Mawa in Chad

Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Mawa
Country: Chad
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 18,000
World Population: 18,000
Primary Language: Mawa
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.50 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: Translation Started
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Chadic
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Chad became independent from France in 1960. Unfortunately, since that date Chad has seen a series of civil wars, the assassinations and arrests of political leaders, coups and wars with Libya and Sudan. A quarter of Chad’s income is aid from the UN, NGOs, France, China and the USA. International agencies consider Chad to be a failed state. Less than 40% of the people are able to read and write. Life expectancy in Chad is under 50 years old. In 2003 Chad became an oil exporting nation. Most of the revenue from the oil went to buying weapons and for the salaries of the Chadian military, not for the welfare of the Chadian people. The Mawa are a people who live in the savannah region of south central Chad. They make their living by farming and raising animals. Draughts are common in this section of Chad. When the rains are abundant, the Mawa thrive. During periods of no rain, the Mawa can face starvation. The language of the Mawa is their own language of Mawa. Gospel recordings are currently the only resources available. There is currently an ongoing project to translate the New Testament into the Mawa language.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Mawa cultivate millet, sorghum, maize, beans, and peanuts. They also raise chickens, goats and sheep to supplement their diets. Women often have to walk for miles to obtain water for their families. An NGO in the past few years built a school for one of the Mawa villages. They need schools for every village. Children frequently work to support their families rather than attend school. Families arrange marriages with the girls marrying at a young age. A man may have up to four wives if he can afford them.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The vast majority of the Mawa people claim to be Sunni Muslims. Their brand of Islam is heavily mixed with folk religion and animism. Most villages have a simple mosque for Friday services. Unlike many Muslims, the Mawa appear to be open to hearing the gospel. A tiny fraction of the Mawa are believers in Christ. Sunni Muslims try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

What Are Their Needs?

A major need for the Mawa are wells that provide clean water. Many children die due to drinking or bathing in dirty water. Christian workers can come and drill wells for the Mawa villages. The Mawa need the benefits of modern medicine. They need schools for their children. Most of all, the Mawa must hear and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

Pray that Mawa parents will be able to provide for their children. Pray the Lord send Christian worker who can drill and maintain wells for the Mawa villages. Pray that the small number of believers would grow spiritually and tell their families and friends about the Savior. Pray that the Lord establishes a church planting movement among the Mawa people of Chad.

Text Source:   Joshua Project