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Kenga in Chad

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Kenga in Chad map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
118,000 Kenga Islam 0.30 % 0.10 % No   

Kenga in Chad

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Introduction / History
The term Hadjeray, which means "of the stones or mountains," is a collective term used to describe a group of mountain peoples living in the Hadjeray region of south central Chad. They are descendants of peoples from the surrounding plains who fled to the mountains in an attempt to escape the invasions of neighboring tribes. The Hadjeray include such groups as the Kenga, the Bidio, the Jongor, and the Dangaleat. All of these groups speak Chadic languages, except the Kenga, who speak a Sara-Bongo-Baguirimi language.

Besides their geographic and linguistic closeness, the groups of the Hadjeray region have similar cultures and religions. Despite these similarities, however, most of the groups are hesitant to intermarry, preferring to maintain separate identities. Although the groups are somewhat independent of one another, their relationships remain peaceful. In fact, they have often rallied together to maintain independence from outside forces. For instance, all the Hadjeray groups played a prominent role in the 1960 rebellion against the Chadian national government.

What are their lives like?
The Hadjeray are primarily farmers who attempt to cultivate the rocky ground of the region. Some, however, have moved to the cities and taken jobs in construction or in the government. The main crop grown is millet; but some cotton, okra, beans, and corn are also grown, along with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Their main diet consists of a millet paste, eaten with a sauce made from wild leaves, meat, or dried fish.

Most of the Hadjeray receive income from selling surplus millet and from transporting goods for others. They trade with the nearby Arabs on a regular basis in order to purchase items they cannot otherwise obtain. In these trades, millet is given for milk, meat, and items made by Arab blacksmiths.

The Hadjeray make only a few handicrafts, most of which are for their own use and not for sale to others. Some of the crafts include woven palm leaf mats, clay jars for transporting and storing water and grain, and cotton thread and fabric.

Each Hadjeray group is divided into a number of villages. Most villages have several clans, each of which lives in its own neighborhood. Each village is run by a chief or headman, who is primarily in charge of settling disputes between the villagers. Every village also has a "chief of the land," who holds the "religious power" of the village.

Most Hadjeray are rural and live in round, mud-brick huts with cone-shaped, thatch roofs. In town, the dwellings are also made of mud-brick, but are rectangular in shape and have flat roofs. The villages consist of several compounds. Each compound contains a number of huts belonging to an extended family.

Most of the Hadjeray women wear colorful print fabrics, which are either wrapped around their bodies or tailored into dresses. Head coverings are worn by the women when they are outside their own compounds. The men wear Western-style pants with shirts, or long robes with or without pants.

Although many Hadjeray villages have a primary school, the teachers are generally inadequate. Many children who attempt school soon drop out. In addition to schools, there are other evidences of modernization among the Hadjeray. Kerosene lanterns and flashlights are used in each compound, but sparingly. Short-wave radios and digital watches are not uncommon. Some Hadjeray even own bicycles or mopeds. Other modern features, such as electricity, telephones, clean water, and health care facilities, are not present.

What are their beliefs?
Although a majority of the Hadjeray have completely converted to Islam, the Kenga remain only largely Muslim. Pre-Islamic beliefs, however, are still practiced by all the groups, including the Kenga. Therefore, the tribes remain united in religion. All of the groups belong to what is known as the margais cult. The margais are believed to be invisible spirits who live in nature's formations and control the natural elements.

What are their needs?
The tribes of the Hadjeray region need more educational opportunities and quality health care facilities. Perhaps Christian teachers and medical workers will have the greatest opportunities to share the love of Jesus with them.

The Hadjeray tribes are also in need of Christian resources in their own language. A very few people of the Hadjeray region have accepted Jesus as their Savior. In fact, most of them have never yet had an opportunity to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel.

Increased missions efforts, additional laborers, Christian broadcasts, and evangelistic literature are greatly needed to effectively reach the Hadjeray tribes with the Gospel. However, prayer is the first step toward seeing them reached.

Prayer Points
Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies that may be focusing on the Hadjeray tribes.
Pray that God will call Christian teachers and medical workers to minister to the peoples of the Hadjeray region.
Ask God to raise up additional long term missionaries to join the few who have already responded.
Pray that signs and wonders will follow the Hadjeray believers as they share Christ with their own people.
Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of Chad through intercession.
Ask the Lord to raise up strong local fellowships of believers throughout the Hadjeray region.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.

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Country: Chad
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, West and Central
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Guéra region: Guéra department, Bitkine subprefecture, Bitkine area, 52 villages, including Bolongo and Bokiyo.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Kenga
People Name General: Kenga
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 104831
Joshua Project People ID: 12620
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 118,000
Population all Countries: 118,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Guera-Naba of Chad
People Name General: Kenga
Ethnic Code: NAB66z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Kenga (118,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): kyq    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.30 %(Evangelical: 0.10 %)
Ethnic Religions30.70 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam69.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2003-2009
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
GeneralGospel resources links
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Kenga
Text / Printed MatterDownload scripture in this language
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Kenga in Chad

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Guera-Naba of Chad     Africa, West and Central    
      Kenga Chad    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Kenga in Chad          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Kenga  
    All Religions                              

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