Tonga

  • Pre-Entry
  • Pre-Evangelism
  • Evangelism
  • Discipleship
  • Phase-Out
  • Completed

About the People

As a Bantu-speaking people, the Tonga share the general history of migration from Central Europe, which began around the time of Christ. Now they live in Mozambique, eastern Africa, where they are a small minority tribe.
A former Portuguese colony, Mozambique is still recovering from a long civil war after they gained their independence in 1975, complicated by a series of severe droughts. No internal development was provided by the Portuguese, and little infrastructure is in place in the huge geographical area of Mozambique. Social integration is being pursued by the current government, and educational opportunities are expanding.
The Tonga are famous for their woven baskets. There is a world trade and technical study of the patterns used by the Tonga in these baskets, now also fashioned and exported as handbags. They feature strips of unique color patters, called sipatsi, of which 494 unique patters have been identified.
The Tonga follow ancient practices of tribal ancestor worship. Unlike the dualistic worldview as in the west, traditional African peoples do not separate a secular sphere from unseen sphere of the spiritual realities. The spirit world is seen as active and immediate, and many people’s lives revolve around serving spirits. They believe in a creator God, but consider Him to be far away and not involved in the direct affairs of humans.

People-Group Facts

  • Population: 1.3 million
  • Language: Gitonga, Portuguese
  • Religion: Catholic / Ancestor worship

Frontier Stories

The Pruning

Since COVID-19 made its sudden appearance here in Mozambique in March, our mission has changed drastically.

By: David Hicks
August 01 2020, 9:35 am | Comments 0

Kids Helping

I am sure that Jesus was happy to see the children working hard and honoring their parents.

By: Edie Hicks
July 01 2020, 9:06 am | Comments 0

Separated from Market Friends

What if the Coronavirus enters our market? Culturally there is no social distancing here. Everyone is pressed together and touching. Another troubling reality for many of the rural families is their lack of water. Many households survive with only one five-gallon bucket of water a day for drinking, cooking and hygiene, which the woman often has to carry a long distance on her head.
My daily prayer is, “Lord, please keep the market ladies safe until we meet again!”

By: Edie Hicks
June 01 2020, 8:33 am | Comments 0

Befriending our Neighbors

We are excited to see how God will grow our friendships with our Muslim neighbors.

By: David Hicks
May 01 2020, 9:22 am | Comments 0

Prayer at a Sawmill

When I opened my eyes, I saw that Regina, an elderly neighbor, had noticed what we were doing and joined us as we prayed. Amizade is living up to his nickname, bringing us together as friends.

By: Edie Hicks
February 25 2020, 3:57 pm | Comments 0

A Maid Named Edna

Sometimes we wonder why it takes 10 days to complete a simple work visa document, or why we have delays in opening a bank account, or why we must wait three hours in line. Could it be so that we can have opportunities to share our faith?

By: David Hicks
January 01 2020, 3:38 pm | Comments 0

Thank You Mr. Hein

We are very appreciative of how Mr. Hein risked his car to help us move to Mozambique. God bless you, Hein!

By: David & Edie Hicks
December 01 2019, 10:01 am | Comments 0

God is Our GPS

We have faith that God sees us from His throne in heaven and is guiding us like our GPS.

By: David & Edie Hicks
November 01 2019, 9:32 am | Comments 2

Good Morning Mozambique

How many more mornings will it be until they know their Savior and Creator?

By: David Hicks
October 01 2019, 10:56 am | Comments 0

Where is the Church?

In the dim light of the church that evening, our small group became friends as we exchanged phone numbers and took a group picture. We have been texting back and forth with them since then. We thank God for faithful young people!

By: David Hicks
September 01 2019, 3:13 pm | Comments 0

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