Waema in Papua New Guinea

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People Name: Waema
Country: Papua New Guinea
10/40 Window: No
Population: 2,100
World Population: 2,100
Primary Language: Wa'ema
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 86.00 %
Evangelicals: 26.00 %
Scripture: Translation Started
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: New Guinea
Affinity Bloc: Pacific Islanders
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Waema people are one of the many indigenous groups that inhabit the rugged and remote terrain of Papua New Guinea (PNG). They live on the southeast peninsula of mainland Papua New Guinea. The Waema people are also known as the Wola or the Wawoma. They are believed to be one of the oldest living groups in the region, with a history that dates back over 40,000 years.

There are currently no Christian resources in the Waema language. There is a need for a complete Bible translation. The New Testament is available in two dialects similar to Waema. Some Waema are able to speak these two dialects.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Waema people live along the coast about 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Alotau, the capital city of Milne Bay. They are served by a good road connection to Alotau, providing them with opportunities to sell their garden produce, seafood, betel nut, and cocoa. They sell palm oil as a cash product. With the cash the Waema are able to buy things they cannot make for themselves such as metal tools.

The Waema people have faced a number of challenges over the years, including forced displacement, disease and environmental degradation.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Waema claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. They have a strong spiritual connection to the land and believe that the natural world is inhabited by powerful spirits and ancestral beings. They perform rituals and ceremonies to appease these spirits, and to seek their guidance and protection. The Waema also have a complex system of beliefs around death and the afterlife, and their funerary customs are marked by elaborate mourning and feasting rituals.

What Are Their Needs?

The Waema people have many needs. They need teachers to help them learn literacy skills. They need access to modern medicine. Most of all, the Waema must learn the ways of the Lord and be discipled in the faith.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to raise up trained, mature pastors to help the Waema church grow spiritually.

Pray that soon the Waema would have the Bible available in their own language.

Pray that Waema believers would be willing to go tell other people about the new life found in Jesus Christ.

Pray that Waema children would be able to go to school.

Text Source:   Joshua Project