Who are the San people?
The term San is commonly used to refer to a diverse group of migratory hunter-gatherers living in southern Africa who share historical and linguistic connections. It is believed that the San have lived in the area of the Kalahari desert for thousands of years and may be the first humans to have occupied this region. Their language is known for characteristic “clicks” that can be heard in their pronunciation. Traditionally they have lived in small family groups however in recent years, many San have begun to settle into larger groups around water sources.
What do they believe?
Generally the San observe the supremacy of one powerful god, while at the same time recognising the presence of lesser gods, and respecting the spirits of the dead. They have extensive oral traditions, and many of their tales incorporate moral lessons. Of prime importance is a ritual dance that serves to heal the community, harnessing a power which causes a trance and can be used to heal both physical and psychological illnesses.
What is being done to reach them?
There was a Training in Ministry Outreach team living among the San in Tsumkwe, Namibia, from October 2015 to October 2016. Their vision was to reach the young people in that community, to raise up young disciples who can go on to be church leaders and pastors among the San. The team had to finish earlier than planned, partly due to visa problems but now missionaries have returned to share the good news.