to him among the Alagwa.

“Owen, Charlie, Imani and Cerys are planning to fly back to the UK at the end of August. This is so Charlie can start university in September. Imani and Cerys will be doing school online for the first term of the coming academic year. One of our biggest needs we would appreciate prayer for is affordable accommodation the UK… Miriam is staying in Tanzania, probably for 2-3 more months to be with the team through the multiple transitions for team members, as well as possible new people coming… Please pray for [the new people] as they prepare to come, that God will preparing the way for them.”

The Pughs have been temporarily living in Kondoa so they could have a better internet connection for their work and their children’s school work. “Although we are not locked down, there has been a kind of isolation in shifting from home and ministry to a place where we are outsiders again. Whilst we are praising God that this is the last prayer update from Kondoa (!), we are thankful too for lessons we have learnt here. These last eight weeks also seem to have been a time where we have had lots of work needing internet, as well as the children. Not only were we able to participate well with our LFIO leadership training via Zoom, but also Miriam’s RVA Board meetings and various conversations following… We thank God for his provision and his timing, that he could see things we needed in these weeks which we could not see… Pray for good boundaries as a family as we seek to balance school, family and ministry. Please also pray for wisdom as we try to work out the best plans for the next few months, for who should travel to the UK and when.”

Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the world’s poorest nations; agricultural subsistence dominates its economy. Health and education sectors require massive investments.There is freedom of religion; all major faiths have the ability to share and propagate their faith. Christianity makes up 54% of the population with Islam totalling 31%. LEARN MORE

Outreach & Evangelism

We long to let all Africa's people know that they can have life, in all its fullness, for comfort rather than being in fear of breaking taboos or working to earn favour in the eyes of their gods. LEARN MORE

Church Planting

Our desire isn’t just that there will be individual Christians among every people group in Africa but that there would be Christ-centred churches among all African peoples. LEARN MORE
Please spread the word...
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Related articles

Called as a family

“September 2010 was the month that we moved to Tanzania. I was eleven years old, and my entire world was flipped upside down. But I wouldn’t have it any other way…”

> LEARN MORE