Introduction / History The Vemgo-Mabas people live in northeastern Nigeria and northern Cameroon. Historically they fled to the hills to resist the Fulani Islamic wars. Today, some of them have become Muslim and wear traditional Islamic dress. The majority, however, are split between traditional religious beliefs that they have held for centuries and Christianity which has come through missionary efforts in the last seventy years.
Most of the Vemgo-Mabas are farmers. They raise peanuts, maize, and millet on hillside terraces. A man's work includes farming, crafting leather, making baskets, spinning, weaving, and building. Women make clay objects, train the small children, prepare the meals, and do other household activities.
Most Vemgo-Mabas believe in a single god. They say that he is the creator of all things and keeps his creation in order. They believe that this god only intervenes with his creation when order has been disturbed. The Vemgo-Mabas do not pray to this god, but rather to their ancestors, who they believe will intercede on their behalf. They believe that the Earth is the "mother goddess" who has birthed all other supernatural beings, including thunder, lightning, black snakes, crocodiles, and certain inanimate objects.
Although the Vemgo-Mabas have shown some interest in Christian teachings, only a small percentage have accepted Jesus as Savior. A few of the ethnic groups in the area are being targeted by mission agencies; others have no missionaries working among them. The Vemgo-Mabas have no portions of the Bible in their language. Currently, no Christian radio or television broadcasts are being aired in their language either. Most have never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. Additional laborers, evangelistic materials, and Bible translation are needed. They need to know that the Creator is not an impersonal god, rather, He is a loving Savior who cares for them and wants them freed from slavery to the spirits through fear.