Photo Source: Erik Laursen, New Covenant Missions
Map Source: Bryan Nicholson / cartoMission
|Christian Adherents:||0.00 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|Affinity Bloc:||Horn of Africa Peoples|
The Garre of Somalia are a sub-tribe of a much larger ethnic group known as the Somali and they have two clans. Although the Somali adhere to the same Islamic faith and share a common cultural heritage, they are divided by language distinctions and clan conflicts.
The Garre are located mostly in Kenya and Somalia. In Somalia, they are located on the Upper Jubba River between the Webi Gestro and Webi Mana rivers. They are closely related to the Afar people to their north. Their neighbors include the Ajuran and Digodia Somali and the Boran of Kenya.
Most Garre are nomadic herdsmen, seasonally migrating with their camels, sheep and goats. The wealth of most Garre is in their herds. Although the husband remains the legal owner of the herd, his wife controls part of it. They live in portable huts made of bent saplings covered with animal skins or woven mats. Their collapsible tents can easily be loaded on pack animals and moved with the herds. Garre villages consist of several related families. Their huts are arranged in a circle or semi-circle surrounding the cattle pens. Villages are enclosed by thorn-shrub hedges to provide protection from intruders or wild animals. The men's responsibilities include caring for the herds, making decisions dealing with migration, and trading. The women are in charge of domestic duties, such as preparing the meals, milking the animals, caring for the children, and literally building the home. Like other nomads, the Garre consider craftsmen a part of the lower class and they scorn them. The moving patterns of Garre nomads are dependent upon climate and the availability of grazing land. If water or grazing land becomes scarce, the families pack up their portable huts and move across the desert as a single, extended family unit. The Garre are quite loyal to one another, spreading evenly across the land to make sure that everyone has enough water and pasture for his herds.
According to Islamic law, a man may have as many as four wives. Each wife has her own hut where she raises her biological children. Unfortunately, the divorce rate among the Garre is high. The children of divorced parents are usually split by gender, with the wife taking the girls and the husband taking the boys.
Formerly, the Garre's diet consisted of almost solely dairy products. Today, however, maize, rice, and some vegetables are also included. Chewing qat, a mild stimulant, is a favorite social pastime for most Garre, and it takes up valuable water that is needed for nutritious food.
The Somali tribes were converted to Islam in the 1400s, and today, the Garre are virtually all Muslim. Although they are orthodox in their religious practices, few have a deep understanding of Islam. As Muslims, the Garre believe that Jesus was an important prophet but not the only way to salvation from sin. They believe that after they die, all men will give an account for their actions, being judged by their works and by their knowledge of the Koran.
For many years, severe drought has caused problems for the Garre. Health care facilities are insufficient for meeting their needs. There are no Christian resources in their language available to them, so they have few if any chances to have their lives enriched through a relationship with the only Savior.
Pray for the Lord to speak to Garre elders through dreams and visions resulting in persons of peace who will welcome Christ's ambassadors.
Pray for the Lord to open the door for Holy Spirit anointed workers to go to the Garre clan.
Pray for spiritual hunger among the Garre that will lead them to the understanding they need the savior.
Pray for a powerful movement to Christ among this Muslim people group.