Outreach Project Reaches Chakma Tribe.
Initial Stage of Mango Plantation
(mango cultivation project initial stage)
The Chakmas are among the top 16 of the 353 larger unreached tribes in Bangladesh. There are over 400,000 Chakma people residing in the Bandarban Hills. Currently, 84% still practice Buddhism and worship the spirits of trees, hills and streams. Most of the Chakmas make a living through agriculture but remain extremely impoverished, unable to meet their basic needs.
Mango Tree 2010
Missionaries with Bawm Tribal Ministries of Bangladesh (BTMB) were not able to work among the Chakma tribe until 2007, because they lacked the resources to send workers into the Bandarban Hills area. After receiving necessary funds from Christian Aid they were able to establish relationships through various outreach programs. One particularly successful program has been the Mango Cultivation Project. The mango orchard contributed positively to the economic climate of the area, providing jobs for the Chakmas. This dramatic event, in turn, opened doors into the homes of those who have never before heard the gospel. Already in its third year, some of the trees have begun to bear fruit. And indigenous missionaries have had numerous opportunities to bring them the good news. Several churches have already been planted among this people group, and they too are bearing fruit!
BTMB rejoices over the generous help it has received from Christian Aid. By next year (2011) the ministry hopes to generate enough revenue from the orchard to support 20 missionaries. This project has been a blessing to many by providing jobs, building relationships, and best of all, giving BTMB a presence in the Chakma community.