Extra / World News

Unreached: Orma

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Mtumishi reports:

The Orma are a semi-nomadic people who live in the south eastern part of Kenya: Tana river and Lamu districts. They are a remnant of the once powerful Gala nation in Ethiopia. They mostly occupy Garsen, Tarasaa and Witu areas where they are mainly herders of cattle with small pockets of subsistence farming. The Orma are 95-99% Muslim but also believe in spirits, witchcraft and a male sky god who lives either on mountains, trees or hills. Christianity is often resented. Their population stands at 69000 with around 12 Christians known among them – 4 of whom at least are happy to be public about their new faith.

During the nineteenth century, war broke out between the Orma and their neighbours where they were then living in Ethiopia, northern Kenya and the upper part of river Tana. This forced them to migrate south to the lower part of the river and this history has always made them hostile to any visitors.

The Orma are devout Muslim believers and observe all religious ceremonies and rites within Islam. This is though mainly out of a culture of fear that was inculcated into them by Arab slave traders and masters who insisted that unless one was a true Muslim he was to be taken as a slave and sold to slave masters. Most of the current Orma people are Muslims by default and birth and though they might of necessity assent to what Islam stands for they are bound by family ties and bonds and the fear of being disowned.

  • Pray against the spirit of fear that has reigned among the Orma for so long a time. Pray for the true knowledge of God to permeate among the Orma people.
  • Pray against every historical, cultural and spiritual bondage that contributes to their long standing hostility to Christianity. Mindful that the Lord is sovereign over all history and has appointed the places where everyone lives, pray that through all events Christ may draw the Orma to himself and exalt himself as the Lord of all.
  • Pray for the few Orma believers that they will continue strong in this walk of Christ. Pray for the protection of the Lord to walk with them and pray that they will grow and be assured more and more about the truth of the gospel of Christ.
  • Pray also for the missionaries, for strength and encouragement, wisdom, discernment and cultural insight to communicate the love of Christ to the Orma people. Pray for special grace to disciple the new believers and existing believers among the Orma people. Pray for favour with the residents of Garsen, Tarasaa and Witu. Pray also for unity in the gospel among missionaries that there would not be a confused, contradictory message.
  • Pray for the Kenyan Bible translators working through BTL that they will be effective in completing a Bible translation in Orma.

The Orma on the Joshua Project

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