Introduction / History The Gurara River and several seasonal streams thread through the Nigerian valley where these Ham people live. Their language, called Hyam, is spoken in more than 100 villages and 27 districts.
What are their lives like? The river supports their robust agricultural lifestyle. Ever since the British introduced ginger plants during colonial days, Hyam speakers have raised it as a cash crop. In addition, personal staples on their farms include rice, guinea corn, millet and cocoyam.
What are their beliefs? Hyam speakers, who are mostly Christians, generally live in peace, sharing their lands with several other groups. This includes some major language speakers who practice another religion.
Christianity came to the area in the early 1900s. Today, about 80 percent of Hyam speakers are believers, and they exhibit a strong faith. But until now, God's Word has not been available to them in a form that is easily understandable. It's only in English or Hausa, the regional language. Another problem, especially in the rural areas, many don't understand or use either language well.
When the Hyam people understand God's Word, they will easily be able to apply it to their daily lives. They will better understand Christian assurance and realize that obedience is a result of salvation, rather than a condition for salvation. Young people will understand the biblical nature and consequences of immorality in God's eyes. More important, they'll recognize Christ's power to help them. Hyam Christians will also have the tools they need for effective outreach.