The Akha are located in Northern Asia and live in several villages. Many migrating from China, the Akha place great emphasis in tracing their genealogy back to 60 generations and in knowing the migration patterns of their people. The Akha do not have a written language but speak a tonal dialect. The Akha live in an egalitarian society where respect is given with age and experience. Their most important yearly festival is the “Yehkuga” festival or Swing Festival which translates to “eating bitter rice”. During this four-day festival ritual offerings are given to ancestors to ensure that the monsoons adequately water the rice crops for the coming year. This festival is also known as the Women’s New Year where women showcase that they are of marriageable age. An important staple of each Akha village is a swing made by an elder as an offering to the ancestors for rice fertility. The Akha practice ethnic religions which combine animism and ancestor worship.
lash and burn techniques have severely damaged much of the Akha’s farmland. Agricultural experts are needed in the region to assist in repairing the land from the chemical and fire damage which has been caused. It is also thought that 1 in 10 of the Akha is addicted to opium. Drug addiction centers and compassion ministries are needed to assist in rehabilitating many of those who are dependent on opium. The needs of the Akha are plenty and they are in need of the transformative message of the gospel for full restoration, healing, and freedom from addiction.
Engagement // What’s Happening Now
Converting to Christianity in Northern Asia can be very dangerous yet there is a small growing minority of the Akha who have converted. An indigenous Akha pastor has been able to obtain land for her growing faith community and is also aiming to branch out and reach other unreached peoples who surround them.
Sustainability // The Bigger Story
Starvation and malnutrition plague many regions in the Asia Pacific. Asia’s Little Ones has established programs which outreach to Akha children through nutrition and education.
Partnership // Move Beyond
- Pray for Akha believers that they may be strengthened as they share the gospel with other Akha people.
- Pray that Akha children may be the first generation to fully know Christ.
- Pray that traditional culture will soften to allow missionaries to share the gospel with the Akha people.
Info source: Joshua project