How is God at work among the Rangi?

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With a third team being considered to go to the Rangi people in central Tanzania, K*, who has been ministering among them, tells us about some of the barriers that past teams have encountered, as well as how God is at work among the Rangi.

Hospitality. Generosity. Living in community. These are biblical ideals (commands even) that the Rangi live out superbly. And yet the longer you observe, the more it becomes clear how the Rangi are also held captive by less desirable attributes like materialism, witchcraft, traditionalism and legalism.

The courage to have faith

Legalism is perhaps one of the most evident. Most Rangi are Muslim (a contingent is Roman Catholic), and those that are devoted live their lives in an attempt to follow the laws of Islam, often with minimal understanding or examination. This makes it hard for Muslim background Rangi to find the courage to turn from Islam and come to faith. Of the few who have, even fewer have been able to walk out that faith long term.


Spiritual Hunger

A Rangi woman’s work never ends. Most women are occupied with many daily responsibilities: children, farming, preparing food, carrying water, and so forth. Mama S and Mama M are no different. Unlike most women, however, these sister-wives are also spiritually hungry. They have heard “The Story of God and Man” from Adam to Jesus, using a story set in Kilaangi (the Rangi language). They have listened intently to the words of the prophets about the promised Redeemer, and they affirm Jesus’ teachings and power. Just like a Rangi woman, the Lord’s work never ends either. He is continuing to help Mama S and Mama M think outside of their Islamic box. Please pray that the Lord would work miracles in these women and their husband, and that he would give them great courage. Ask that he would add ‘tell others about the joy of following Jesus!’ to their list of things to do.

There have been several teams that have worked among the Rangi, made up of both foreign and local workers. The first team (1998-2000) set the foundations for a Christian girls’ school, which is now in the hands of a brilliant Rangi believer called Machu. He faces challenges such as debt, leadership challenges, and demonic attacks, but he longs to see the girls follow Jesus, and he rejoices that he has seen some take that step. Several Rangi Christians have joined the church at the school, but the wider spiritual impact of that church on its immediate community remains minimal so far.

Nchulu is a Rangi man who has accepted the challenge of returning to work among his people group. The second Rangi team (2012-2014) left an education centre in his hands. The pre-school he started is praised for its effective education. Nchulu looks for and prays for chances to share and teach about Jesus, and he tries to motivate the local church (almost exclusively non-Rangi) to do the same.

God is not limited!

The most encouraging thing I’ve seen through this is that the Lord’s work is not limited to organisations or teams. After experiencing the transforming power of the Bible and of following Jesus, one Roman Catholic background believer has taken up the challenge of teaching seminars and Chronological Bible Storying to both Roman Catholics and Muslims alike. A Rangi Muslim he taught is now a believer, and is leading a group of other Muslim background believers in his town.

The Lord’s hand is evident in seeing these different believers with different backgrounds, come together formally and informally to work towards the goal of seeing the Rangi be transformed by Jesus!

*names are withheld online for security reasons

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