The literature calls them Akhvakh, they call themselves Atluatii or Ashvado, the Russian government classifies them as Avars, but God calls them lost people in need of a savior. The Akhvakh are almost entirely folk Muslims who seek out shamans and use the Koran like a talisman. They are a ranching people who raise livestock and chickens and live in nine villages in central Dagestan and in ethnic neighborhoods in urban areas. Many have assimilated into the Avars, but they still keep cultural distinctives. Mixed marriages are increasingly common. Most, if not all, are bilingual, speaking Akhvakh at home and Avar in public. Elementary grade education is in Avar, secondary is in Russian, but neither is their mother tongue.
Missionary obstacles include terrain, syncretism, lack of Scripture in their heart language and Russian law against proselytism.
Outreach in urban areas into Akhvakh neighborhoods might be effective. If someone took an interest in their culture and language, they could develop gospel materials to share with them.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7
Pray for many from this people group to find true knowledge by fearing the Lord of heaven.
Pray that the urban Akhvakh would open up to the gospel and begin a Disciple Making Movement with their rural kinsfolk. Pray for the two or three believers in one family, for their protection and growth in faith and witness. Pray for Christian linguist-teachers to translate the Bible, collect local lore and teach literacy to the people in their heart language.
|Online Audio NT||No|
|Christ Followers||Few, less than 2%|