Pray for the unreached Nyamwezi

Who are the Nyamwezi?  

The Nyamwezi are the second largest people group in Tanzania, living mainly south of Lake Victoria in west-central Tanzania. Before Europeans arrived, the Nyamwezi had an empire consisting of four clans and an ancient king, Mirambo, who was a brilliant military leader. Today the Nyamwezi are known for being melodic, the womenfolk will come to your door as a singing telegram delivering wedding invitations, as well as singing in cadence to the rhythm of their hoes as they till the soil and mound up rows. About 30% of Nyamwezi live and work outside of their 35,000 miles of land, in Tanzania’s commercial and agricultural centres. 

What do they believe?  

Most claim to be Muslims and follow the five pillars of Islam, but in reality, they live by their animistic worldview, believing in a creator God, the spirit world, and the importance of using witchdoctors and other diviners to communicate with the spirits. On farming plots, amulets are placed at the corners of gardens to ward off evil.  

What is being done to reach them with the gospel? 

The Africa Inland Church has planted a hundred churches in the area but the majority of attenders are thought to be from neighbouring people groups rather than the Nyamwezi. Some say up to 15% of Nyamwezi could be Christian, but most are nominal believers. In 2020 the Tabora Bible School was established to equip Nyamwezi Christians to share the gospel with their communities as well as those from nearby people groups to be evangelists and church leaders. 

Prayer from AIM’s Daily Prayer:

…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) Please pray for missionaries who are feeling discouraged because there seems to be little visible fruit from their ministry. Pray that they would find joy in knowing it is God who is working in them, and trust in his power to complete his work among the people they are serving. 

A few weeks ago, Growing Nations in Lesotho and a couple of villages nearby were hit by a devastating hailstorm, which destroyed a lot of the crops that had been planted at the end of last year. It is too late in the growing season for some of the crops to be replanted, but the team have replanted others in the hope that they will have enough time to grow to maturity before the first winter frosts come in April. Please pray that the crops left alive, and those replanted, will be able to grow and be harvested before the winter. Pray that the team will not be discouraged. 

Pray for Caleb, Tobias and Khothalo, working to bring the gospel to and disciple the marginalised shepherds in the mountains of Lesotho. Praise God for new short term workers who have been assisting them and pray for more longer term workers to minister alongside them. 

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