Introduction / History
The Ura people, though quiet, are very firm with their decision once it is taken. They were under the rule of other tribes for hundreds of years. First under the late emir of Kotangora, and after him, the Hausa-Fulani used Islamic teachers to dominate the Ura people. Up to date, some old chiefs are still being manipulated in dealing with their Ura subjects. Many churches have tried to work in the land but were obstructed. In fact, some Ura people who tried to become followers of Jesus were imprisoned about 12 years ago. There is a story told about a chief (still alive) who sometimes sends messengers to Ura villages to collect tributes. It was that bad in so much that the Enemy of their soul set over them a Taskmaster. This is one of the reasons why God bypassed such chiefs to give the authority of the land to the present Hakimi in Sarari village. God also ensured that the bad influences of the emir in Pandogari was removed to make way for His missionaries and heirs of salvation in Ura land.
Christianity was taboo in Ura land after the imprisonment of those willing to follow the Prince of Life. Other Christians (in other tribes), continued watching the Ura people like the hen looking at the corn inside a bottle. Even though the Ura needed help, the Christians in Pandogari dared not go near any of the Ura villages. As the Bible described it, they were sitting and waiting in darkness for the Father of Lights to send them help. When Cave Missionaries first went through the land on survey they could feel the horrible darkness and the oppression of the Ura people. There were no developmental projects by the government or any individual. The government had abandoned them because the body of Christ had not made it our priority to reach them.
By the end of 2004, God sent a supportive group of people from Abuja (Nigeria) to join their faith and prayers with Cave Missions in order to reach the Ura people with the Gospel. After 3 years, we have successfully planted two growing churches in Diddiga village and Kakalou village. There was opposition and sacrifices paid by our Lord, His missionaries and partners working to further plant more churches to out shine the darkness of the enemy.
Where Are they Located?
They live within the Rafi and Kusheriki Local Government Areas of Niger Sate, Nigeria. Main towns are Pamdogari, Ringa and Sarari. Other people groups in this area are Kamberi, Pongu and Fulani peoples.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Their occupation is largely farming and pottery by women. The highest authority in Ura Land is the Hakimi (district head). There was an emir in Pandogari until 2003, when the past governor of Niger State dethroned him. Since then Ura people takes difficult issues to the emir in Kagara Town.
There is a power tussle among the leaders, which has kept the Gospel out of the land until God guided Cave Missions to start an outreach among them.
What Are Their Beliefs?
They are majority Muslim, but many practice traditional religions. Their priest is called Gwam na Ingiro. They have shrines in five villages and each shrine is headed by a Gwam na Ingiro.
Most Ura have a sacred room in their houses where they spill blood of sacrifices made extensively for their protection and prosperity. They are afraid of witchcraft attack.
Mukok (Hausa-Makoki) is held in honor of the dead. It is held in high esteem among the Ura People. They call the supreme God "Bana Zuba", but they fear Ingiro more than Bana Zuba.
What Are Their Needs?
The Ura have a high illiteracy rate. Health problems include leprosy, measles, malaria fever, eye problems and diarrhea. No hospitals are available in the villages. No market areas, two primary schools, no mosques for Friday prayers, good roads, but bad in rainy season, and no source of water in dry season.
There is not a single hospital among the Ura people. Ordinary sickness is believed to have been caused by witchcraft. Many Christian converts have discovered the need to go to hospital when they are sick.
* Thank God for Keeping the mission work among this people group up till now. The enemy has used different attacks to keep us out of the land.
* Commit the lives of the few converts among this people group into the hand of the Lord of the Harvest. That they will be strengthened in their faith and grow in their knowledge of Him.
* Pray that the demonic stronghold of the evil spirits ruling their lives be broken loose, so that their minds can be able to think and be helped by the Holy Spirit to make right decisions.
* Pray that God will bless those who have supported missionary activities in Ura fields, and that God will raise more support for missionaries reaching Ura people. Pray for encouragement in the missionaries and supporters alike.
* Pray that God will give missionaries relevant and meaningful strategies to reap the Ura people.
* Thank God for the churches and organizations networking to reach the Ura people. Pray for good understanding between us.
* Pray for the Cave Missions initiative to dig boreholes in Kakalou and Gabi villages, that God will bless us with resources needed and the support of Christian Broadcasting Network, CBN Africa.
* Pray that God will influence the leadership (chiefs) in Ura Land. Many of the chiefs are gateways to their people, but they will not have anything to do with Jesus in order not to lose their positions as leaders. Even those who are not Muslims prefer to remain Animists.
* Pray that Pro.21:1 and Prov.8:15 will be super-imposed by the Almighty God, over the government decision to reinstate the former cruel emir in Pandogari. Pay that this will lead to a change in their world view and core values.
|Profile Source: Stephen Shomide|