Who are the Laarim?
The Laarim live in the Boya Hills of South Sudan, a rugged and hilly terrain with rich savanna, high grasslands and scrub bushes. They live in small settlements, with social and cultural life centred around cattle, with livestock being their only known natural resource. They breed them, eat their meat, use them as dowry to get a bride, drink their blood and milk, and sleep on their hides. Raiding and stealing of cattle is a question of honour and valor. Because of this, they are involved in long standing feuds with their neighbours.
What do they believe?
They practice African traditional religion with some Catholic influence. They are highly aware of spiritual forces, and believe in a supreme being who controls all of life, including the health of their cattle. They believe spirits of their departed ones roam the earth and they can communicate with them through prayers and offerings which they perform collectively in designated ritual places. They also believe in a rainmaker and perform rain-making rituals.
What is being done to reach them?
Jacob Borgelt has been living and working among the Laarim since 2013, discipling a small group of believers. Andrew Wallace joined him in 2015, and built relationships through a local school. An AIM Focus team, led by Phil and Linda Byler, started in August 2016. Team members from that team along with new member are continuing to share the gospel among the Laarim.