- Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both aspects. It covers 20% of Earth’s land area and 6% of its total surface area. With 1.4 billion people as of 2021, it accounts for about 18% of the world’s human population. There are 54 different countries in Africa and thousands of languages.
- Africa is considered by most paleo-anthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with the Human species originating from the continent.
- The Sahara is the world’s largest desert and covers the northern section of the continent. Central Africa is mostly rainforest. East Africa is tropical. There are vast savannahs populated by elephants, lions, cheetahs, and countless other animals.
East Africa comprises ten countries: Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, and Kenya. Among residents of this region, the name Eastern Africa usually refers to these ten countries, while the name East Africa means the political region comprising Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. In this article East Africa refers exclusively to the ten countries mentioned. This region covers an area of about 2.3 million square miles and in 2002 had a population of about 190 million people. East Africa has over 500 linguistically distinct communities, which fall into five distinct groups: the Bantu, Nilotic, Cushitic, Sudanic, and Semitic peoples. This area is also home to many people of Arabian, Indian, and European origin.
Besides being ethnically diverse, East Africa is extremely geographically diverse. Bounded to the east by the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, the land rises (often on a plateau) to the Ethiopian and East African highlands, which contain five of the highest mountain peaks in Africa, such as Mount Kilimanjaro. Dividing these highlands is the Great Rift Valley. In East Africa, where it forms two arms (eastern and western), the Great Rift Valley has a series of lakes on its floor and all around it. All these geographical features have a heavy influence on the climate of the region, which has extremes of temperatures, humidity, and precipitation. Most of the lowland areas are hot and dry. Djibouti, regarded as the warmest city in the world, has a mean annual temperature of 86°F. Seventy-five percent of the region is either arid or semiarid, the Horn of Africa and upper half of Sudan being extremely arid. Rainfall is erratic, and there is a high incidence of famine in the region. The highlands are generally cooler and receive more precipitation. Near the equator, the rainfall has two peaks per year.
Much of the agriculture is concentrated in the highlands and around the Great Lakes of East Africa, and these areas contain the highest concentration of people. Ninety percent of East African people are employed in agriculture and livestock, with the highlands being used mainly for crop production and the dryer lowlands for animal production.
The great diversity in East Africa’s climate, physical features, and ethnic groups is reflected in its food culture. This culture is further enriched by the long history of interactions with people from other continents, especially the Arabian and Indian peninsulas.
Our Duty, Mission, And Passion:
The Great Commission
- As Christ’s followers, we have the Holy Spirit residing within us, which means we have His power to fulfill The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). We can’t save anyone, but it’s our responsibility to tell people about the God who can. How will they believe unless they hear (Romans 10:14)? This is what we do at FaithByTheWord Ministries! Believers bear the responsibility of carrying the message of redemption to the lost. We are saved to save others.
- East Africa is the fastest growing region for Christians on this planet!
- More Christians live in East Africa than any other African region and by 2060 forty percent of all Christians in the world are expected to live there!
Our Primary Goal
- Our primary geographical focus are the small remote rural villages of East Africa surrounding the major cities in the countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Sudan.
- Our primary short term goal is reaching out to the remote villages to plant a church, including the construction and furnishing of the church, supplying all members with a Bible of their own, and staffing the church with a trained pastor who will also serve as a school teacher.
- Our primary long term goal includes safe water development projects (spring protection, bore holes), support for schools (establishment of a school and the education projects needed to sustain it), support for village medical needs (covid medication, typhoid medicine, mosquito nets).
Things you should know about East Africa
- The average East African lives on $2 a day.
- In East Africa, 75% of the population is under age 25 and by 2050 one-third of the world’s youth will live there.
- East Africa is home to many of the world’s fastest growing cities and by 2100 the three largest cities on earth will be there.
- East Africa has the most refugees and internationally displaced peoples in the world with over 22 million Africans having fled their homes due to violence, natural disaster, and persecution.
- More than 1 in 3 adults cannot read. 55.1 per cent of all women are illiterate compared to 36.5 per cent of men. 22% of primary aged children are not in school.
- The daily diet consists of lots of fish. Native to the tropical rivers and lakes of Africa, the Nile perch is the continent’s largest freshwater fish. Capable of reaching a maximum length of six feet, these fish typically range from two and a half to three and a half feet and may be caught from the bank of a river with hook and bait.
