Jun 15-26, 2020
The Datooga of Tanzania, numbering over 800,000, exist as an engaged yet unreached people group in Africa. They are part of the Nilotic people cluster within the sub-Saharan African affinity block. They draw their origin in Sudan, around the northern Horn of Africa. By appearance, the Datooga resemble Sudanese, Maasai of Tanzania, Kalenjin of Kenya, Eritreans, Ethiopians, and the Tutsi of Rwanda. A big percentage of Datooga people are found in Hanang’ in the Manyara region of Tanzania. This tribe consider themselves one big family, of one father, and they don’t want to lose that identity or bring in children from other fathers.
The Datooga tribe believe in many gods, based on their needs and circumstances. Also, the clans within the tribe can always add a list of gods for a specific clan. They believe in the sun, assuming if it gives light to the whole world then it must contain more power than any other entity. The sun holds the top position in the rankings of the tribal gods. A clan leader, elected from a council of old and wise men, oversees the spiritual life of the clan. He serves as both a spiritual and socio-political leader. Since the culture of the tribe is built on respect for the elders, little or no room exists for questions or alternative thoughts.
The clan leader organizes an annual day of sacrifice where a group of leaders—on behalf of the whole clan—go up the hill to give sacrifice and shed the blood of animals to appease the gods (especially, god the sun)! From there, each family can proceed with sacrifice and worship their own family gods of goats, sheep, cows, and/or trees. One family may worship a god that no other family worships. Likewise, an individual might worship a certain god that no one else acknowledges as a god.
The Datooga also believe that when their loved ones die, they simply transform into the unseen world, but still live with them in the family. So, whenever they prepare food, they budget for their dead ancestors. And if any bad luck happens to them, they think it happens because their loved ones are hungry but can’t communicate that to the living. They will always share their disappointments through fierce actions to remind the family members that they haven’t forgotten them. So, one person might take some milk and pour it down on the ground while speaking to the living dead of the family.
Spiritual confusion, poverty, and oppressive societies have long kept the gospel from advancing in Africa. But the people are searching for hope.
Recognizing that their tribal religions cannot provide the answers they’re looking for, the Datooga People are seeking truth and finding it … in the gospel. The Church, fueled by the power of the gospel message, is advancing as nationals take up the cause of Christ.
Journey to Tanzania to share the gospel with the lost and hurting. You will work alongside nationals to encourage and stimulate their faith while engaging in community outreach. Whether in evangelism, medical, or training opportunities, you will experience God’s hand through divine appointments in Tanzania. YOU can be a part of reaching the unreached by joining us in these efforts! Let’s GO!