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:

Several local Nyamwezi families in Tanzania have gathered to begin a church plant in their village, meeting under a mango tree. They are being taught by a teacher who volunteers his Sundays to lead this congregation. Pray for these families as they grow in faith and reach out to their community. One of the villagers has given land to build a church. On designated church work days the families have gathered together to build the walls of their new church. Pray that as they build the church on a firm foundation, their lives likewise will be unified in Christ, built and lived out upon his firm foundation. 

After six years of evangelism among the Nyamwezi in Tanzania, one lay leader evangelist related that he has grown weary. He finds that people are eager to agree with the gospel message presented, but their hearts are far from trusting in Christ fully. Pray that God will transform their lives from the inside out, that they would place their trust wholly in the Lord and they would steward well what God has given to them. 

Pray that as the Nyamwezi embrace conservation agriculture practices and see renewed vitality in their crops that Christ will also work in their lives. Pray that they would break free from the heavy yoke of oppression under the spirit world and Islam, often mixed together in the religious practices of the Nyamwezi. 

Prayer from prayafrica.org

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