Area: 1,284,000 sq km
Desert in the north, dry grassland in centre, thick bush in the south. The sea is 1,000 km distant.
Population: 11,506,130 Annual Growth: 2.81%
Official language: French (only spoken by the educated), Arabic (perhaps 30% of Arabic speakers are fluent) Languages: 133 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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Training of leaders remains a major challenge. Poverty, instability, violence, poor communication and lack of both financial wherewithal and management hinder training of pastors and evangelists. Pray for the Shalom Evangelical School of Theology in NDjamena (ESTES), the Apostolic Bible School ESDRAS, CoG Bible Institute and several Christian Assemblies (ACT) schools. The Bible Training Centre (CFBP/RE) focuses on developing lay leaders and those who lack the education or time for formal theological training. Full-time biblical studies are a huge commitment when finances are miniscule and encouragement from local churches is low.
The least-evangelized. There are more unreached peoples in Chad than in any other African country. A number of agencies, cooperating admirably, are making progress with previously unreached peoples. The major people-cluster challenges:
a) The Saharan peoples (all Sunni Muslims) are politically dominant. They live predominantly in the northern deserts, Tibesti Mountains, northern shores of Lake Chad and the larger towns. Efforts by TEAM and one or two others to reach them are still in the early stages of progress. Only a handful of Christians are known in these groups, who are among Africas least evangelized.
b) The Guera-Naba cluster live between NDjamena and the Guera Mountains and are almost entirely Muslim. They include the Bilala, Kuka and Medogo collectively known to some as the Lisi. There are some agencies beginning work among them.
c) The 21 smaller people groups from the Chadic cluster. They are concentrated in the Guera Mountains. Rapid Islamization is occurring (although they also retain much of their animism). The Evangelical Assemblies (AET) are the main church in this area. Some peoples related to these 21 groups are solidly Christian, and they have a force of 40-plus village evangelists and local missionaries. WBT is involved in several translation projects among these peoples.
d) The Ouaddai-Fur peoples are Muslim and live in the eastern provinces bordering Sudan. They are a major challenge variety of languages, harsh living conditions, lack of roads, violence and upheaval from Darfur. This is one of the least evangelized areas of Africa. French-Swiss AMI and WEC pioneered this area, but only among the Maba and Masalit has work been established with a few small groups of Muslim Background Believers. None of these 19 peoples have been properly reached with the gospel.
e) The Sara-Bagirmi. The Barma (linguistically closely related to the Bilala) were pioneered by WEC, the Lutheran Brethren and AIM, but there are only a handful of known believers. To their east, along the Chari River, live a medley of smaller people groups; some have been pioneer evangelized by EET-AIM, but much work remains to be done.
f) The Shuwa Arabs. Some are urbanized, some rural and some nomadic or semi-nomadic. They are influential in Chad; theirs is the main language of communication in the country. Little outreach is directed specifically toward them; WEC is attempting to make some beginnings.
g) The Adamawa Fulbe and the nomadic Mbororo Fulbe are responding to the gospel in the south, but much more needs to be done.
h) NDjamena, the only city in the country and the nations focal point. The city and outlying areas account for around one million people. Most of Chads ethnic groups can be found and evangelized here. There are a host of congregations in NDjamena, most focusing on their own ethnicity. There are also several French-language, multi-ethnic churches. AMI has a work among street children, and the IMB and others have a well-regarded study and culture centre that serves as a platform for a variety of ministries. Pray for missionaries working in NDjamena and for others to be called. Pray also for the thousands of Christians in NDjamena for their effective witness and for the calling of some to cross-cultural outreach.
i) Refugees from Darfur number up to 250,000. Most are from the Ouaddai-Fur peoples, many of whom are disillusioned with Islam. Their situation will likely persist for some years to come and presents an unprecedented opportunity for many to know Christ.
For an additional 7 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Chad.