East Africa (AIM/MNN) — Have you ever heard of the O people? There’s not much information on this unreached tribe, but for Africa Inland Mission’s description, they are a semi-nomadic tribe who raise cattle.
Four centuries ago, they were a large and powerful tribe, controlling a vast territory, but epidemics and conflict with enemy tribes whittled them down to roughly 66,000 survivors. The O are often in conflict with their neighbors over access to good grazing, wells, and river waters for their herds. Recently there have been times of violent clashes, revenge raids, and cattle stealing between ethnic communities.
At one point, they believed in a creator God, associated with the sky, and believed in the spirits, associated with locations in nature. Although they resisted the Islam of the Arab slave traders until the 1920s, AIM notes that by 1950, the whole tribe had converted, and their traditional culture gave way to Islamic culture. Their more traditional beliefs are now combined with their Islamic beliefs.
Reaching the O with the Gospel has been a challenge. Many continue to have hard and resistant hearts. The AIM team has been making progress on the New Testament translation. They’re also praying for a church-planting movement among the O. Right now, two elders groups have been meeting to study God’s Word. They have seen His Hand confirming the Gospel message through miraculous healings, signs, and wonders.