The Akha are located in northern Asia Pacific, they live in several villages. Many migrated 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 a 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.
Engagement // What’s Happening Now
Converting to Christianity in northern Asia Pacific 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.
Pray for Akha believers that they may be strengthened as they share the gospel with other Akha people. To join the efforts in reaching the Akha visit AP Spend Yourself.
Sustainability // The Bigger Story
Starvation and malnutrition plague many regions in Asia Pacific. Asia’s Little One’s has established programs which outreach to Akha children through nutrition and education.
Pray that Akha children may be the first generation to fully know Christ.
Partnership // Move Beyond
Entrepreneurs: Slash 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.
Readers, Writers, and Speakers: The Akha do not have a written language, they speak a tonal dialect. Creative ways to orally share the gospel among the Akha are needed.
Problem Solvers: It is 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.
Interested in more opportunities? Visit the Wide Open website.