Introduction / History The Gwa are a relatively small population of indigenous people who live in central Nigeria. They are closely related to the Jarawa people. The Gwa language is endangered, as young people prefer to speak the Hausa and English language they learn in school. No Christian resources are currently available in Gwa. Many Gwa are unable to read and write so the gospel will need to be presented to them in oral and visual forms.
Where are they located? The Gwa people live only in central section of Nigeria, the most populous country in West Africa. Their ancestral home is the Gwa village in Toro Local Government Area of Bauchi State of Nigeria.
What are their lives like? The Gwa have been able to preserve their identity amidst the influences of the dominant Hausa/Fulani culture. The Gwa are primarily an agricultural people who live rural villages surrounded by the land they farm. They grow rice, beans, maize, millet, yams, and melons. Peanuts, palm oil and kola nuts are cash crops. The Gwa buy things that they cannot make for themselves like cell phones and tools.
Most people groups in rural Nigeria like the Gwa enjoy music, story telling and dance as a form of entertainment and communication. These art forms are very meaningful in rural Nigeria. Those who want to take the gospel to the Gwa people would do well to use these art forms when presenting the gospel.
What are their beliefs? Most Gwa people adhere to ethnic religions. They depend on the spirit world for their daily needs. They often use charms and amulets to help them deal with spiritual forces. The Gwa believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature like animals, rocks, rivers, trees, and the sky. The evil spirits must be appeased or they can bring disaster upon the community. A sizable fraction of the Gwa claim to be Muslims but their Islam is heavily influenced by folk religion. A tiny portion of the Gwa is Christian.
What are their needs? The Gwa people need adequate rain for their crops and their livestock so they can live lives free of want and poverty. They need modern medical care and good schools that will help the next generation to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Solar panels can charge cell phones and run appliances.
The Gwa people need to hear and understand the message of Jesus Christ. He alone can deliver them from their fear of evil spirits and give them eternal life.
Prayer Points * Pray for a "Book of Acts" type of movement to Christ among the Gwa people of Nigeria.
* Pray for the Gwa people to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
* Pray for Holy Spirit anointed believers from the Gwa people to change their society from within.
* Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers disciples to make more disciples.
* Pray for the Bible to be translated into the Gwa language. * 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. * Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.
Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association (NEMA)