Photo Source: Anonymous
Map Source: People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
|People Name:||Maba, Mabangi|
|Christian Adherents:||0.04 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|Affinity Bloc:||Sub-Saharan Peoples|
The country of Chad became independent from France in 1960. Unfortunately, since that date, civil wars, the assassinations and arrests of political leaders, coups and wars with Libya and Sudan have been the norm. A quarter of Chad’s income is aid from the UN, NPOs, France, China, and the USA. International agencies consider Chad to be a failed state. In 2003 Chad became an oil exporting nation. Most of the revenue from the oil went to buying weapons and for paying the salaries of the Chadian military, not for the welfare of the Chadian people. The Maba are one of the larger non-Arab peoples in Chad. They live mostly in the Ouaddai (said "Wad-dye") region of Eastern Chad around the major market town of Abeche near the Sudan border. They have lived in this area for centuries before conquerors came. Historically, the Maba were able to stand up to invaders. Domination by outsiders often meant they assimilated conquerors into their own group.
The primary livelihoods of the Maba people are agriculture and animal husbandry. Farmers grow millet, maize, peanuts, sorghum and melons. Most farmers have some animals along with land they cultivate. The Maba are dependent on the rain for their crops. In years of draught, the Maba can face starvation. Maba society is rural, there are over 600 Maba villages around Abeche. The town of Abeche, a major market town, is also a very influential center for Islam in Chad. The Maba are a particularly key people group in the Ouaddai area, with over ten unreached Muslim people groups living in the region. Also, the Maba are influential and key in their influence on Chad's Muslim population. Elders rule Maba villages. Parents arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. The rural Maba marry within their group. Urban Maba are much more likely to marry outside their clan and people. Mapa parents tend to have a large number of children. Children, especially boys, are a blessing from Allah. Many children do not attend school but spend their days helping their families make a living. The Chadian government and NGOs have programs to start schools among the Maba so that their children will learn basic literacy skills.
The Maba have been Muslim for three centuries. The Maba’s brand of Sunni Islam is heavily influenced by folk religion. The Maba pray to their ancestors and Muslim saints so they can receive the blessings they seek from Allah. In the Koran they read of Isa (Jesus) who opened the eyes of the blind, healed lepers and raised the dead. They have yet to hear that Jesus was more than a good man, that he is their lord and savior. The Maba 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. 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. A tiny fractioin of the Maba call themselves followers of Jesus Christ.
The Maba need to understand that Isa, Jesus, is much more than human prophet. The Maba would benefit by teams of medical workers coming to them. They also need schools for their children. Christian teachers could help meet that need. The Maba must see the love of Christ demonstrated to them in practical ways.
Pray that Maba parents will be able to provide for their children. Pray for an enduring peace in the region where the Maba live. Pray that the Lord sends workers to the Maba to share the good news. Pray that the Lord would raise up a fellowship in each one of the Maba villages. Pray the Lord will give Maba families understanding and responsive hearts as they hear about the love of Christ.