Driven by a Deep Thirst

Deep in the north of Namibia live the nomadic cattle herders called the Himba. The Himba number more than 50,000 in Namibia and in the Kunene province of Angola. They are a nomadic, pastoral people, closely related to the Herero people. Himba women are renowned for their intricate hairstyles, traditional jewelry, and the red colouring of their skin from rubbing their bodies with red ochre and fat for sun protection.

Himba women celebrate the completion of oral translations of Genesis and Romans in 2021.

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’s Word through written text. It was decided that oral Bible recordings would serve them best, and since 2015 they have worked diligently to craft and record many Old and New Testament narratives to reach the hearts of their people.

Mukaa Mbengera Tjivaro
(Photo: Courtesy of Wycliffe South Africa)

Mukaa Mbengera Tjivaro is a Himba woman in Namibia. When she received an MP3 player loaded with Bible passages in Himba, she listened to it day and night, driven by a deep thirst she didn’t understand. One day, she approached a visiting pastor to talk about it. The pastor told her about Jesus and immediately, she gave her life to Christ.

“Since then,” she says, “I have joy in my heart that has never departed from me. I feel that I am one of the luckiest people to have this tool, because it has changed my life.” 

Mukaa has a special box where she has kept the MP3 player safe for the past three years. Whenever she listens to it, she uses what she’s heard to encourage others around her. 

Source: Wycliffe South Africa


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