Introduction / History The Chinese government has created an artificial ethnic group designation called the Yi People Group. The group includes more than 100 distinct peoples. One such group is called the A Che. The Chinese government listed the A Che as a distinct people group in the 1953 Chinese Census. The A Che are similar yet distinct to the Azhe people, speaking a different language called Eastern Nisu. Living only in China, the A Che exist as a member of the "Other Tibetan-Burmese" People Cluster. They migrated from northern to southern China from 501-907 AD during the Sui and Tang dynasties, enlisted in the Luodian Kingdom armies, and located in Jianshui County in Yunnan Province. Later, they crossed the mountains into Yimen and Shuanghai Counties where they gradually became known as the A Che People.
What are their lives like? Only those A Che living in Shuangbai County celebrate two important festivals. They hold the Open Street Festival every eighth day of the first lunar month in Damaidi District and the Dragon Worship Festival on the second day of the second lunar month in the Fadian Community of Yulong District
What are their beliefs? The A Che practice Chinese Folk Religion which includes the worship of many gods. They claim that in the past they were closer to a God of creation. However, they believe that subsequently their line of communication with the Creator was broken, therefore, they are unable to enter heaven. The Heaven's Family Ministry engaged the A Che from 2003-2013. Their ministry to the A Che is ongoing. It has planted a church consisting of a few number of Christ followers. Local pastors provide discipleship and leadership. Heaven's Family Ministry considers the A Che to be engaged but not reached (that is, the indigenous church is not yet fully capable of reproducing itself).
What are their needs? The A Che people need a spiritual hunger that will drive them to seek and find the true God of Creation. They need Christ's ambassadors to disciple them in his ways.
Prayer Points Ask the Lord to raise up more workers to spread the gospel amongst all the A Che people. Pray for godly A Che men to be raised up and trained in sound doctrine and then thrust out to disciple A Che believers to disciple others. Pray for a strong, sound indigenous church planting movement amongst the A Che. Pray for protection for believers against the evil one. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.
Approximately 35,000 A Che people predominantly live in Shuangbai (23,000) and Yimen (11,100) counties in the eastern part of Yunnan Province's Chuxiong Prefecture. Other A Che villages spill over into Lufeng and Eshan counties in Yuxi Prefecture. Most of the A Che in Shuangbai County are extremely isolated. In Yuxi Prefecture, on the other hand, some A Che villages are a mere five kilometers (three mi.) from Yimen City. (Source: Operation China, 2000)