African pygmy tribe, the Batwa of South-Western Uganda for many centuries lived in caves and in trees, and hunted in the jungle. But about 25 years ago, the Ugandan authorities expelled the pygmies of the forest, leaving them without shelter and livelihood. However, now one Ministry is helping them rebuild their lives.
Jovanis Girkania — pigmata the Batwa. For many centuries its people lived in the rainforest.
“We used to live in the jungle like animals, she says. — We smoked, drank and conjured. We were devil-worshipers”.
Dr. Scott Kellermann, an American doctor, studying the Batwa.
“They are very low growth of about one hundred and thirty centimeters. And, as a rule, hunting using arrows with a poisonous tip and the network. And gather fruits from trees and dig up roots,” explains the researcher.
The whole life of the Batwa revolved around Bwindi impenetrable forest in southwest Uganda.
“In fact, the pygmies still live like before the stone age. They didn’t even have stone tools, so the Batwa are almost no written sources,” continues Scott Kellerman.
The Batwa were known as “keepers of the forest”. But things have drastically changed in 1902 when the government in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, decided to turn their habitat into a national Park and a world heritage site by the UNESCO for being endangered mountain gorillas. In total there are about 750 mountain gorillas, of which 350 individuals live in Bwindi impenetrable forest.
“As a result, the forest was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO and the Batwa were evicted from it,” says Scott Kellerman.
After centuries of living in caves and on trees, the Batwa have been refugees with no land, no food, no clothing, no housing. Thousands of them came out of the jungle in a world that turned against them.
“People even refused to provide the work of pygmies, the Batwa, thinking that those who are like animals,” — says the Tugumom Gerald, pastor Ministry to the pygmies the Batwa.
The tugumom Gerald and his wife Barbara decided to help at least some of the tribe. They moved from their home in the capital of Uganda in Kisoro a small village on the outskirts of the Equatorial jungle to begin Ministry among the pygmies.
“I began to preach the message of hope without hope,” continues the Tugumom Gerald.
Hundreds of Batwa pygmies heard about Jesus for the first time. Jovanis Girkania was one of the first facing Gerald.
“Then we first talked about Jesus. We were servants of the devil, but then we heard that Christ died for our sins, and it changed our lives,” she says.
Gerald says that among the Batwa happen and miracles. People diagnosed with HIV/AIDS receive healing. One girl-pigmata, the former on the verge of death, got a new life.
“They brought a girl who was dying, and began to pray for her, says Barbara Gerald, pastor Ministry to the pygmies the Batwa. They prayed and prayed! She was prayed for five hours! I was there. It was incredible! I was there! A girl received healing!”
All this has led to the emergence in the region of the first Church of Batwa pygmies.
“Sometimes the number of pygmies who attend Church reaches thousands,” says the Tugumom Gerald.
They also opened a school for pygmy children. And their parents who were once hunters, are now learning to be farmers. But their needs are still very great.
“Try to imagine the extreme degree of poverty. Here they are, the poor of the poor”, says the filmmaker, a graduate of Regent University Tino Cahws.
After several trips to the region Tino Cahus decided to take part in the fate of the pygmies. He drew several churches in Sweden as partners Christians Batwa.
“In this Ministry I love the fact that it is run by themselves Batwa pygmies. They formed the Council, they care about their people, and we just want to empower them, give them resources so that they become on his feet,” says Tino Cahws.
No one knows for sure, but, according to some estimates, tens of thousands remain Batwa who have yet to hear the name of Jesus Christ.
“Just as Christ did this for me, I believe His message of salvation He will change the lives of my countrymen,” says Jovanis Girkania.
At the same time, Gerald invites Christians from around the world to join him in evangelism is one of the most unreached peoples with the gospel in the world.
“We need people who will stand with us in prayer that God might use us more to reach more of the pygmies,” urges the pastor ministering to the Batwa the Tugumom Gerald.