The Gabbra people in Kenya
The Gabbra live in the Chalbi desert in Kenya close to the border with Ethiopia. They are an eastern Cushitic people who originated in southern Ethiopia.
The Gabbra believe in a benevolent “god” (Waaqa) who gives rain as he pleases. Animal sacrifices and ritual prayers are part of their religious practices. They believe in “merciless” justice, where grace is unknown and wrongs are righted by payment. Forgiveness is possible, but the penalty must be paid.
The Gabbra honour their ancestors and perform rituals marked with fear of punishment. The worship of Satan and his angels is a practice increasing among the Gabbra. Islam is increasing its influence among the Gabbra by building mosques in each town and promising education and finances.
CULTURE AND WAY OF LIFE
The camel is at the center of their culture and economy, using it for meat and milk as well as transportation. Their proverb “a poor man shames us all” explains why their mutual support for survival as nomads compels them to allow no Gabbra to go hungry, be without animals, or be refused hospitality or assistance.
The lifestyle of the Gabbra has limited contact with Christian influences. The Gabbra have come into contact with the gospel in towns, but there has been little concerted effort specifically targeting the Gabbra.
The ratio of churches to the population is 1 church for every 7 167 persons. The ratio of current missionaries to population is 1 missionary for every 1 792 persons. The New Testament and Genesis have been translated into their Oromo language and other books are in progress.
Islamic teachers and Ayaana cult strongly discourage anything to do with Christians. Also few of the general population can read. Children in school are learning to read but later they lose it through lack of usage.
Missionaries going to serve among the Gabbra should expect opposition from the Muslim leaders when people begin to believe. A strong prayer team is a must and missionaries ought to be well versed in spiritual warfare.
- There are a few believers in Christ among the Gabbra. Pray they will grow both in numbers and in degree of commitment to know and follow Christ.
- Pray that the Gabbra will increasingly be drawn to Jesus Pray against the cultic influence of the Ayaana and Islam.