We have just finished putting together a newsletter where we reflect on life and the lessons learned while living amongst the Bushman. We also introduce the DIGO and the challenges and game plan as we move forward. Enjoy and feel free to share it. March 2017 Newsletter
Below is a photo from DIGOland a few days ago of our teammates putting up a screen on a soccer goal to show the Jesus film in a village.
Asked how it went our team leader responded. “The night went well. We had about three dozen people join us. The local pastor gave his testimony at the end and right as we finished cleaning up it started to rain.” Praise God for the added rain as Eastern Kenya is in a drought may it bring forth growth from the seeds planted both physical and spiritual.
As time moves closer for us departing back to Africa we have a few upcoming opportunities to share the lessons we have learned amongst the SAN and also introduce the DIGO people. If your in the TN/NC area the next few weeks and can attend we would love to see you.
Sunday March 26th
10 a.m. Service Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church (55 Lipps Lane Newland, NC)
6 p.m. Service Dixie Lee Baptist Church (Lenior City, TN near Knoxville)
Sunday April 2nd
10 a.m. Service Northpointe Community Church (Johnson City, TN)
Evening Service or small group- Currently open if you would like for us to come.
Sunday April 9th
Currently open and we will be in the Statesboro, GA area
We are also available to talk to mission or small groups during the week.
Our Schedule looking forward:
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to connect before we leave for 2 years.
In the Tri-Cities, TN area until April 4th.
In the Statesboro, GA area from April 9th to the 12th
In the Atlanta, GA area from April 14th to 17th.
April 17th @ 10p.m. We fly to Africa.
As we take a turn in life, our focus remains the same. Reaching the unreached people groups of Africa. The San are just one of these groups and the Digo are another. There are 1000 unreached people groups in Africa today. What we do seems so small but we serve a BIG God.
Here is some of what we are learning about the Digo people:
The Digo are a Bantu tribe originally from farther north. They are grouped together with eight other tribes to make up the Mijikenda, or “nine towns.” The nine tribes were driven south because of war.
The Digo experienced a time of great famine during the 19th and early 20th century. There was a practice called kore or “blood money” which a person would give themselves or their children as temporary collateral for a loan of food. If the debt could not be paid back, then the person would remain a slave. The slaves were taken to Mombasa and later could become free by converting to Islam.
Three sources of income for the Digo have been trade with Muslim Arabs, farming and fishing. This has resulted in a higher standard of living and Islam becoming more widely accepted then in the other eight tribes. Most of the Digo people over forty years of age have no real understanding of the Koran. Only a few of them have studied Islam in any depth, and most of them have only a superficial knowledge of its principles and doctrines. Islam though has altered both religious and political structures. The Digo have adopted new attire and diet. The Digo women have no religious significance for wearing the black veil but wear it to show respect for their husbands. This identification with the Muslim religion is referred to as “folk Islam.” Traditional practices of animism and ancestor worship still influence the Digo people. Animism is the belief that non-human objects have spirits and ancestor worship is praying to deceased ancestors for help and guidance. They still use blood sacrifices for exorcism of evil spirits and consult with witchdoctors regularly.
Kenya is predominantly a Christian country. Yet, the Digo have never been successfully reached with the Gospel. Their religious practices are deeply rooted in spiritism and folk Islam. This makes reaching them a very difficult task. They do have the entire New Testament in Chidigo, the language of the Digo people, but they need a literacy program to put it to use. The Jesus film is also in Chidigo.
Pray that the Digo will become dissatisfied with their religious practices; that the Digo hearts to be soften to the Truth; that the Kenyan church is empowered by God to reach out to the Digo people; and that God would raise up pastors among the Digo people to lead the people in the Word of God in their own language.
Information from https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/11557/KE
We have been reassigned to the Digo Focus team. We will be living among the unreached Digo people in Kwale, Kenya. We will be traveling back to Africa on April 17th.
Who are the Digo?
Location: SE Kenya and NE Tanzania
History: The Digo moved to their current location 1000 years ago. Historians disagree as to whether they migrated from Somalia or from Southern Africa. Originally they settled deep within sacred forests in order to worship ancestral spirits and to be safe from warring tribes. Islamic traders visited the coast of Africa as early as the 10th century and had contact with the Digo. The Portuguese explorers came in the 16th century. Many Digo converted to Islam in the 1920s.
Culture: The Digo are Bantu people. They are fishermen, farmers, basket weavers and potters.
Religion: Folk Islam and animism
What is a Focus team within AIM?
Team members are placed on a team of somewhat experienced colleagues with a leader to provide direction and vision.
Some previous ministry experience is expected for FOCUS team members as FOCUS teams are not designed to train new cross-cultural workers, but rather to allow experienced workers to join a team that continues to learn and grow together.
FOCUS team curriculum is set by the team leaders and varies from light, medium, to heavy. Teams run a minimum of two years and have flexible starting points, allowing team members to join a team even after its initial launch. As planting churches is a long-term endeavor, FOCUS teams are intentionally inviting members to stay on until the job is done.
We don’t want to overwhelm you with information today, so in the coming weeks we will introduce the Digo people to you all and we will share how we will fit into the Focus team who has already been serving in the area for the past 2 years. We already feel very welcomed by the team who have been praying for a couple to join them.
We are very thankful that God is faithful.
He is directing our path.
Jeremy and Claudia
As we have been praying and seeking about our next steps I have been reminded of a blog post I did back in 2015 before we went to Tsumkwe.
We found these stats about Global Mission Work.
-Less than 10% of missionary work is done among unreached people groups.
-Less than 2% of the money given to “foreign missions” goes to the work of reaching unreached people groups.
As we move forward these stats just reinforce the calling God has on our lives to go to unreached people groups and we love how Africa Inland Mission is committed to reaching the unreached.
Our new assignment will be to a new unreached people group and in the coming weeks we hope to be able to share the details with you.