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: Jan 2019 – Sept 2021
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
Translation Phase:
Translation Goals: Oral Bible translation of Genesis and Romans 1-8
Source Languages: Herero and English
Managing Partners: Wycliffe SA / Opuwo 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 team are in the process of wrapping up phase 2 of translation, which was set to be completed by September 2021. Despite the Covid-19 travel restrictions and disruptions, the team was able to continue working virtually to complete this phase. In fact, the 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 phase 2 two goals have been completed - that this was able to progress in spite of Covid-19 impacts.
  • Praise for all those who have given their lives to Christ through this process!
  • For God’s hand in wrapping up and concluding the current phase, and for Him to guide discussions and clarify the way forward as the team prepares for the next phase of translation.

Genesis 1-2 - Omaimburiro Wombutiro

Luke 1:39-56 - Song of Mary

(song starts at 1:40)

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