Introduction / History The Tiba people are a farming and livestock raising community in rural Nigeria. The main language of the Tiba is Gaa. Only gospel recordings presently exist in this language. No portions of Scripture are available in the Gaa language at the present time.
Where are they located? The Tiba people live in northeast Nigeria particularly in Taraba State. They live close to Nigeria's border with Cameroon.
What are their lives like? The Tiba people are subsistence farmers who depend on the food they grow for their needs. Most people groups in rural Nigeria like the Tiba 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 Tiba people would do well to use these art forms when presenting the gospel.
What are their beliefs? Most Tiba people are Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. The Islam of the Tiba is heavily influenced by animism, the belief that spirits inhabit the objects of nature. The Tiba believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, revealed through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
In most of the Muslim world, peoples like the Tiba depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them deal with evil spirits.
What are their needs? The Tiba people need abundant rain for their crops and their livestock so they can live lives free of want and poverty. They need medical care and good schools that will help the next generation to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
The Tiba people need the blessings of the Risen Christ, who has conquered death. Christ will give them His abundant life if they are willing to accept His guidance. They need the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, who alone is the judge of all mankind, and will separate the sheep from the goats on Judgment Day.
Prayer Points * Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Tiba people teachable and understanding hearts.
* Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Tiba families into a rich experience of God's blessing
* Pray for the Tiba culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.
* Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a disciple making movement among the Tiba people.
* Pray for Tiba families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness through Christ alone, and to understand the adequacy of Christ's work on the cross. * 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.
Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association (NEMA)