RETURNING TO ZEMIO

One Team's Journey to Reach the Mbororo of Central African Republic

Central African Republic is not an easy place to live. Its remote, jungle wilderness makes transportation and communication to the outside world difficult, and the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and other rebel groups is very real and daunting. Many years ago, missionaries worked in this area, and, by God’s grace, the gospel took root among the Zande people. The local church is the hope of the world and of central Africa, and the Zande church in Zemio has been waiting for the missionaries to return. Steve and Sharon Entwistle came in 2015 to reconnect with these believers and prepare for a team of other AIM missionaries to return to the land. The church and the team hope to reach out together to their neighboring unreached people group: the Mbororo.

The Mbororo, which means “cattle herder” in the Fulani language, are a large semi-nomadic people group of 15-18 million who are spread across a horizontal zone from West Africa into central Africa, bound by the Sahara desert to the north and the tsetse fly to the south. The important things in the life of the Mbororo are family, cattle, strong morals, and beauty, and they value excellence in poetry, singing, and dancing. At the homestead, they farm millet and sorghum and keep small animals. Cattle is the symbol of wealth, and children are symbols of the future. Since they don’t believe in an afterlife, they believe that a person lives on through their children. Therefore, not having children means a person has “died twice”.

Although they will call themselves Muslims, they preserve many of their Mbororo customs. They follow the Muslim rituals of prayer, fasting, and pilgrimages, but because of their fear of the spirit world, they wear fetishes and charms and practice rituals for protection. Despite this, they have demonstrated an openness to the Gospel, particularly when they see it worked out in deeds of love and mercy.

At the beginning of 2017, Steve and Sharon’s team arrived. This is their story, a story that will give us a small glimpse into life and ministry on an AIM outreach team. We will follow their stories and updates, learn to pray for them and the Mbororo people, and watch how God works through ordinary people who are called to an extraordinary journey.

Welcome to “Returning to Zemio.”

The Team’s Journey

The Mbororo

Learn more about the unreached Mbororo people.

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