Inland Mission

Owen & Miriam Pugh

with Ella, Charlie, Imani and Cerys

Sent from Bunyan Baptist Church, Stevenage

Owen & Miriam are part of a Focus team working among the unreached Alagwa people in Tanzania.

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.

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%.

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?

Partner with the Pughs

The Pughs work in a team among the Alagwa using Bible stories in the mother tongue, for evangelism and discipleship.

If you would like to partner with the Pughs in your prayers, gifts and practical support, please download and complete this form and return to Freepost RTJH-JRZE-XXKX Africa Inland Mission, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN.

For any queries, please email:


Related Articles

  • Rearranging the furniture - Eddie Arthur, in his excellent blog post ‘Gospel and Culture’ said: “When the homeless gospel comes into a culture as a guest, it is an awkward guest – quite rude in fact. Rather than just settling down to do things your way, the gospel starts to move the furniture around and redecorate the house.”
  • 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...”
  • How are the Alagwa engaging with the gospel? - Owen & Miriam Pugh and their family have been serving among the Alagwa since 2010. Here they share about the next steps in their ministry.
  • Alagwa people are hearing the word of God… - In 2010 a Training in Ministry Outreach (TIMO) team was sent to the Alagwa, an unreached people group whose heart language is as yet unwritten, and who adhere to a form of Islam mixed with traditional African religious practices.