Morawa in Papua New Guinea

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People Name: Morawa
Country: Papua New Guinea
10/40 Window: No
Population: 1,900
World Population: 1,900
Primary Language: Morawa
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 90.00 %
Evangelicals: 26.00 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: New Guinea
Affinity Bloc: Pacific Islanders
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Morawa people live among the mangroves of the Abau district. As the crow flies, they are about thirty kilometers (or just under twenty miles) southeast of the town of Abau, the district headquarters. But without road access, it is quicker to travel by boat around to the Keapara area and then by road up to Abau.
To reach Port Moresby, the nation's capital, the Morawa people would travel the Magi highway. Most parts of the Magi Highway are unsealed, so the trip can be rather bumpy, especially if traveling by PMV (Public Motor Vehicle). PMVs are typically open back trucks with long wooden benches stretching from the cabin to the back of the truck for passengers to sit on. The Morawa people could also travel by boat to get to Port Moresby.
They retain a strong cultural identity. Their traditional language remains the primary language of all generations. Most people can also use some Magi (spoken by the Mailu), Suau, Hiri Motu, or English. The Hiri Motu language is used as a trade language. The Suau language is used in church services.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Agricultural potential is very low among the mangroves. The people must therefore rely primarily on fish and coconut, some of which they can trade for other foods or sell for small amounts of cash.
Most Morawa people do not live beyond their early 60s. Mosquitos abound in the swamps, inflicting the people with malaria. Malaria kills small children and others who have low immunity. If children survive their first few bouts of malaria, they build up a resistance that generally protects them through the prime of their lives. When Morowa people suffer from malaria or other life threatening illnesses or injuries, there is no doctor in the district to whom they can turn to for help.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Church services are attended by almost all the people. They hear the scriptures read in the Suau and Hiri Motu languages. While this is better than nothing, the people would understand the Bible far better if it were in their own language. Without a clear understanding of God's word, the people are missing out on intimacy with their Creator.

What Are Their Needs?

The Morawa area is also cut off from Abau town where the high school is located. There are elementary and primary schools for the children, but three in ten children do not attend school. With such limited schooling, three in four Morawa people are unable to read. This creates a formidable barrier to them accessing God's word in writing.

Prayer Points

Praise God that the Suau language has the New Testament and portions of the Old Testament and that it is used in the Morawa church services.
Thank God that there is also a digital form of the Suau NT and portions of the OT that can be downloaded onto their mobile phones.
How much better it would be if the Morawa people could listen to the Bible in their own language. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to compel workers into this part of his harvest field.
Pray that those who can't really understand English, Suau, Magi or Motu will be given the help they need to understand the scriptures accurately.

Text Source:   Joshua Project