Praying Through the Window III -- October, 1997

The Unreached Peoples

Day 26

Somali Homeland: Somalia, Ethiopia
Religion: Islam

Among the ten million Somali nomads and farmers of northeast Africa, women and young children care for sheep and goats, while the young men and boys are responsible for herding the highly esteemed camels. In a land that has an average rainfall of less than four inches a year, the Somalis' lives are consumed with finding water and grazing land for their livestock. The Somalis have remarkable memories and often chant folk tales to entertain themselves on long night walks. The gospel is most clear to them when it is presented in Biblical poetic stories. Although portions of Scripture are available in their language, few Somali are literate. Radio broadcasts and taped Christian messages are more useful. Modern life in the city of Mogadishu is ravaged by clan rivalry. As many as 30,000 automatic weapons are held by men and boys who steal food meant for the relief of those who are starving. Some of them sell the food to support their drug habit of chewing narcotic qat leaves. Relief agencies continue trying to distribute food and medical supplies to the needy. Ninety-nine percent of the 7.5 million people of Somalia are Muslim. Somali Christians are despised. Drought, famine, and war have driven many from their homes to surrounding countries. Somali refugees in Kenya, where there is complete religious freedom, are showing increasing interest in Christianity. Those who flee to Yemen and Ethiopia, however, only face more war, poverty, and clan rivalry.

God, bless the work of World Vision, SIM, and other agencies attempting to penetrate this unreached people group with the gospel.

AfarHomeland: Somalia, Ethiopia
Religion: Islam, Animist

A virtuous Afar man is tough, warlike, and quick to take revenge. The strikingly beautiful Afar women will not even consider a courtship with one who has never killed another man. Unemployment, illiteracy, and violence plague this Muslim tribe of Ethiopian origin. The Afar pack their portable houses on the backs of camels over what has been called "the most inhospitable desert in the world." They harvest salt to trade with coastal peoples in Djibouti and Eritrea. Afars living in Djibouti have a greater chance of hearing the gospel. Reaching the Afar and other peoples in the Horn of Africa requires mainly oral presentations of the gospel.

Holy Spirit, create a desire and thirst within the Afar to know the truth and worship you.

Beja Homeland: Sudan, Egypt, Eritrea
Religion: Islam, Animist

Although many of the nomadic Beja are hostile toward Christianity, in recent months a few Beja started following Jesus. Traditional Beja beliefs mix Islam with fear of jinn, or evil spirits. However, a response to the gospel is growing slowly. The Beja are divided into five major tribes and many smaller subtribes, speaking several languages. This makes it difficult for Christian workers to communicate the gospel with them effectively. Nevertheless, there may be as many as a dozen baptized Beja believers today.

Father, protect these few Beja believers and work through Your people to set the Beja free to serve You.

Nubian Homeland: Egypt, Sudan
Religion: Animist

As Sudan's Islamic government seizes Nubian property and sells it to Arabic-speaking Muslims nearby, the distinctive Nubian culture is fading away. Their villages are being destroyed and their children sold into slavery. Nubians disagree about why their people are dying. Some say it is because they have no more cattle to sacrifice to the spirits. Some say God has abandoned them because they expelled the Christian priests.

Jesus, let the Nubians know you have not abandoned them. Open the doors of opportunity for them to hear your message of love.

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