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The Chiwars* of Central Asia
May 22, 2018
“Hurry up, the truck will be here in a few minutes!”
The whole village runs to the place where a huge truck stops. Here in the mountains of Central Asia, where the food supply mainly consists of self-produced wheat, there are no shops and very little infrastructure, schools or medical care. The monthly visits of trucks that bring necessary items like tea, salt, oil, shoes, fabric, and soap in exchange for sheep is always a huge attraction!
Because of randomly set borders, the 70,000 Chiwar people live in four different countries. In each of those countries, they belong to the poorest minority groups, adjusting their lives to survive the difficult conditions in high mountain areas. Mortality rates for infants and mothers are some of the world’s highest, while the literacy rate is one of the lowest.
Today, Bibi Juma goes to a bush that is covered with red fabric strips to pray. Many years ago a holy man had died at this place, and by praying at this holy place she hopes that God will heal her sick child.
Like most other Chiwars she belongs to the Ismaili Muslim sect, part of the Shia branch of Islam. Ismaili Muslims love quietness and peace, and hospitality is very important to them. They have many superstitions and rituals, such as this one, to counter their fear of evil spirits.
In recent years, many Chiwars have experienced how God answers prayers in Jesus’ name, and a few have started to put their trust in Him.
Pray for them
- Pray for efforts to provide educational and job opportunities in these remote areas.
- Pray blessings on those who are looking to improve community health among the Chiwars.
- Pray for those who follow Jesus to have joy, strength, and courage. And for more Chiwar to be transformed by the Good News.
* name changed for security
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