- The African family consists of a man, a wife (or wives), and children. The family could also consist of adopted people from other families. Relatives from a family of the same descent or lineage form a kinship group. Various African families form the kinship system. It is not unusual for a family of 15 to sleep in the same grass hut.
- More Christians live in East Africa than any other region and by 2060 forty percent of all Christians in the world are expected to live there!
- Only 1 in every 300 Christians owns a Bible due to the extreme cost to ship them. A case of 24 Bibles costs $2,000 to ship to a remote village. FaithByTheWord has shipped thousands of Bibles to East Africa.
There is a growing missionary presence needed
- 1 person dies every 5 seconds without knowing Jesus.
- There are still 1,657 unreached people groups who have never heard about Jesus.
There is a desperate need to get Bibles To The People
- There is only 1 Bible for every 300 Christians in East Africa primarily due to the cost of shipping. FaithByTheWord Ministries was quoted a price of $2,000 to deliver a case of 24 Bibles to a remote village.
- To overcome the prohibitive shipping costs we are blessed to partner with Project Bible Runners – a Godly blessed ministry that specializes in delivering The Word Of God around the world. Project Bible Runners is globally focused on gathering and running Bibles to every nation, tribe and person until every faithful follower of Christ Jesus holds in their hands The Word Of God.
- The common language of all 2,500 East African villages is English. Our mission is to take The Word to all 2,500 rural villages in East Africa and train and ordain a pastor for each village within 5 years. Experience shows that for every Bible sent to East Africa 10 lost souls will accept Christ as their Lord & Savior in the first 12 months and the number only goes up each year thereafter.
The most precious possession they have is their Bible
- When the people hold their Bibles they hold them like they’re holding baby Jesus Himself! When they came out to show us the Bibles they had tears of joy!
- Many have waited their whole lives to have a Bible of their own.
- Many churches still only have a single Bible which they divide up into 20 or 30 sections and swap around every few weeks.
There is a desperate need for simple church structures
- The villagers in these remote rural areas feel they dishonor God by not providing a church from which to worship Him.
- The goal of every village is to build a church albeit a very basic structure of poles and tin sheets.
- Without aid from outside ministries, such as FaithByTheWord, to buy materials, it can take years for a village to save money a little at a time and buy materials as they go even though it may only be a few poles or a sheet of tin.
- However, when the first pole goes in the ground they have established a church and will worship there every Sunday even though they may be drenched in the rain. They don’t have umbrellas and overcoats but they are honoring God!
There is a desperate need to feed the orphans
- In the entire continent of Africa, there are an estimated 52 million orphans. Statistics for orphans show most have lost their parents through diseases such as typhus, yellow fever, malaria, ebola, and diarrhea. 32 percent of orphans in Africa have had parents die from AIDS.
- With approximately 140 million orphans in the world, Africa’s 52 million make up more than 30 percent of the entire world orphan population.
- Close to a Quarter of all African Youths are Orphaned. In East Africa, around 20 percent of the population under 18 is considered orphaned.
- Many orphans have no support and are forced to fend for themselves and find that extended family members are often unable to provide any support at all.
There is a desperate need to teach the children
- There are approximately 9 million children of primary school age unable to attend schools in Africa due to various reasons.
- For every two children who attend school in Africa, one will drop out before graduating.
- Approximately 8 of the 10 countries with the lowest primary enrollment rates are in East Africa. Only 7 in 10 children who live in rural areas will ever set foot in a school.
- Parents often can’t afford the cost of education, including books, uniforms, and tuition fees for their children to attend schools in Africa. In response, 15 countries have abolished school fees since 2000, enabling more children to attend primary school.
- Many private schools cost over $9,000 per year.
There is a desperate need for medical care & water
- For the traditional African, health is not just about the proper functioning of bodily organs. Good health for the African consists of mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional stability for oneself, family members, and community.
- Less than half of Africa’s citizens (52%) – some 615 million people – have access to the healthcare they need, the continent’s quality of health services is generally poor and the family planning needs of half the continent’s women and girls are unmet.
- In Eastern Africa, deep water wells of at least 1,000 feet are needed to provide parasite free water.
- East Africans walk 3 miles each way every day to get clean water.
- Diarrhea is a major cause of death due to the parasites in the water.