Praying for Chad and the Marfa Community | Wycliffe Bible Translators

Praying for Chad and the Marfa Community

A look at this country and how to pray for its people.

  • April 3, 2017
woman plows a field with a horse in chad

Chad Fast Facts

  • Population: 12,825,000
  • Main languages: French, Arabic
  • Main religion: Islam
  • Total number of languages: 132
  • Number of languages with:
    • No Scripture: 74
    • Scripture portions: 16
    • New Testaments: 29
    • Complete Bibles: 13

Chad is located in Africa’s Sahel region — where the northern Sahara transitions to the Sudanian Savanna in the south — and is a country of extreme climate, linguistic richness and cultural diversity. With this diversity comes great need for God’s Word to be translated into many of the different languages spoken across the country.

desert rose

Four different language families are represented in Chad. Although French and Standard Arabic are the official languages of the country, Chadian Arabic is used by the majority of people for wider communication across the country — particularly in the north and central regions. And despite many people speaking either French or Arabic — or both — they often don’t understand these languages well enough to be able to discuss deeper issues, including using the Scripture.

The Marfa people are one of many communities that don’t have any Scripture for themselves yet. With a population of approximately 16,000 people, 90 percent identify themselves as Muslim, with another 5 percent as Christian. This division in religious beliefs is a representation of the religious climate in Chad, where the north has been predominately Islamic for many centuries, while Christianity has had a recent, significant influence in the south.

man riding donkey in the desert

Bible translation is happening as both expatriate and Chadian translators work together, but low literacy levels in much of the country — particularly in rural areas like where the Marfa live — is a hindrance to Scripture access. But with God’s help, this hindrance and others like it can be overcome, and more language communities can receive Scriptures for themselves, whether through written or oral forms.

colorful, smiling faces in a crowd
  • As translators continue to work on projects, pray for these language communities to soon receive God’s Word for themselves.

  • Ask God to raise up more translators to participate in the work for the languages that are still waiting for Scripture.

  • Pray that people across Chad would learn about Jesus and how he is their savior, and desire to have the Scripture in their own languages so they can know him more intimately.

The statistics included in the "Fast Facts" section are pulled from and