Himba

Language: Himba
People Group: Himba
People Group Size: 50,000
Location: Namibia
Lifestyle: Semi-nomadic and pastoral (cattle, goats and sheep)

Translation Time-frame: October 2021 – September 2024
Completed in Phase 1: 83 Oral narratives, Oral Bible translation of Mark and the Christmas Stories of Luke, translation of The Greatest Gift booklet, and recording of Christian songs by choirs in 3 churches

Completed in Phase 2: Oral translation of the entire books of Genesis and Romans

Translation Phase: 3
Translation Goals: Oral Bible translation of Acts, Hebrews, 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy
Source Languages: Herero and English
Managing Partners: Wycliffe SA / Opuwo Pastors' Forum / Bible Society of Namibia

Deep in the north of Namibia live the nomadic cattle herders called the Himba. The Himba number over 50,000 and besides Namibia, there is also a community of Himba in the Kunene province of Angola. The Himba are a nomadic, pastoral people, closely related to the Herero people. The Himba women are renowned for their intricate hairstyles, traditional jewellery and the beautiful red colouring they get from rubbing their bodies with red ochre and fat for sun protection.

For a long time, it was thought that the Himba could share a Bible translation with the neighbouring Herero people, as their languages are closely related. However, the Himba were unable to connect with God through the written text. It was decided that an oral Bible would be recorded for them, and since 2015 they have worked diligently to craft and record many Old and New Testament narratives to be able to reach the hearts of the Himba.

The Himba were able to complete phase 2 of translation in 2021 and held a successful dedication event. They are now in the midst of phase 3. Although the pandemic has been disruptive for all translation work, the Himba team reported that during the time of the stricter Covid-19 restrictions many in the villages found more time to listen to the Bible stories loaded onto the distributed MP3 players, and many have given their lives to God just through listening to these scriptures!

Prayer:

  • Praise that they have already made good progress in phase 3 of translation, with the book of Hebrews complete and Acts underway.
  • Pray that hearts will be hungry for the Scriptures that have already been translated and distributed.
  • Praise for all those who have given their lives to Christ through this process!

Luke 1:39-56 - Song of Mary

(song starts at 1:40)

Genesis 1-2 - Omaimburiro Wombutiro

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