Introduction / History
The Khumi languages belongs to the Burmese branch of Tibeto-Burman family. The Khumi live in and around Paletwa on the southern tip Chin State in western Myanmar. Some live in Mizoram State in India and Bangladesh. Over half the Khumi are Christians. The New Testament was translated into Khumi in 1959.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Most of Khumi tribes do shifting cultivation in the hilly areas where they plant paddy, chilli, pamkin etc. The Khumi live in numerous small villages. In physical features the Khumi resemble the Burmese but mostly of lighter complexion.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Before missionaries arrived in Khumi land, the Khumi were animisms, only a few were Buddhists. BCMS missionaries came to (Burma) Myanmar in 1924 from London and preached the words of God to Khumi tribes in Paletwa. Some of Khumi became Christians and later Khumi Christians were included in Diocese of Sittwe (Anglican), and now Diocesan office of Sittwe is in Paletwa town. But many are still not accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior.
What Are Their Needs?
The bamboo has not bloomed since 2006. The food crisis deteriorated to create famine as rats destroyed the paddy fields and all the crops so there was effectively no harvest in 2007. Rats did not leave even single sheaf, it was great tragedy. There is no local rice and depend on the rice from Kyuat Daw Town in Rakhine state but many of them have no even fifty kyats in their family to buy the rice. Myanmar military government also cannot solve these famine problems. Harvests are plenty but supplies are less in the Paletwa area. This famine caused the Khumi to migrate to border countries like India and Bangladesh. Most parents also cannot send their children to school. Khumi tribes are longing for help. Some of committed persons are needed to train for God's ministry but they have no financial support for their fees and family while they study in Bible School.